Alternative Careers for Business Analysts

Dec 12, 2017

This article explores five alternative careers that are well-suited for business analysts by discussing the educational requirements necessary for each job as well as the responsibilities that are associated with each career.

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Alternative Careers for Business Analysts

Individuals who have worked as business analysts may be interested in pursuing alternative careers, especially careers that are relevant to their past work experience. Below, we will look at five different career paths that may be good options for business analysts, depending on their educational background and interests.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Financial Analyst $81,760 11%
Market Research Analyst $62,560 23%
Computer Systems Analyst $87,220 9%
Actuary $100,610 22%
Postsecondary Business Teacher $77,490 18%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information About Alternative Careers for Business Analysts

Financial Analyst

Some business analysts may be interested in focusing on the finance world by becoming a financial analyst, which involves working with individuals and companies who need guidance when making investments. In this role, you will be responsible for staying current on market trends in order to know which investments are wise, analyzing a company or individual's finances to help determine how much to invest, and helping clients set investment goals. This career could be a natural fit for business analysts who have experience working with the stock market or managing a company's finances. To become a financial analyst, you will generally need a bachelors' degree, which could be in a variety of fields, like finance, mathematics, or accounting.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts are responsible for helping companies gauge the amount of interest that consumers have in their products and services in order to set prices and make decisions regarding how much to produce. This job involves conducting research on consumers, often through surveys and polls, in order to determine purchasing habits and preferences, which they then report back to the company. Business analysts may do well in this role especially if they enjoy working with consumers and conducting research. To become a market research analyst, you will typically need a bachelor's degree in a field like statistics, business administration, or market research, though more advanced positions require a master's degree.

Computer Systems Analyst

Business analysts who have a strong interest in working with computers may want to consider shifting into a role as a computer systems analyst, as this job requires many of the same analytical skills as a business analyst with the added responsibility of working with an organization's computing systems. These professionals are in charge of making sure that a company has the most up-to-date technology by staying current on new products, installing new systems and performing tests to make sure they are functioning correctly, and writing user manuals for the workers who use the computer system. They also are typically in charge of managing the funds that a company sets aside for the computing department. These professionals typically have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, though some also come from a business background.


Actuaries are individuals who work with businesses and help them assess the amount of risk associated with various decisions, often in the world of insurance. For example, an actuary may help an insurance company design different types of insurance policies and pension plans after compiling data and performing statistical analysis tests to determine which type of plan is likely to be most cost-effective for the company. Business analysts who have a strong mathematical ability may be well suited for this job, as both business analysts and actuaries must be highly analytical and have good problem-solving abilities. To become an actuary, you typically need a bachelor's degree that includes coursework in both mathematics and business and you will need to pass an exam to become certified.

Postsecondary Business Teacher

You may be interested in sharing your knowledge about the business world as a professor of business at a college or university. In this role, you will conduct classes and give lectures to students on various topics in business, assign homework to students, facilitate class discussions, and evaluate student performance by administering examinations and assigning grades. Generally, teachers at the postsecondary level must have a master's degree in a subject closely related to the topic they are teaching. Some business analysts may have already obtained a master's degree in a field related to business, while others may have to enroll in a program before being able to teach at the postsecondary level.

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