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What Does a Business Analytics Career Path Look Like in 2023 and Beyond?

Companies rely on business analysts to help them with a variety of problems, from identifying inefficiencies and streamlining business operations, to finding new growth opportunities, to better understanding consumers and markets, to assessing overall business performance. These businesses’ dependence on business analysts means that qualified business analytics professionals not only receive above-average compensation — around $80,000 annually compared to the 2021 US median wage of around $45,000 — but have significant growth potential as they progress along their career path. In fact, a business analyst of today might very likely be a product manager, data scientist, business architect, or, of course, senior business analyst of tomorrow.

Business analytics is a highly interdisciplinary field, and as a result someone with business analyst skills, as we’ve just suggested, can move forward on any number of paths. So what does a typical business analyst career path look like in 2023? In this article, we’ll dive into real job postings to give you an idea of what you can expect.

What does a business analyst do?

A business analyst leverages data analytics, business acumen, and industry expertise to extract insights from data sets that can support business decision-making and provide solutions to various business problems: improving operations, cutting costs, increasing revenues, making strategic moves in the market, and others.

A typical business analyst’s workload comprises performing data analysis, interpreting results, and communicating findings to various stakeholders. To ensure their work is best supporting business goals, business analysts must also meet frequently with these stakeholders to align on research strategy.

In addition to the typical business analyst job, there are a number of other specializations that fall under the business analytics umbrella:

  • Management consultants usually perform business analytics for clients focused on making business operations more efficient or improving business performance.

  • A market research analyst analyzes consumer behavior and markets to inform business and product decisions and optimize marketing spend.

  • A business intelligence analyst develops intelligence assets like dashboards and reports.

  • A financial analyst assesses investment opportunities, making recommendations based on risk tolerance, business requirements, and financial goals.

What doesn’t a business analyst do?

Roles frequently cited in articles about business analyst careers include computer systems analyst, information security analyst, and solutions architect. In actuality, however, these are information technology jobs, focused far more on designing, implementing, maintaining, and protecting information systems rather than performing the kind of quantitative analysis characteristic of business analysts.

What are the core business analytics skills?

Business analyst generally must have skill sets spanning the following:

Computer science skills: Excel & SQL, and potentially Python or R 

Statistical analysis skills: optimization, regression, cohort analysis, factor analysis, time-series analysis, and cluster analysis

Data management skills: data collection (including big data mining), data processing, and data storage

Data visualization skills: dashboards and other visualizations using software like Tableau

Advanced skills: machine learning, automation

Business and industry expertise

Soft skills: communication, project management, leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking

What’s a typical business analyst career path?

This set of analytical skills, technical skills, and soft skills can be intimidating at first, not to worry: a typical business analyst career begins with education. Here are the options that can get you started:

Bachelor’s Degree, Bootcamp, or Certificate Program

Most aspiring business analysts start their journey through a bachelor’s degree, bootcamp, or certificate program that will impart the necessary skills. Though specific business analytics programs exist, at this early stage students often have more options to gain these fundamental skills through educational paths in adjacent fields.

Business Analytics Bachelor’s Degrees

Since relatively few colleges and universities offer business analytics majors, students interested in ultimately going into the field generally major in a field like applied mathematics, computer science, economics, finance, or even general business. In the courses for their major, undergraduates will usually cover the skill areas outlined above, while social science and humanities requirements will help them build out their soft skills.

In the US, a bachelor’s is typically a four-year, in-person degree. According to data provided by, the average bachelor’s at a public university costs $102,828, while a bachelor’s at a private university averages $218,004.

To learn more about bachelor’s options for those interested in business analytics, head to our guide to business analytics degrees.

Business Analytics Bootcamps

Bootcamps offer intensive, comprehensive training and extensive career services geared towards helping students land entry-level positions in a desired field. Taking place over months, not years, bootcamps cost considerably less, around $12,000 on average. Similar to the case with bachelor’s programs, aspiring business analysts generally seek out bootcamps in related fields like data analytics or data science.

If you’re interested in learning more about these kinds of opportunities, head to our data analytics and data science bootcamp guides.

Business Analytics Certificate Programs and Short Courses

For those who already have some business analytic skills, business analytics certificate programs or short courses are a great way to complement these skills and advertise your skills to potential employers. Certificate programs and short courses are generally quicker and more flexible than bootcamps or traditional degree programs, though they also generally provide less interaction and career support. The upside, however, is their price point, which ranges from free to several thousand dollars.

Check out our guide to business analytics certificate programs and business analytics courses for more.

2. Recruitment

While they’re completing their first course of study, aspiring business analysts usually also start their job search. Generally, the recruitment process for these roles involves involve some or all of the following:

  • Building experience through an internship or practicum

  • Utilizing school- or bootcamp-provided career services

  • Expanding one’s professional network

  • Researching business analytics roles in different industries

  • Populating a business analytics portfolio with projects

  • Optimizing one’s resume to highlight skills and experience

3. Junior Business Analyst

Many people’s first job in business analytics is as an entry-level or junior business analyst. According to, a junior business analyst in the US earns around $75,000 annually. Somewhat counterintuitively, many companies ask candidates for these junior positions to already have a certain amount of work experience. Luckily, these requirements can often be satisfied through internships and education.

