A lot a business analysts, expecially new business analysts probably wonder or even worry about what their future will look like. There reason its not clear is because there are many ways to go depending on where your passions and what extra education/training you want to get. The most vertical climbs are Senior Business Analyst or Business Analyst Manager, however, you don't always have to move completely vertically. If you have specialized in a particulary industry, you might become and industry subject matter expert and move to the business side (perhaps as a solution consultant). If you have done lots of crossfunctional stuff, than you can become a solutions or enterprise architect (big picture stuff). One option, that is very lateral is a becoming a User Experience Analyst.
What is a User Experience Analyst?
In practice a user experience analyst is somewhere between a business analyst and a graphic/interface designer. You are typically expected to perform very similar task to what we traditionally call a business analysis tasks, in terms of discovering business needs and documenting requirements; however you take it a few steps further by using what you know about the business to build out a design that would be most effective for the users usually in the form of wireframes. An experienced business analyst could get some training around usability testing, information architecture, and design principles and easily become and superb user experience analyst.
Another similar option is Information Architecture, which is less about the actual visual (graphic) design and more about the information structure. Here you will deal more with navigation, taxonomy, and hierarchy. Here is a quick summary about these roles.
- Information Architect – this role actually less technical then most of the others and involves the arrangement of information so that it essentially makes sense to whoever is using it. This actually falls under library sciences most often. Close relatives are User Experience Design, and Interaction Design roles which involve organizing content so that users will not only understand it, but react to it in the way you want them too. When you consider both this role and its close relatives, common majors might also include Library Sciences, Psychology, and Media Design (Graphic Design). Web Designer or Front End Designer might fall within this area too.
User Experience Analyst Salary Information and Comparisons.
- Business Analyst Salary $41,000 - $124,000
- User Experince Designer Salary $38,000 - $99,000
- Information Architect Salary $44,000 - $140,000