How to Become a

Business Analyst

The complete career guide to be a Business Analyst: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $91,770
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 13.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Business analysts are researchers who create documentation that can be used for a variety of purposes. Commonly, business analysts are employed by large corporations that manage complex legacy systems. Business analysts document the workings of legacy systems so systems can be rebuilt and modernized.

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What is a Business Analyst?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in business analyst roles:

  • Conduct research to understand and document processes and system functions
  • Interview subject matter experts to further define requirements and processes
  • Compile findings into business requirement documents (BRDs) and software requirements specification (SRS) documents
  • Review documentation with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and developers to ensure correctness and enhance understanding
  • Serve as subject matter expert during development, answering questions and following up on additional queries or complications

A Day in the Life

Business analysts (BAs) are researchers who use their analytical skills to investigate software, systems, and processes in order to document a system’s functionality. Often, BAs work for large corporations that manage complex legacy systems that have been managed and altered by different groups at different times. As these corporations seek to update and modernize these legacy systems, they need business analysts to investigate the systems and document functionality in order to replicate it when rebuilt.

To document a system’s functionality, business analysts conduct research using a variety of sources. They may review existing documentation, they may interview system users or subject matter experts, and they may perform technical analysis, querying databases and reviewing code. All of this information is collected and documented in a business requirements document (BRD), software requirements specification (SRS) document, or as user stories for organizations that use agile development processes.

Once a BA feels comfortable with the requirements he/she has collected and documented, the information is presented to all impacted parties: developers, subject matter experts, and business stakeholders. This helps the BA identify missing information and helps developers and consumers of the documentation better understand requirements. Once the requirements are complete, the BA often acts as subject matter expert for questions, making recommendations and decisions on functionality.

Typical Work Schedule

Business analysts typically follow standard working hours; working full-time of about 40 hours per week. However, you may also need to work overtime whether on evenings or sometimes on weekends based on the size of the company, scale of operations, the stage of the project and level of complexity as well as different emergency situations that may arise unexpectedly. That is why you may get overwhelmed by the work if you are not well prepared to meet the duties under different conditions especially during the final phases of projects before reporting the results of the work. Some business analysts may work remotely from home and in that case, the working schedule will be more flexible but may still be stressful.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US bureau of labor statistics, the demand for management analysts including business analysts is expected to grow by at least 11 % from 2019 to 2029 which is much faster than the average rate of other jobs. Specific fields are expected to have higher demand like IT related fields as the companies in this field need to increase their efficiency and have a competitive edge in the economy. In addition, healthcare is also expected to have a higher demand to be able to manage with multiple important subjects including health insurance and limited financial resources in specific cases as the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you want to reach better prospects as a business analyst, you will need to develop strong analytical skills, written and verbal communication skills, better finance certification and more importantly specialized expertise in the fields of work whether it was IT, Healthcare, …etc.

Typical Employers

Business analysts have diverse work opportunities and employers. Their employers could be specialized business analysis firms which deal with different fields and provide enough experience to start. The most well-known companies in the field include Capgemini, Wipro, LCC International Inc., Salient CRGT, Baxter International, and Science Applications International. Other available options may include consulting and professional service firms which can handle the work of large corporation. The public sector is also an option such as working for the county councils. Some technology companies, banks and international retailers may also employ their own analysts in their research or financial departments. Some business analysts can also work as independent freelancers work as well but you need to have proven successful record to attract clients.

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How To Become a Business Analyst

The starting point for a career as a business analyst is a bachelor’s degree. The major you study in college is somewhat flexible. Some aspiring business analysts choose a general education and pursue degrees in business administration. Others choose majors in information technology or web development and focus their study on technical analysis. A degree in English can be helpful for aspiring business analysts as well because much of the role is focused on researching and writing.

To qualify for open business analyst roles, it’s helpful to have some professional experience in web development or digital marketing. This can be achieved by taking on a number of roles. You could work as a developer, scrum master, product owner, project manager, or tester. By gaining experience working in web development and support roles, you can begin to learn how digital and web applications work, and you will be better prepared for the questions you need to ask as a business analyst.

Often, business analysts are in a great position to be promoted into more senior-level roles over the course of their careers because of their deep subject matter expertise. With enough professional experience as a business analyst, you may be able to qualify for promotions into management. Earning a master’s in business administration (MBA) can be beneficial if you hope to advance into management positions later in your career, as graduate degrees are commonly prerequisites for these positions.

Business Analyst Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Business Analyst salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Business Analyst's can make an average annual salary of $91,770, or $44 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $60,450 or $29 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #92 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Business Analyst. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Business Analysts

  • 7.2%   Doctorate
  • 29%   Masters
  • 41%   Bachelors
  • 5.1%   Associates
  • 12.4%   College
  • 4.9%   High School
  • 0.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Business Analyst job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 103,400 jobs for a total of 861,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 13.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #121 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Business Analysts

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 165,500 45,600 46%
Self-employed workers 144,400 28,600 29%
Federal government, excluding postal service 61,200 -5,900 -6%

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