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Business Analyst Job Outlook With an MBA

14 Dec
A businesswoman in a suit reviews business analyst job outlook data on a large screen.

Are you interested in advancing your career while staying at the forefront of innovation and making a big impact in the world of business? Consider becoming a business analyst who shares knowledge and expertise to help up-and-coming new businesses succeed in their industry. As an analyst, you can work internally for one organization or be employed by an agency that’s hired by many different clients to help executives make vital business decisions.1

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business analyst job outlook from 2020 to 2030 shows 14% growth, which is greater than the average for other positions; median pay for jobs is $87,660, annually.2 A career as a business analyst offers great job growth and income potential. This means that competition for the most desirable jobs is fierce. To make your mark and rise to the top, you will need the knowledge and training that will set you apart.

What Will I Do as a Business Analyst?

As a business analyst, you’ll be helping companies to grow and meet new challenges while serving their customers and clients. Through researching and analyzing their business practices and systems, writing proposals, and presenting your findings to management, you’ll help organizations to:

  • Evaluate current processes and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Adopt new business systems and processes for greater efficiency and performance
  • Identify challenges and find solutions for smoother operations
  • Train and coach staff to help boost employee productivity
  • Create initiatives that address the needs and requirements of the business
  • Enhance sales revenues and become more competitive
  • Develop new projects and monitor performance3

You’ll be working with various entities, from users and stakeholders to company executives, technicians, partners, and clients. In this way, you will gain a complete picture of the organization from every perspective.3

Where Do Business Analysts Work?

One exciting aspect of being a business analyst is that you can work virtually anywhere. This includes private businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Having multiple work options increases your business analyst job outlook and career. You might also be a consultant, working within various companies. As a business analyst at a consulting firm, you might specialize in a particular industry, such as manufacturing, technology, or healthcare. Or, you may have expertise in a specific area—for example, information systems or supply chain management.4

What Skills Do I Need to be a Business Analyst?

To be a successful and highly sought-after business analyst, you’ll need a variety of skills, which can make for a rewarding career and increase your business analyst job outlook. When you decide to pursue a career as a business analyst, be prepared to develop and hone these important skills:

Technical — This includes data modeling, IT knowledge, and stakeholder management.

Research — As a business analyst, you must be able to conduct comprehensive research to discover new business processes and software and present this information to senior management.

Analytical — You must be able to work with and analyze large collections of data and other business systems and processes.

Problem-Solving — Your primary responsibility will be to develop innovative solutions to your company’s most challenging problems.

Communication — The best information is useless without the ability to communicate your ideas in a clear and compelling way so that the recipient will understand and be enthusiastic about your proposals for maximum “buy-in.”3

The theoretical and practical knowledge you develop should ideally be balanced between these five key skill sets. In a typical scenario, you will first be analyzing how the company currently operates, and will then research and review new products, services, and processes. You will need to present your ideas and recommendations to company managers and executives, and perhaps other key stakeholders. If your proposals are accepted, you may be asked to train employees in these new processes.3

Do I Need an MBA to Be a Business Analyst?

Although there are no set educational requirements for business analysts, most professionals have at least a bachelor’s degree, and it is becoming more common for a business analyst to have a master’s degree.1 While a bachelor’s degree may be enough for an entry-level position, some employers prefer to hire professionals with an MBA (master’s degree in business administration).2 The job outlook for business analyst candidates with an advanced degree is, in general, more optimistic.

There are other reasons to earn your MBA. The classwork covers a wide range of business topics, including accounting, communications, economics, management, statistics, and entrepreneurship. This means that not only will an MBA program prepare you to work in a financial institution, but you may also have the skills needed to be a manager or to run your own business.

Recent business school graduates are highly valued in the eyes of recruiters. A high percentage said that they were confident that recent graduates from business schools would have strong communication skills (69%), be strategic thinkers (71%), and have a diverse skill set (72%).5

As an MBA graduate, you will also see a higher starting salary. In a 2020 survey, employers said that they would be offering new hires with an MBA median starting salary of $115,000, while those hired directly from the industry would earn $95,000 and bachelor’s degree graduates would earn $65,000.5

Make an Impact as a Business Analyst

Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business offers a top-ranked Online MBA program for professionals who want to further their careers and make an impact in the business world. This unique educational opportunity merges high-tech innovation with an ethical framework, offering a robust curriculum and expert faculty, many of whom are industry veterans.

The Online MBA curriculum includes courses in financial accounting and economics, financial management, business communications, strategy and ethics, marketing, business analytics, quantitative methods, and more. There are four available concentrations for the online program—data science and business analytics, leading innovative organizations, marketing, and finance.

The Leavey School of Business Online MBA program will help you build a formidable professional network with roots in some of the nation’s most desirable companies. The school and programs are top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Poets&Quants.6,7,8

The job outlook for business analyst professionals is bright. Discover your career potential as an MBA business analyst.