How to Become a Business Analyst?

Are you thinking of becoming a Business Analyst or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Business Analyst, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Business Analyst job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Business Analyst

A business analyst is responsible for helping a company increase profits and become more efficient by analyzing company systems, policies, and equipment. If you enjoy problem-solving and mathematical analysis, the career of business analyst may be right for you. In this article, we discuss the four steps required to become a business analyst:

Earn a bachelor's degree.

A four-year degree is required for most entry-level work as a business analyst. Your undergraduate work should include both business and computer classes. Popular majors for business analysts include:

  • Business administration.
  • Finance.
  • Accounting.
  • Computer science.
  • Information technology.
  • Information systems.
  • Management information systems.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Business Analyst?

72% of people working as a Business Analyst earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Business Analyst?

  • Requirements Gathering
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Excellent Communication
  • Systems Development
  • Business Processes
  • Powerpoint
  • SQL
  • Use Cases
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Business Analyst in the United States.

Find entry-level employment.

Business analysts can find entry-level employment through career fairs, online job boards, and academic advisors. Professional organizations, such as the International Institute for Business Analysts, also provide career guidance and networking opportunities.


Attain an analysis certification.

Professional certification is necessary for anyone interested in advancing into a senior or leadership role. A certification can also increase your job opportunities. Several institutes offer business analyst certifications.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) bases its certifications on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge. IIBA certifications must be renewed every three years by completing continuing education credits. You can one or more of the following certifications through IIBA:

  • Academic Business Analysis Certificate.
  • Entry Certificate in Business Analysis.
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis.
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional.
  • Agile Analysis Certification.

The International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA) offers certification for business analysts that work in information technology, specifically website security and software development. IQBBA offers two different lifetime certifications:

  • Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst.
  • Certified Advanced Level Business Analyst.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) focuses on project management. PMI certification must be renewed every three years by completing professional development units. PMI offers one certification that is ideal for business analysts working on project teams:

  • Professional in Business Analysis.

The International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) offers certifications for business analysis involved in analysis, validation, documentation, and management of requirements. IREB offers three different lifetime certifications:

  • Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Foundation Level.
  • Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Advanced Level.
  • Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering Expert Level.

The Charted Institute for IT offers a multitude of certifications for business analysts. Certifications are broken up into foundational, professional, and expert levels and include:

  • Business Analysis Practice.
  • Modeling Business Processes.
  • Data Management Essentials.
  • Requirements Engineering.
  • Agile Business Analysis.
  • Business Architecture.
  • Business Finance.
  • Stakeholder Engagement.
  • Team Leadership.
  • Benefits Planning and Realization.

SimpliLearn Business Analyst Masters Program is a unique stand-alone program accredited by the IIBA that allows you to meet a range of certifications. Analysts that take the course become proficient in Excel, CBAP, Agile ScrumMaster, and Tableau. Certifications included in this program are:

  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis.
  • Agile Scrum Foundation.
  • Digital Transformation for Leaders.
  • Python for Data Science.
  • R Programming for Data Science.

Earn a master's degree.

Though not required for entry-level work, an advanced degree can increase your job and advancement opportunities. Business analysts may find the following master's degrees helpful:

  • Master of Science in Business Analytics.
  • Master of Science in Information Management.
  • Master of Business Administration.

Business Analyst Career Path

Business Analyst

2 - 4Years of Experience
$69K - $104K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Business Analyst

2 - 4Years of Experience
$100K - $147K /yrMost Likely Range
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10% advanced to

Business Analyst IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$95K - $139K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Business Analyst Career Path

Summer Intern Business Analyst
Business Analyst
Junior Manager of Business
Senior Business Analyst
Business Analyst Manager
Business Analyst IV
Senior Manager of Business
Principal Business Analyst
Assistant Director of Business
Senior Principal Business Analyst
Associate Director of Business
Director of Business
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Related Careers in the Business Industry

Interested in other Business careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Business Analyst skills. Discover some of the most common Business Analyst career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Operations Analyst
13% skills overlap
12% transitioned to Operations Analyst