Transferrable skills are a core set of skills and abilities, which can be applied to multiple jobs and industries. Though most examples you will see are related to soft skills like communication, listening, leadership, etc, transferrable skills extend beyond these and it’s extremely important to identify them when thinking of a career change or advancement.
The main principle behind transferrable skills is that the skills we acquire in whatever we do can be applied to other fields or aspects of life. This fact is no less true for business analysts. A business analyst acquires many transferrable skills (soft skills and technical skills) during the course of their career, which can be applied to multiple professions. Let’s take a look at a cross section of professions business analysts may work in, depending on their transferrable skills.
Business Analysts typically work on projects and understand what it is like to define scope, manage complexities, deliver requirements within scope and based on predefined specifications using available resources. These are all elements of project management, though the extent to which a BA participates in project management activities of course, depends on the structure of the organization and how many “hats” the BA is expected to wear all at once. Even BAs without much project management experience might find the transition easier to accomplish, as project management is one activity most BAs can relate to. Explore PMI for more on how your transferrable skills may be applied to the project management profession.
Have you ever thought of training others to be able to do what you can do? Experienced Business Analysts can leverage their professional and academic background to develop training courses or work as educators. This career path can be as simple as a hobby or as complex as a full-scale training service that delivers benefits to both aspiring and experienced business analysts.
Have a knack for communicating technical jargon to novices? The transferrable skills you’ve gained documenting specification documents and building wireframes/mockups can be applied to creating technical documents targeted at specific audiences. To explore this career path, check out the Society for Technical Communication. You may even aspire to acquire the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC™) designation, to prove to employers that you have the desired skills and committment.
User Experience Design
As part of requirements elicitation, BAs often need to create mockups and prototypes, which can help significantly in confirming and discovering business requirements. This skill is one transferrable skill that can be applied to the User Experience Design profession. To formalize your knowledge, check out training courses on this.
Agile Business Analysis
If you’re a business analyst looking to work in an Agile environment, you may want to demonstrate your proficiency and apply your transferrable business analysis skills like facilitation, negotiation, etc. to an agile setting by formalizing your knowledge with Product Owner Certifications, iSQI's® Certified Agile Business Analysis certification, etc.
Business Analysts who are involved in system tests and user acceptance test sessions as part of their job functions may develop transferrable skills which may prove to be useful in the software testing domain. Visit ISTQB for certification paths to explore.
The transferrable skills of Business Analysts and where they may be applied transcends beyond what has been described in this article. The flexibility of being a Business Analyst is one of its main attractions and there are certainly many opportunities out there to explore.
What do you think?