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How to Become a Business Process Analyst: Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a business process analyst. Research the job description and the education requirements, and find out how to start a career in business process analysis. View article »

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  • 0:00 Business Process Analyst
  • 0:36 Career Requirements
  • 1:30 Career Steps

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Video Transcript

Business Process Analyst

A business process analyst works with business departments and information technology (IT) departments to identify areas that need improving and design solutions to potential problems. Similar to operations research analysts, business process analysts analyze data trends and make predictions to help companies reach financial and business decisions. Other duties may include recommending enhancements and improvements for products, assisting with business process modeling, helping to collect data and analyzing the collected data.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; master's may be preferred
Degree Field Business, computer science
Certification Voluntary, such as the Certified Business Analysis Professional credential
Experience 3-7 years working in systems or business development
Key Skills Strong written and verbal communication, analytical, negotiation, and facilitation skills; knowledge of data process modeling, business process design, and business operating procedures
Salary $78,630 (2015 median salary for operations research analysts)

Sources: Society for Human Resource Management, International Institute of Business Analysis, Online job postings (January 2013), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Become a business process analyst typically requires a bachelor's degree in business and computer science. A master's degree may be preferred by some employers. Voluntary certifications are available, such as the Certified Business Analysis Professional credential. Additionally, 3-7 years working in systems development or business development is typically required. Key skills for service managers include strong written and verbal communication skills, analytical skills, the ability to negotiate, facilitation skills, knowledge of data process modeling and familiarity with business process design and business operating procedures. In 2015, operations research analysts earned a median annual salary of $78,630, stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Now let's check out the career steps for business process analysts.

Career Steps

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Although there isn't a specific major for aspiring business process analysts, earning a bachelor's degree in business or computer science can give prospective analysts the knowledge and training needed to succeed in this career. Since business process analysts work as a liaison between IT departments and business departments, taking courses that expose students to both areas may be helpful. Bachelor's degrees in business typically include classes in business processes, business management, economics and leadership. Most programs give students an option to concentrate in a specific area of business, such as information technology or management information systems.

Success Tip

To really shine in your career, consider earning a master's degree. Some schools offer a master's degree in business analysis. Other options include a master's degree in business administration or computer science. Completing graduate-level coursework can give aspiring business process analysts advanced knowledge and skills and may help give them a competitive edge in the job market.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Most business process analysts need to have 3-7 years of experience in systems development or business operations before becoming a business process analyst. Entry-level jobs can range from customer service positions to an internship with a business. It is crucial that the job provides the worker with a good sense of how a business is run. Professionals just out of college should look for a company or industry that interests them and use an entry-level position as an opportunity to increase their business knowledge and computer skills.

After gaining experience in an entry-level job, aspiring analysts can move into junior business analyst positions or similar jobs with more responsibilities and more exposure to the work typically completed by business analysts.

Step 3: Consider Optional Certification

Although certification is not a career requirement, experienced business process analysts may consider pursuing certification to demonstrate professional expertise and potentially increase job opportunities. Available certifications include the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) credential issued by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and the Certified Business Process Analyst -WebSphere Business Modeler, issued by IBM.

Certification candidates typically need to have prior business process analysis experience and pass a certification test. Maintaining the certification often requires submitting a renewal application and completing continuing education.

To recap, with some postsecondary education and experience as well as voluntary certification, a business process analyst can earn about $79,000 to analyze data trends and make predictions to help companies reach financial and business decisions.


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