Blending Strategy and Technology to Solve Business Problems

New online option makes it easier to pursue career in growing field

Sheridan College has launched an online option to its Business Analysis Certificate, making it easier than ever before for individuals to pursue a career as a Business Analyst (BA) – something that CNN has termed a growth career.

Bridging Functional Areas to Create Solutions

Jonathan Nituch

Jonathan Nituch

“What once fell into project management or programming is now becoming recognized as its own distinct field,” explains Jonathan Nituch, Program Coordinator for Sheridan’s Business Analysis certificate. “BAs help companies to understand and define problems and act as the integrators that bridge different functional areas to help solve them. They blend communication and inter-personal skills as well as technical expertise, business knowledge and corporate strategy to find solutions to issues that might impede an organization’s success.”

Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) predicts that the number of business analysts employed in Canada will increase from 150,000 in 2011 to 171,000 by 2016. “Part of that stems from the fact that we’re living in the era of Big Data,” adds Nituch. “Companies have figured out how to collect exabytes of information, but many lack the people who know how to interpret and apply it in a way that leads to smarter business decisions.”

More than Technology

Beyond the technology side of the equation, BAs are highly valued for their ability to ask the right kinds of questions so that they can correctly identify the business problem at hand and create an effective solution. “Business analysts enable change at all stages,” says Nituch “from putting together a business case, defining scope and requirements, managing change, communicating with stakeholders and ensuring the requirements have been met during testing. Since BAs identify and tackle challenges, they help companies to overcome the typical high failure rates for business projects.”

A Job for any Field

Sheridan’s program is designed for business analysts, project managers, operations managers, systems analysts, quality assurance analysts, marketing professionals, and anyone whose role is about defining, analyzing or solving business problems. While many BAs work in the financial services industry, their boundary-spanning capabilities make their work relevant to practically any complex field, such as healthcare, policing, or retail. “Unlike many jobs today, this is one career that won’t be outsourced overseas anytime soon,” says Nituch. “BAs have to combine their technical expertise with sound business knowledge and interface with a variety of business stakeholders. That’s not something that can be easily done from offshore.”

Making Learning Accessible

Once an in-class only program, Sheridan’s BA Certificate is now also available online. “The program attracts many people who have previously worked in project management or programming, or who have long done BA work before it was formalized as a profession. Having the option to complete their coursework online or attend evening and weekend classes eliminates the opportunity cost of taking time off work to advance their careers,” says Nituch.

The six course program typically takes two years to complete. It is also now available on Ontariolearn.com, a partnership among Ontario’s 24 community colleges that pools resources to increase learning options for people across the province. As a result of the partnership, other Ontario colleges can now list Sheridan’s business analysis courses in their own course calendars. As Sheridan is an approved Endorsed Education Provider (EEP™) through the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), completing the Sheridan certificate also fulfills the educational requirements needed to pursue a formal BA certification.

For more information about the Sheridan Business Analysis Certificate Program

Members of the public are invited to attend the following information sessions:

August 12 at 7PM – Online

August 13 at 7PM – Trafalgar Campus (Oakville)

Additional information about the Business Analysis Certificate program can be found at:

http://businessanalysis.sheridancollege.ca/

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