As a Business Analyst you are responsible for eliciting and documenting business requirements, clarifying stakeholder needs and recommending solutions for technical implementations.
Sounds confusing? I know. Deciding whether you have the right skills to apply for a BA role and what exactly these skills are is no easy task when you are not familiar with the role itself.
I will help you deconstruct the BA role and identify which skills from those you already have are transferable. The purpose of this exercise is to give you confidence in your skills and to get you closer to that dream BA job.
In order to identify the transferable skills you already have you must understand what skills are required on the BA job.
Step 1: Analyze BA jobs
Make a Google search for a few BA roles. If you can, search for those which are entry level, where little experience is required. Underline the keywords – these are the words that are more generic and refer to abilities or skills and even though they are required on the BA job, they may easily be required on other jobs as well. So they are not BA specific.
Example: In the screenshot below I have underlined the words that are related to planning, communication, interaction, analysis, tracking progress. Analyze a few roles and do this exercise. You will begin to see common keywords and patterns among the roles.
Step 2: Identify existing skills that can be mapped to required skills
Review each keyword/activity captured and identify a project you have done before that gave you this skill. Write down the skill you have acquired from your project next to each keyword. If you don’t have the skill, leave the row blank.
Repeat Step 2 with at least 5 jobs. You will soon start to get the similarities between them and the common skills that are required, regardless of the job posting.
At the end, your paper should look like this:
These are just some of the skills you are required to have as a BA and you will get to be more confident as you will get to see and analyze more BA jobs.
Fact: Job descriptions are listing every possible skill out there and sometimes some of the skills are not even required to do a competent job. Do not get discouraged. Unless the job requires something very very specific listed as a mandatory requirement, you can apply for the job, provided you have most of the skills.
Question: What other general skills do you think are required for an entry level BA job?