Business analysts play a vital role in helping companies fix outdated processes and adopt new technology. They are in high demand in every area of business, from finance to IT to corporate management.
Following a business analyst career path is a lucrative and rewarding move. But you’ll inevitably come to a point in your career where you wonder – what’s next? In this blog, we’ll detail some of the most popular business analyst career paths.
Where Can You Go as a Business Analyst?
A business analyst’s career path can go in many different directions. Business analysts tend to be strong communicators and precise analyzers – skills that translate well to various specialties in business and IT.
The primary role of a business analyst is to understand a company’s objectives and determine the technology resources they need to reach their goals. People who excel at analyzing and interpreting business data are fit for jobs as consultants, architects, system analysts or even product managers.
Looking to jumpstart your business analyst career? Learn how to become a business analyst.
Career Paths for Business Analysts
Once you have several years of experience as a business analyst, you’ll be in a position to decide the next step in your career. Here are six potential career paths for business analysts who are ready to move up the ladder:
1. IT Business Analyst
An IT business analyst manages and facilitates technology-focused business projects with their knowledge of IT, software and business components.
This job is considered a step up from the business analyst role because it requires deeper knowledge of technology and business management. IT business analysts need a vast understanding of operating systems, data requirements and business process requirements to make strategic decisions. They also need strong communication skills to get project approval from multiple stakeholder groups.
There are a few different titles that can fall under the umbrella of IT business analysis. The IT project manager is one — and it earns an average of $97,312 each year, according to Glassdoor.
2. Data Scientist
Data scientists have a knack for piecing together seemingly disparate data points and delivering actionable insights to decision-makers. Data scientists use methods from statistics and machine learning to extract meaning from and interpret data.
Data scientists typically need strong technical experience, which may include Python, Hadoop and SQL database skills. People in this role should be able to think outside of the box to extract tangible results from complex data.
Data scientists tend to be highly educated, and many earn their master’s degree in math, statistics, computer science or another related field. The average data scientist earns a salary of more than $120,000.
3. Quantitative Analyst
Quantitative analysts are frequently referred to as financial engineers, though they can also be called quantitative researchers, quantitative traders or quantitative developers.
People in this role review data to create, implement and present mathematical models to back up financial decisions. In other words, they rely on data to make sure the risks a business takes are smart risks.
Quantitative analysts earn an average salary of $116,000, while junior quantitative analysts earn around $98,000. Quantitative analyst positions pay well because, typically, a master’s degree in mathematics, economics or computational finance or equivalent training is required.
4. Management Analyst
Management analysts are also often known as management consultants. People in this role advise managers and business leaders on ways to improve company processes, reduce costs and increase revenue. They are very similar to IT business analysts, but they generally consult for other companies rather than working internally for one company.
Many management analysts pick one focus area, such as IT, finance or government, and act as a subject matter expert for clients in that arena. Whether they choose to be a jack of all trades or a master of one, management analysts make about $83,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most management analysts only need a bachelor’s degree, though having an MBA or equivalent training can improve your job hunt.
5. Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts interpret security data and monitor IT systems and networks to protect an organization from cyberattacks. Security analysts are responsible for finding weaknesses and coming up with creative ways to strengthen security measures.
If you’re intrigued by cybersecurity, intrusion detection and problem-solving, becoming an information security analyst might be a step in the right direction. Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree related to information technology, along with several years of relevant experience and cybersecurity certifications on their résumé.
On average, an information security analyst earns around $98,000 a year.
6. Solutions Architect
A solutions architect is responsible for developing functional solutions that solve business problems and meet technical requirements. They need to understand how various systems work together and determine how technical changes will benefit — or harm — an existing infrastructure.
The average salary for a solutions architect is around $122,000. Most people in this role have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, and many have a master’s degree as well.
Aspiring solutions architects can also seek out certifications to supplement their education, such as the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect.
Prepare for Any Business Analyst Career Path With New Horizons Training
Organizations in every industry rely on business analysts to make critical decisions and fuel growth. Whether you’re most interested in finance, cybersecurity or business processes, there’s a role out there for you.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Check out New Horizons’ business analysis, big data and IT service management training courses today.