The job of a business analyst is tough and requires someone with a wide understanding of major business components and basically how a business works. You need to have some sort of previous experience in the field to be an analyst of a good standing.
A business analyst is most often a person who is not a part of the company, which wants to get itself analyzed. Simply speaking, if a business wants to analyze any aspect of its operations, be it costs, productivity, quality of products, customer satisfaction, etc., they will appoint someone who presumably works for a consulting firm, and get the lowdown on their own operations and what they need to do in order to improve. A business analyst thus needs to have the basic knowledge regarding business process workflow, business process management, project management, etc.
Understandably enough, he needs to be someone who either has education in this specialized field of work, and has successfully completed his master’s degree education, or has a wide range of experience in multiple companies, having overlooked full-scale operations or at least any one of the above operations. A business analyst understands the bigger picture better, and is much more equipped to pass a judgment on the matters being analyzed, as compared to anyone else.
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This job is a very demanding one, but very rewarding and remunerative too. Business analysts generally work for big consulting houses, but can have their own private practice as well. At the start it might be hard to find clients. So, it makes sense to work for a consulting firm for some time, build one’s reputation, and then work as an out-and-out independent professional analyst.