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What Are the Different Types of Business Analyst Jobs?

A business analyst should have well-developed critical thinking skills.
Functional business analysts study a company's work flow and help improve a business' efficiency.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2014
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There are four types of business analyst jobs available: software specific, consulting, functional business analyst, and academic. A business analyst has training in both the business process and the software options. These skills are used to review existing processes, explore options, implement and support technology based solutions.

People who report the greatest job satisfaction as a business analyst are detail-oriented, enjoy working with numbers, and are team players. Although there is no specific training program to become a business analyst, many people have a background in computer technology, software, or business processes. All business analyst jobs require a great deal of interaction with other people, and communication skills are very important.

Business analysts who are trained in a specific software product often become experts in that tool. This is very common with the larger, enterprise resource planning products, such as SAP® or Oracle®. There are a huge number of modules and components available within the tools. The business analyst can review the options and use her knowledge of the company’s business processes to determine the best solution.

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Information technology consulting firms often have business analyst jobs available for qualified candidates. These roles can vary from creating user documentation to business process modeling. The more experienced business analysts often switch to a consulting career to provide variety and a higher salary. While there are multiple opportunities within consulting firms, very few business analysts form their own consulting companies, as they do not typically have the contacts necessary to make this business successful.

A functional business analyst reviews the actual business process in place, models and documents the entire work flow. They can then provide a list of options that would increase efficiency, reduce bottlenecks, and improve transparency. Most functional analysts have formal education or training in their area of expertise, such as accounting, human resources, or procurement.

Later in their careers, many business analysts turn to academic life. They find positions as teachers or instructors in a wide range of community and career colleges. The number of courses that they are responsible for varies, depending on the number of students and their area of expertise. It is not uncommon for instructors to work for multiple schools simultaneously.

Business analyst jobs are available in a wide range of industries. As technology changes the workplace, the need for these skills is expected to increase. Although most companies now have computerized systems, very few of them are utilizing all the features that are available. The role of business analyst is to identify the options available and recommend solutions.

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JaneAir
Post 3

It's amazing how being really good with a specific software can get you a ton of job. As the article said, business analysts who are experts at software like Oracle can get hired just because of that.

I actually know someone who unwittingly became an expert on a software that's widely used in her field. She's very marketable because she's so good at using this software, but that's not what she originally set out to do. She just learned it because she had to, and she ended up having kind of a talent for using it!

sunnySkys
Post 2

@ceilingcat - That's cool. I feel like a lot of people don't like their jobs that much, so it's neat that your professor was so satisfied with the senior business analyst jobs available to her.

I'm not a business analyst, but I feel like if you have the opportunity to work as a consultant, you should take it. I know a few people who consult in their fields, and they are pretty much their own bosses. Also, they make way more money than when they were working as employees for a company.

ceilingcat
Post 1

It sounds like there are a wide range of IT business analyst jobs available. I think it's good to go into a field that offers some variety, so I think this is a good thing.

In fact, I actually had a teacher for an introductory business course that was a business analyst. My professor was working as a consultant and also teaching as an adjunct faculty member.

She was pretty into her field, and tried to convince all the business majors in the class that they should prepare for jobs as business analysts. I think it worked too, because I know at least one person from that class went on to work as a business analyst.

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