Our class sizes are capped, there’s an emphasis on problem-based learning rather than lectures, students work with industry partners on live projects, and our teaching space is modelled as an innovation hub; our one-year Master of Professional Business Analysis degree is the most unique value proposition right now for anyone interested in a career in business analysis.
But what is the role of a BA and what makes a great one? This week we ask our Master of Professional Business Analysis (MBusAn) Programme Director, Dr Jean-Grégoire Bernard, why our conversion Master programme is the best way to break into this high demand profession.
Q. BA’s are in hot demand right now. Why do we need business analysis?
“To compete in today’s digital world, organisations need talent that can understand problems, identify opportunities, and design solutions that simplify business rather than complicate it. Research shows that poor requirements management is a primary reason why so many digital transformation projects fail to realise expected benefits. As bridges between business stakeholders and technology specialists, business analysts are unique professionals who ensure that organisations adopt and use digital technologies in a way that creates value. More and more organisations realise this and the result is a global shortage.”
Q. What makes a great business analyst?
“A good business analyst is an expert at establishing interpersonal relations, at understanding people’s motivations and fears, and at navigating social worlds. A skilled business analyst will master a wide range of facilitation, ideation, analysis, prioritisation, modelling, and design techniques. They will likely have some expertise in a specific industry or business domain, although that is not always necessary to be effective.”
“A great business analyst has a unique mindset however. A great business analyst will know intuitively what technique to apply, when to apply it, and how to apply it so that stakeholders will gain insights. They favour easy and expedient solutions that generate visible results quickly, but they are also able to flag trade-offs that could create risk or complexity. They also don’t see requirements management as an end in itself because they don’t lose sight of what will create real value for their stakeholders.”
Q. Why the Wellington ICT Graduate School Master’s programme?
“The Master of Professional Business Analysis is unique because it will equip you with knowledge and the skills to make you work-ready, independently of your career experience so far. This programme offers a unique value proposition in that it is focused solely on preparing you for a career in business analysis, whereas other postgraduate programmes may be too generic or too technical. There is a broad family of roles that business analysts can fill. We prepare our students to work as business analysts of course, but also as product owners, data analysts, enterprise business architects, and quality assurance analysts for instance.”
“Because it’s a one year, full-time programme you will do a deep dive on a wide range of business analysis topics, an aspect that isn’t matched by shorter programmes. The programme is also co-located with the Master of Software Development and the Master of User Experience Design, which means that you will develop a professional acumen for what these specialties do, while also getting to network with a large student community.”
Q. Highlights of the BA programme?
“The highlights of the Master must be the live projects with industry partners. The projects may consist, for example, of a business process improvement initiative, the exploration and validation of a novel business idea, the modelling of an enterprise architecture for a local business, or the development of a business case for a consultancy mandate. Another highlight is that the classroom experience is radically different from what most people have experienced in their undergraduate studies: the class size is capped at 35 students, the emphasis is on problem-based learning rather than lectures, and the teaching space is modelled as an innovation hub.”
“But most importantly it’s people that makes the programme’s experience so valuable. Students in this programme all share a common curiosity for how technology can solve big problems, but they still keep a critical eye on its limits. Our academic and industry lecturers are global experts in their discipline, but students also learn a lot from each other because of their diverse career experiences and cultural backgrounds.”
Dr. Jean-Grégoire (‘JG’) Bernard is Wellington ICT Graduate School’s Master of Professional Business Analysis Programme Director, in partnership with Victoria Business School.
JG teaches and conducts research on the topics of digital innovation and strategy. One of his current research streams looks at management of business analysis talent in organisations, and how this talent helps organisations successfully navigate the challenges of digital transformation.
Click here to read more about JG’s current research.
About the Master of Professional Business Analysis (MBusAn)
The Master of Professional Business Analysis covers how to solve complex business problems using technology, processes and data. This qualification is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree and has been designed for people with a non-information technology background.
The MBusAn is a 180-credit Master’s programme, completed in three full-time semesters over 12 months at Victoria University’s School of Information Management.
Next intake: July 2018 — June 2019. There’s still time to apply for our July intake! Contact us to find out more about the Master of Professional Business Analysis.
Gain a strong industry focused qualification and learn what it takes to pursue a professional career in the tech sector.