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New Post 11/20/2019 12:32 PM
User is offline B3am!
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UK BA Training Qualification? Advice for charity working with disadvantaged people 

Hi Community,

I work with Beam (beam.org), a charity that helps disadvantaged people to fund high-quality training and supports them into work. I am working with a client, who was a Business Analyst but had to go on a 4 year long career break to care for his children (single dad). He is looking to get back into work and we are exploring the best training/qualifications for him to brush up on his skills/upskill. 

Do you have any advice on what qualifications/training would be most accepted by UK employers for business analysts?

Thank you. 

Kind Regards,
Kathi


 
New Post 11/28/2019 12:37 AM
User is offline Stewart F
66 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: UK BA Training Qualification? Advice for charity working with disadvantaged people 

Hi there B3am!, 

I am a BA Manager in the UK with added responsibilities in managing the Project teams as a whole (so Project Managers, Project Office staff etc). As a part of that I hire a lot of staff, so would like to think I have a good knowledge of the UK market. 

A couple of questions first:

1. How much experience does he have prior to his break?

2. What sector(s) did he work in as a BA - e.g. Finance Sector?

3. What geographical area can he travel to for jobs? For example, if he lives in Newcastle, there isn't much point in him applying for roles in London. So what areas are good?

Unlike our American friends on here, I can honestly say that in the UK having some form of certification is largely pointless. I, and many other hiring managers I know, look primarily for experience first, experience second and experience third. In other words, Experience is key!

If he is looking to get back into work, but has had a 4 year break I will confess that it can be hard to get back in. 

In the UK there are two ways to get a BA role.

1. Through an Agency - either on-line or via one of their 'Shops'/offices.

2. Direct to the hiring company - either because you know someone (Networking) or they advertise directly.

Many Agency recruiters, who the vast majority of jobs are available through, will have a strict table of things to exclude or include - having a 4 year break is sadly one of those that would make his CV excluded. 

However, all is not lost. My advice to him is this. Search the job boards on-line to see which have a filter for only viewing jobs that are direct (e.g. not through an Agency). Two I know do this:- one is LinkedIn and the other is CWJobs. Both have the option of filtering jobs that exclude those through an agency (i.e. direct to the employer). 

Next, if he doesn't already have one, get him to create a LinkedIn profile. This is being used more and more. Make sure he sets his profile to say that he is looking for a new opportunity (i.e. he is looking for work). If you need any help with this send me a private message on here - only to happy to help.

Apply on the job boards mentioned for a mixture of jobs - some a mid-term BA, others a junior BA (The Junior role will probably be more likely to get him a foot in the door and work his recent experience back up). Be patient, you may have to apply for 10 to 20 jobs before you even get an interview - the number of BAs seeking roles far exceeds the number of roles - but stay positive. It will happen. If you aren't sure whether you should apply for a certain role apply anyway. What's the worst they can do? If you don't apply, you don't get. 

In terms of any skills he has missed, the world has not moved on significantly enough for him to have missed out on anything. I assume he has a number of years experience other than the 4 year gap? If he has worked in both Agile and Waterfall methodology then he will be well covered. 

Again, you don't say what sector his experience is mainly in , but concentrate on those roles first, but don't ignore others. Especially if they are junior BA roles. Although his knowledge may exceed a Junior role, its all about getting your foot back in the door and a Junior role will do that more easily. It may mean that he takes a slight hit on money for a year or two, but after that he should be able to apply for any role. 

Sadly, updating skills will not deter the fact that he has a big gap in his CV, but perseverance is key here. 

The UK market is slightly different to the US one, but typically candidates are looked at in this order:

1. How much experience has he/she got as a BA?

2. Is that experience in the same sector?

3. Certain key words are then filtered on in your CV - e.g. Agile, Payments or other such things which the employer flags up. 

4. Gaps in CV 

5. Length of time in the 2 most recent roles.

6. If the role is a permanent role, was he/she in a perm role before or a contractor (and vice versa). 

There are others, but they are the key ones. 

Good luck with the search and feel free to send me a message if you need any help.

 
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