Business Analyst Mentor starts mentoring!

You may have noticed the absence of any instructional articles in the last couple of weeks. I apologise for this but I’ve been establishing a mentoring service which I’m now trialling. Service should return to normal soon 😉

I was contacted by an aspiring business analyst a couple of weeks ago asking for assistance in achieving his ambition of becoming a business analyst. I have agreed to spend an hour every week with him and to discuss three different angles:

i) acquiring experience

ii) training

iii) getting a job

In return, I will be developing a practical training course targetted at new business analysts which will be ‘field tested’ by him and his immediate feedback.

He will be recording his experiences, good and bad, in a blog and is keen to exchange views and have discussions with like minded individuals. Please have a look at his blog and follow his progress and/or start a dialog.

(Editor’s note: this blog has been deleted)

I’m very excited by this opportunity and how I will be better able to understand the real frustrations and challenges experienced by wannabe BA’s. I’m keen to get in touch with wannabe and new BA’s to understand your problems and see if I can help (read more on my telephone consultation service).

Interestingly, Laura Brandau is tackling the problem of new BA’s coming into the industry from a different perspective (see her article).

About Alex Papworth

12 Responses to “Business Analyst Mentor starts mentoring!”

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  1. Alex:

    Can you please add one of those “subscribe to comments” plugins … I am sorry I missed your question 🙂

    With a Subscribe to Comments feature, I will be notified whenever you post a response or answer for me.

    Back to your question. I find your viewpoint on the “job market for entry level business analysts” quite interesting.

    My experience from talking to business analysts is that the job market in London / UK/ GB is tougher or harder for BAs than that in the US.

    That being said, I am also coming across senior level BAs who are finding it hard to get a job here in the states. Sometimes what is missing is good job hunting skills.

    I was a consultant for more than a decade and because of that I got used to looking for jobs etc.

    The job search process is sometmes harder for those who have known full-time stable employment for long-periods.

  2. Alex:

    That is quite a good outline that you’ve developed for nyour business analysts … what is the job market like for entry level BAs?

    • Alex P says:

      Hi Kingsley

      it’s a good question and I wish I knew the answer. I’m not sure there really is a market for entry level BA’s. Some companies are more progressive than others but my feeling is that you either ‘evolve’ into a BA position or are just dropped in a role when your previous role disappears (e.g. tester) rather than starting as a junior BA.

      What’s your experience?


  3. Ian says:

    It’s a program run by Saint Louis University and in partnership with ASPE Technology. Link below.

    • Alex P says:

      Hi Ian

      I’ve been contacted by another lady who was quoted $6k for an 11 day course.

      The course you mention provides you a certificate but the only widely recognised certificate that I am aware of is CBAP so I am concerned this certificate is of little value.

      Please contact me as I would like to understand your needs more closely and have a couple of eLearning courses that are well worth discussing.



  4. Alex P says:


    I think you’re right to be cautious about the certificate program. Let me know the name of the university and I can look at their syllabus and the certificate?
    I’m not charging for providing quick consultations, please contact me at and we can arrange some time to talk over skype.



  5. Ian says:

    Thanks for the advice. There is a certificate program at a nearby university for business analysts, but it costs $5,000 which is a bit steep. I think it would be helpful to get the certificate before looking for a job, but I am not completely sure if getting the certificate first is a good idea.

    I also need to know how I should go about selling myself to potential employers. What employers should I look for, what skills should I sell, etc…

    I would be happy to pay a fee for good advice. What is your email address so I can contact you with further questions?

  6. Ian says:

    I have several years of part-time experience as a systems analyst while going to school. I recently graduated from college with a bachelors degree in business administration. I think I would be a good fit for the BA position given my background. Any advice?

    • Alex P says:

      Hi Ian

      thanks for posting the comment. I can give you quick pointers but you would probably benefit more from a conversation with me or an email exchange.
      However, I’d suggest there are three strands to getting a BA position:

      i) Training
      ii) Real world experience
      iii) Ongoing coaching (after training or as part of real world experience?)

      They don’t necessarily come in that order and, if you’re lucky, you might get two of them together!

      Real world experience can be tricky but I’d suggest the following:

      Approach employers and:
      Pursuse a junior BA position
      Volunteering with charities or non profit making organisation
      Offering time for free in exchange for shadowing experienced BA

      You have some experience so I’d suggest pushing for getting a junior role.
      You need to have a good sales pitch worked out first. Research your potential employers and see how you can sell your prior experience.

      There are many training providers. I’d start by looking at the IIBA web site for endorsed providers and looking for a local provider.

      Any thoughts? What else do you think you need?

  7. Craig Brown says:

    Great idea Alex! I’ll be keenly following your client’s blog.


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