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Business analysts help companies identify ways to make company operations more efficient and profitable. To become a business analyst trainee, which is an entry-level position that includes receiving on-the-job training from established analysts, you often need a four-year college degree. Desirable degrees for this role include business administration, business analysis, and similar fields. Other degrees that can help you to become a business analyst trainee are those that require logical and organized thinking, such as computer-related, engineering or math degrees. If you decide to major in a non-business field, consider supplementing your education with classes in business management, marketing and similar business courses.
While you are in college, it can be valuable to seek out business analyst internship opportunities and company sponsored on-the-job student training programs, many of which are unpaid but can provide valuable experience as well as possible future permanent employment. A specific grade point average might be required for these internship training programs, so studying hard to achieve the highest grades possible will help you to become a business analyst trainee. If you want to work as a business analyst trainee in a specific industry, having prior experience working in that industry in any job role can be helpful. Consider looking for part-time work while in college or seeking out an internship in a more general business role in the industry that interests you.
Joining professional organizations for business analysts is one way of gaining knowledge in the field and possibly finding business analyst trainee positions. If you are still a student, look for organizations with student chapters. Professional organizations can provide networking opportunities and often early leads on jobs. Joining professional organizations for your chosen industry can also help you gain knowledge about the industry.
Having previous work experience in a corporate setting can be helpful when you wish to become a business analyst trainee. Employers might expect that you have worked in an office environment in addition to having earned a college degree. Computer skills with spreadsheet, database, word processing and other software programs will also typically be expected.
A key part of working as a business analyst is identifying areas for improvement within companies, so having strong analytical, observational and problem-solving aptitude is important. Being comfortable paying attention to details, so that nothing is overlooked is also needed. Business analyst trainees must help prepare reports and other data that will be presented to organizational leaders, so having exceptional writing and presentation skills will also help you in this career area.
Can a student from an engineering background apply for an analyst position after getting his MS in engineering?