Can I Become a Business Analyst with a Degree in Accounting?

Business analysis involves the examination of processes, procedures, and business strategic goals needed to identify bottlenecks and recommend solutions. Project managers often call upon business analysts to elicit, document, and manage requirements early in the project life-cycle. Business analysts also help determine whether the efforts of project development teams adequately meet projects’ business requirements. Increased operational efficiency and cost reductions are typical results of the work done by business analysts. The skills possessed by these business professionals consist of learned knowledge and natural analytical abilities. They are often the skills needed for success in different engineering, information technology, and business disciplines. Here are some additional academic and professional steps to become a business analyst while holding a degree in a related field like accounting.

Business Analyst Training

While accounting degree programs help students hone their analytical skills and enhance their attention to detail, there are additional training courses available to business analysts that prepare them for the unique business process challenges faced by organizations in a variety of industries. The field of business analysis has become more structured over the years thanks in large part to the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). This group published the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) upon which most industry recognized training programs are based. Business analysis training courses cover six basic business analysis knowledge areas in whole or in part that include business analysis planning and monitoring, elicitation, requirements management and communication, enterprise analysis, requirements analysis, and solution assessment and validation. Some introductory courses give a foundational overview of all the knowledge areas while other advanced courses teach in-depth concepts on one or two of the knowledge areas.

Business Analysis Certification

The IIBA established a set of certification credentials for business analysts that recognize their education and training accomplishments, job experience, and specialized skills they have earned over the years. The premier business analyst credential is the Certified Business Analysis Professional earned by senior business analysts that have five to ten years of dedicated experience in the field of business analysis. A basic business analyst credential called a Certification of Competency on Business Analysis is also available to acknowledge the training and career accomplishments of junior business analysts; this credential requires business analysts to have about two years of overall business analyst experience spread across two or more specific BABOK knowledge areas. Both of these certifications provide business analysts with verifiable credentials valued by employers seeking to fill their project positions with qualified candidates.

Career Prospects For Business Analysts

IIBA provides business analyst certification exams and credentials along with career placement resources for those desiring career advancement. Their job placement board is one of the most popular for those narrowing their search to business analyst positions. Additionally, employers who want certified business analysts for projects save time by searching the resumes on IIBA’s job board instead of wasting time combing through candidate resumes on general job boards.

Conclusion

No matter what the chosen career field, professionals who want continued success pursue continuing education opportunities, and the field of business analysis is no exception. Truly successful business analysts possess a combination of training and project experience that positions them as very valuable members of project teams from project initiation to close out.