Posted: 18 Aug 2020
Becoming a business analyst can be a great way to develop your career in IT, but how do you get into this area if you don’t have previous experience?
For IT professionals, business analysis is one of the most interesting areas to work in because it bridges the gap between software developers and end users. The role of the analyst is to translate user requirements into technical language so that developers can design applications to meet user needs. Typically, this involves:
“Many business analysts have relevant IT or computer science degrees but we also see analysts who have switched into IT from other disciplines — particularly process-driven disciplines like finance that have a good understanding of how the various departments across a large organisation work,” says Eolas Recruitment Managing Director Vincent Flynn.
“To be successful as a business analyst you need to have a good understanding of business processes and be able to solve complex problems. You don’t necessarily have to have an IT background but you do need to understand how IT systems work. You also have to be confident and have good people skills because you need to be able to manage relationships across all levels of an organisation. Not everyone can do this well, but for those who can, business analysis can be a great career,” says Vincent.
Typically, employers hiring technical business analysts will specify that candidates should have a university degree or diploma in a relevant field such as IT or computer science and/or have relevant professional training and experience. Post-qualification and industry certifications are also important.
As Senior Recruiter Peter Kirby explains, “You might think you have a strong chance of landing a role because you have a good degree and a bit of relevant experience or strong transferable skills but more often than not you will be competing with candidates that have post-qualification technical or management accreditations. The more senior the role that you’re applying for, the more likely this is— not just for business analysis roles but also for many other roles from project management through to information and cybersecurity, cloud and DevOps.”
At the time of writing, courses available in Ireland include an Online Diploma in Business Analysis offered by Ibat and a Certificate in Business Analysis programme run by the National College of Ireland in association with the Business Analysts Association of Ireland. Griffith College offers a Business Analysis Foundation course which is conducted on a part-time basis over a four-day period. There are also programmes leading to professional certification for more experienced analysts such as the International Institute of Business Analysis Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA).
We previously discussed the importance of industry accreditations in our article on how to increase your chance of getting the IT job you want.
Because the role of the technical business analyst involves leasing with people across the organisation, interpersonal and soft skills are very important. Skills that a potential employer is likely to look for include:
Senior Recruiter Nollaig Leydon says that it’s a good idea to think about examples that demonstrate how you have used these skills in the past as you may need to be able to cite these examples if you get a competency-based interview for a business analyst role.
“It is great if you are able to show that you have successfully delivered projects in the past and that you have proven ability to build relationships and work with people at across all levels in an organisation. If you can show that you understand Agile and Lean Six Sigma that is also very good. Then there are the basics like attention to detail and good communication. Some roles also specify specific requirements such as experience with tools like JIRA and Confluence, Excel skills, SQL and Visio skills,” says Nollaig.
“When it comes to experience, if you have worked in an environment with a business analyst or as a software tester, that can be helpful,” adds Senior Recruiter Stephen Daly who says that as well as the skills Nollaig outlined above, examples of requirements for senior technical business analyst roles include:
When asked what practical steps someone without previous business analysis experience can take when preparing to switch career, the Eolas Recruitment team suggested focusing on the following key areas:
Salaries for many roles are negotiable depending on your qualifications and previous experience. A good way to get an idea of what to expect is to check out our Business Analyst job listings. At the time of writing, a ballpark guide for roles with around two years experience is circa €50,000-€65,000 per annum.
We also encourage you to check Eolas Recruitment’s informational videos, website and online reviews where you will find information on the many opportunities to advance your career in Ireland’s dynamic tech sector.
For more information and/or a chat in confidence, please get in touch.Previous Page Search IT Jobs Contact UsInformation for Jobseekers