Business analyst

business consultant business systems analyst process analyst
Administration, business and management

Career outlook for business analyst

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Business analysts look at the way an organisation works and come up with ideas on how it can improve. You'd meet with managers to find out what the business aims and needs are, and what they do to meet them.

In this job, you'd look at things like technical systems, business models and procedures that are in place. Then you'd analyse and test them to decide if there are better ways of doing things that could help the business.

The business would decide what systems or procedures need changed. You’d then work with the relevant teams to organise and oversee these changes.

What you might do

  • help design, document and maintain system processes
  • use data to research and analyse the structure of a business and how it uses technology
  • identify problem areas and consider opportunities for improvement
  • communicate with senior management to identify the business’ goals
  • create and test IT solutions and systems to make sure they meet business needs
  • persuade stakeholders of the benefits of implementing new strategies or systems
  • provide staff with training sessions for new IT systems
  • oversee the introduction of new technology or systems

Depending on the business, you could work on unique and exciting projects. Your interests can guide your career.

You could work in the financial sector. It'd be your job to spot trends and make forecasts to help with investment decisions.

Space companies also hire business analysts to help develop the business case for their mission ideas. You'd come up with business plans to take astronauts and equipment on space missions.

Working conditions


Working hours can vary, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday and around 37-40 hours per week


You’ll usually be office-based.


You might have to travel to meet internal and external stakeholders.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Innovative
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Implementing ideas
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


Many analysts have a technical background in areas like software development or programming. Others will have qualifications in Business Information Systems, Business Computing Systems or Data Analytics.

Most will have qualifications at degree level (SCQF level 9/10) or above. You can work towards qualifications through school, college, university or in work. For example, through an apprenticeship.

You can start building your qualifications at National Certificate (NC) level. You could also start at Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) level

For this role, you'll need to build qualifications up to degree level (SCFQ Level 9/10) or above. You can do this at college and university. You could also get work-based qualifications.

Qualifications are also available at postgraduate level. If you are a graduate in another subject, your qualification can help apply for these courses.

Graduates in other subjects might take a postgraduate conversion course leading to a Diploma (PGDip) or Master's (MSc). This could be in Information Technology, Computer Systems or Information Systems. Some examples of these are:

  • Heriot Watt offer an MSc programme in Information Technology for graduates with other STEM related degrees.
  • Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen offers an MSc programme in Business Analytics for those with a degree in any subject area.
  • The University of Edinburgh offer an MSc programme in Business Analytics for graduates with other STEM related degrees. If your degree is in an unrelated subject, you'd still be considered for entry to the programme with relevant work experience.
  • The University of Strathclyde offer an MSc programme in Enterprise Information Systems for graduates of any discipline who wish to gain skills in understanding data management and business processes

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry.  They might also highlight additional subjects that they value. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Useful subjects would be:

  • English
  • maths
  • graphic communication
  • computing science or information systems
  • accounting
  • economics
  • statistics
  • engineering science

Helpful to have

Employers might also look for recognised certifications from a professional body. For example, the International Institute of Business Analysis UK (IIBA) or The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

A foundation certificate in business analysis if offered by The Chartered Institute for IT. This is for people new to the role, or those who may be thinking about working in the field and want to learn more.

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements. They might ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.