Thinking about your BA Career

In the early part of each year, I often get a flurry of people writing to me to ask for career advice. I get questions such as:

  • Is Business Analyst a good career?
  • Which job is better, XXX or Business Analyst?
  • I have been a Business Analyst for XXX years, what can I do now?

I cannot really answer these questions because the answer depends on what you want for yourself. My answers are always suggestions of things to think about, so that you can find the best answer for you.  The suggestions are generally about career planning.

You need to spend some time thinking about what you want from your career. You can change your mind later, but you need to have some kind of career goal, or you have no basis for answering these kinds of questions.

I made a video that goes through quite a bit of information on common career paths. It gives you a lot to think about, so that you can choose what appeals to you in terms of a career goal.  You can find that video on Wyyzzk’s YouTube channel:

Once you know what you want, the answers about whether or not to pursue a BA role or what you can do next become obvious.

The video does not cover every possibility and individual people have had some very different career paths. I have focused on careers within the corporate environment, because that is generally where you find BA positions. Of course there are exceptions – I know many people (including myself) who work as BA consultants and contractors. But that number is far smaller than the number of people working within corporations.

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About Geri Schneider Winters

Geri Schneider Winters is the primary author of the popular Use Case book "Applying Use Cases: A Practical Guide" and the founder of Wyyzzk, Inc. She has over 25 years experience spanning the software development lifecycle. Geri has learned her craft working with folks such as Grady Booch, Jim Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson, Walker Royce, Scott Ambler, Warren Woodford, Philippe Kruchten, and Kendall Scott, along with many less well known, but equally talented, people. Geri has worked in many companies in many industries, including IBM, Boeing, Lockheed, Adobe, Intuit, Delta Dental, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Money Store, Charles Schwab, The Federal Reserve Bank, Visa International, USAA, Stanford University, University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, HiLCoE College, Agilent, Knights Technology, Deloitte and Touche, Safeway, and Coca-Cola Enterprises.

2 thoughts on “Thinking about your BA Career

  1. Claudia Vandermilt

    Great topic, Geri.
    It’s such an open ended question that really correlates with, “is this the job for me? Will I like it? Can you make my life decisions for me?”

    Which isn’t really what most people want, so I think anecdotal information along with a guideline of questions to ask oneself are much more helpful than trying to answer these questions for someone.

    Thanks for the video and the explanation. It’s definitely answering the larger question.

    I like to offer articles such as Business Analysis Career Path as resources, but the main decision is up to the person.

  2. Karan

    Hi Geri,
    I am having 9 years of experience in a technical lead role. My technical skill set comprises of oracle database and oracle programming language in domains like insurance, SCM/ERP with a working understanding on onsite-offshore model, development and support projects. Now I am looking for a career/job switch which can provide me long term competitive edge in market with higher earning capability. In this regard please advise me what I should do to achieve my target? Whether SAP/oracle technical product certification will be helpful? If yes, which one?
    Thanks in advance.

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