As the workforce increasingly relies on data, business analysts are growing in demand
A blend between an information technologist and a business strategist, a business analyst looks at data and turns what they learn into valuable insights a company can use to make smart, informed decisions.
If you’re looking for more information about business analyst careers, or to transition into this fast-growing field, this is a great time to do so. Whatever your career goals are, we can help you reach them. The following information can help you determine whether this is the right path for you.
Why pursue a career in business analytics?
Business analysts work in multiple capacities across many industries, giving you a variety of career paths and opportunities to choose from. Some of the benefits of this profession include:
Impressive earning potential
Salaries for the lowest 10% of analysts average around $49,700, while the highest 10% bring in upwards of $154,000.
Diverse skill development
In today’s industry, employers seek professionals with a diverse set of skills to fill their business analyst positions. This allows for growth and development in a myriad of areas, including project management, creative thinking, data collection, and cybersecurity. It’s this versatility that allows business analysts to play a more integral role in driving strategy for their organization.
Multiple career options
The available opportunities for business analysts cover a wide spectrum of industries and concentrations. These can include work in information security management, analytics-based project management, and solutions architecture.
This is also not only a desk job; field research and frequent travel to clients and suppliers can be an added benefit for those who love variety in their daily routine.
Areas of opportunity for business analysts
Business analysts can be found in nearly every industry that uses data — these days, that’s essentially everyone. This creates multiple career opportunities for you to explore.
Industry opportunities for business analysts include:
Government and public sector
Health care and social services
What are the different types of business analytics jobs?
One of the benefits of being a business analyst is the variety of career options available to you. Because analysts work in so many settings, you can tailor your path to match your area of interest. Below is a summary of a few of the jobs a business analyst can have.
Health care analysts
As older generations move into retirement, demand for business analysts in health care and related fields is expected to continue to grow.
At the same time, increased health care regulations and changes in insurance models will mean a greater need for analysts to help organizations and health care providers navigate the system.
Information technology analysts
IT analysts are also expected to grow in demand. Corporations look to IT consulting firms to assess and improve crucial cybersecurity practices. You could be responsible for ensuring that an organization’s IT systems are up to date and working efficiently.
Science and technology firms require experts to help them manage productivity and compliance. Government agencies need business analysts to find ways to increase efficiency and manage costs. By specializing in a specific sector, you can become a valuable figure in your chosen industry.
Businesses have found that it's important to find professionals who can both understand the analytics and bridge the gap between that knowledge and overall management and procedural expertise.
Job opportunities when first starting out
Entry-level business analysts generally learn on the job while working in a larger team led by senior analysts. Duties include data analysis, integrating technology, and aiding in developing solutions. You can also gain more responsibility and find opportunities to advance within a firm.
For most entry-level jobs, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. Ideal majors include business administration, information science, accounting, marketing, statistics, and management.
If you’re considering making a career transition from other positions in business or IT, you may already have many of the skills needed to be a successful business analyst.
Entry-level business analyst: $65,000
Junior business analyst (unspecified type): $50,500
Junior business systems analyst: $68,000
Experienced business analyst job options
The requirements for some of these jobs, on top of work experience, might include a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA), a Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Senior business intelligence (BI) analyst: $89,000
Security architect, IT: $119,000
Senior business analyst, IT: $118,000
Top skills and digital tools for business analytics
A career as a business analyst encompasses a wide range of opportunities and job functions. The skills listed below are ones employers are going to be looking for through the next five years. You can set yourself up for success by using this information to get ahead of the competition.
Fast-growing business analytics skills
Recent research in the analytics industry shows that several skills are expected to skyrocket in demand through 2023. Here are the skills that are expected to grow in demand by 46% or more during that period:
The following skills are also expected to be in demand as the role of analytics becomes more intertwined with traditional business operations:
Attention to detail
In-demand specialized and technical skills include:
The fastest-growing in-demand skill in the analytics field is machine learning. Research conducted by Burning Glass Technologies shows that project growth in job postings with machine learning as a skill is expected to be 237% through 2023.
Popular business analysis tools
As a business analyst, you may be working with a variety of data points from a diverse array of sources. Managing information requires the use of tools to help enhance the speed and accuracy of your analysis. Some of the tools you may come across are:
Business analyst internships
A great way to get your foot in the door in business analytics is through an internship.
Many companies have ongoing internship programs that offer opportunities related to the business analyst career path, such as:
Demand for business analysts is expected to grow as organizations continue to look for new ways to control costs and improve efficiency. This will open up opportunities not only in existing areas but in new branches of interest as well.
In fact, the BLS has designated the career outlook for business analysts as bright, and it’s expected to continue to expand its reach.
With so many new industries emerging and innovative technologies being used, there’s never been a greater need for skilled analysts to help companies evolve. This may be the perfect time to consider a career in this field.