Entry-Level Business Analyst – Agama Solutions


  • Prepare weekly and/or ad hoc reports for internal and external teams

  • Check reporting results and flag potential issues

  • Monitoring key metrics for significant changes

  • Create dashboards, spreadsheet analysis and presentations as requested by regional analysts

  • Troubleshoot data issues by validating different data sources

  • Analyze business performance trends to identify growth opportunities


  • BA/BS degree (accounting, finance, economics, industrial engineering, statistics, math)

  • 1+ of years’ work experience in tech, finance, and/or accounting

  • Strong knowledge of SQL

  • Fluency in MS Excel

  • Strong attention to detail as well as strong written and oral communication skills

  • Ability to multitask, set priorities and work efficiently in a high-paced environment

  • Experience with R, Python, or similar statistical programming language

4. Business Analytics Master’s Degree

To gain promotion from an entry-level position or enter business analytics from another field, many choose to pursue a business analytics master’s degree. These degree programs offer advanced training in topics in business analytics and the opportunity to apply new skills and expertise in independent projects.

Recently, master’s students in the US have increasingly chosen to study online:  in 2016, according to Urban Institute, master’s students studying online made up nearly a third of all master’s students, up from just 5% in 2000 and 21% in 2012. Studying online offers not only flexibility and convenience, doing so also offers potential cost-savings. Remote study allows students to save on relocation and boarding costs and, for flexible or part-time programs, continue working and avoid any lost income while in school. As with bachelor’s programs, master’s degrees in the US are expensive, averaging around $60,000 according to At this price-point, the cost-savings that come with online study can make a significant difference in the financial calculus about whether a business analytics master’s is worth it or not.

If you’re interested in business analytics master’s opportunities, see our guide to on-campus and online programs.

5. Mid-Level Business Analyst

As a mid-level business analyst, you are expected to possess more analytics experience and a more advanced skill set. Oftentimes, you are also expected to possess specific analytics and/or industry experience. This allows a mid-level business analyst to take more of a leading role in the analytics process.

Business Analyst – Ally Financial


  • Engage in predictive analytics to forecast uncertain loan events

  • Continuously propose ways to improve efficiency of forecast production process

  • Help convert processes to Ally’s cloud environment and big data analytics platforms

  • Perform complex data extraction from multiple, large data sources as well as complex data aggregation, cleaning, and quality checking

  • Report results of statistical analyses in a concise manner, including information in the form of graphs, charts, and tables

  • Research historical data to map trends and determine how they will influence the business

  • Use predictive tools to answer business stakeholder ad hoc questions which could include what-if and sensitivity analysis

Qualifications: Required

  • Experience proposing/performing creative predictive analytics

  • Advanced knowledge of Excel, including pivot tables and visuals

  • Experience with data extraction (SQL preferred) from multiple, large data sources

  • Experience with SAS and using associated tools (eg. procedures, macros, etc.)

  • Experience with other coding languages such as Python and R

  • Flexible attitude, ability to perform under pressure

  • Passion for crafting leading edge solutions to complex business problems

  • Interest in solving the puzzle (intellectual curiosity)

Qualifications: Preferred

  • Experience collaborating with partners to understand data requirements

  • Experience creating data quality rules and testing activities

  • Experience working in cloud environments like Snowflake or other big data platforms

  • Knowledge of and experience with Viz Tools (Tableau, power BI etc.)

  • Experience in consumer financing industry (auto, mortgage, etc.)

  • Experience in regression, logistic regression, time-series models, vintage model, roll rate model approaches

Senior Business Analyst

With time and more experience, mid-level business analysts can get promoted to senior business analyst positions. In these positions, they’ll be expected to have even more responsibility: overseeing multiple projects, leading more global analytics initiatives, and mentoring early-career analysts. According to, the average salary for a senior business analyst is around $100,000.

Senior Business Analyst, Operations Automation – United Airlines


  • Develop a series of Tableau dashboards that highlight key business KPIs as well as staff level productivity dashboards

  • Provide user access support on Tableau, delivering an optimal user experience.

  • Work with CGSO supervisors and managers to identify business questions and gather business requirements, translate business requirements into technical requirements for CGSO technical support developers.

  • Re-imagine and automate analytic processes to optimize workflows and reduce manual operations

  • Extract data from multiple sources and find opportunities for integration across datasets


  • Bachelor’s degree in CSE, business, and/or airline operations management or related field

  • 3+ years of experience in business analysis or related field

  • Outstanding analytical and conceptual thinking skills

  • The ability to influence partners and work closely with them to determine solutions

  • Advanced technical skills

  • Excellent documentation skills

  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office products (i.e. Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and at least one database management system

  • Good interpersonal, verbal, and presentation skills

  • Highly organized, and the ability to multi-task challenging priorities

  • Must be willing and able to travel 30% domestically

Qualifications: Preferred

  • Master’s degree or Masters of Business Administration (MBA)

  • Experience in airline, process engineering, quantitative and qualitative analysis

  • Ability to conform to shifting priorities, demands and timeliness through analytical and problem solving capabilities

  • Experience with process/system mapping and analysis

What’s next?

After reaching the position of senior business analyst, business analytics professionals can continue seeking promotion into analytics roles with progressively higher responsibility. If they’ve gained sufficient skills in computer science, programming, and machine learning, they might also leverage these skills and experience to pursue one of the following more advanced (and higher paying) opportunities:

Data Scientist

Data scientists utilize advanced machine learning skills to develop new tools, techniques, and processes for collecting, preparing, and analyzing data. In the US, the average data scientist earns around $125,000

Data Architect

A data architect designs efficient pipelines, protocols, and systems for data operations. In the US, the average data architect earns around $150,000

Data Engineer

A data engineer implements data pipelines according to a business’ particular needs, resources, and goals. In the US, the average data engineer earns around $115,000.

If you’re interested in learning more about business analytics or if one of these careers sounds appealing, we recommend you check out the following guides: