Business analysts work in a variety of areas, such as management, marketing, sales, investment or risk management. While a bachelor’s degree is required for entry to most analyst positions, many employers prefer to hire business analysts with a graduate-level education. For those planning to advance to a top analyst position, a master’s degree is necessary.
Management analysts work to improve a company's profitability by reducing expenses, eliminating waste and developing new methods and processes to perform work in the organization. The analyst evaluates the company's financial data and job processes, interviews workers and makes recommendations to management. Analysts may work as independent consultants, for a consulting firm or in the organization they analyze. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, management analysts may qualify for an entry-level position with a bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer job candidates with a master's degree. The bureau reports that 28 percent of management analysts in 2010 had a graduate degree.
Business analysts who focus on marketing data help businesses determine the products customers want and the price they are willing to pay. Marketing analysts study the success or failure of previous marketing strategies and programs, consumer behavior and market trends to develop information companies can use to sell their products. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most marketing analysts require a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, but advanced positions require a master’s degree. Master’s programs in business, marketing or marketing research are useful in the field.
Budget analysts help businesses prepare budget reports, organize the company’s finances and evaluate management budgets for accuracy. They may consult with businesses and government agencies. Such analysts evaluate past budgets and current data to determine if spending cuts are necessary or to assess distribution of excess funds. The work these analysts perform provides the information top executives need to make budget decisions for the business. Some employers require a master’s degree for this position. Degree programs in finance, accounting, business or economics are helpful for a career as a budget analyst.
Financial, Investment and Risk Analysts
Financial and investment analysts help businesses make decisions regarding investments. Analysts study economic trends, financial statements, sales, expenses and tax information to create reports for investors. Some analysts focus on an industry, type of product or geographic location. Financial analysts may work as portfolio managers or risk analysts. Portfolio managers oversee the investment portfolio for businesses. Risk analysts assess the risk of investments to help a business minimize potential losses. Advanced positions as an investment or risk analyst require a master’s degree in business, finance, accounting or economics.
About the Author
Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.
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