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Business Analyst vs. Investment Banker: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in business can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. Two popular positions in this field are that of a business analyst and an investment banker. Though both roles are important in the business world, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a business analyst and an investment banker, and we provide information on what you can expect from each role.

What is a Business Analyst?

A Business Analyst is a professional who performs analysis of business processes and recommends solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness. They work with stakeholders to understand the needs of the business and develop solutions that can improve the way the business operates. Business Analysts typically have a background in business or management, and they use their skills in critical thinking and problem-solving to develop creative solutions to business challenges. They use a variety of tools and techniques to perform their job, and they must be able to effectively communicate their findings to those who need to make decisions about the implementation of their recommendations.

What is an Investment Banker?

An Investment Banker is a financial professional who assists clients in raising capital by underwriting and issuing securities. Investment Bankers typically work for banks, but they can also work for securities firms, insurance companies or other financial institutions. They help companies and governments raise money by issuing and selling stocks, bonds and other securities. Investment Bankers typically have a four-year degree in business or economics. They must also pass the Series 7 exam, which is a securities industry licensing exam.

Business Analyst vs. Investment Banker

Here are the main differences between a business analyst and an investment banker.

Job Duties

Job duties for business analysts can vary, depending on their area of expertise and the needs of their organization. Some common job duties include researching a company’s target audience, determining what products or services would be most beneficial to that audience and determining how to improve current products or develop new ones. Business analysts also often create detailed reports about their findings and present them to key members of their team or entire organizations.

Investment bankers perform many different tasks throughout their workday, depending on their specific role and the needs of their firm. Common job duties include analyzing financial markets and creating investment strategies for clients. They may also advise clients on which types of investments are most beneficial for them and help those clients with completing transactions.

Job Requirements

To become a business analyst, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or another related field. However, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree. Additionally, it is helpful for business analysts to have experience in an administrator role, such as human resources, where they can gain practical experience in how companies function and solve problems that affect their business as a whole. Business analysts can also pursue a master’s degree or earn certifications to help them attract the attention of employers more easily.

Investment bankers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, economics or another related field. However, many investment banks prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Investment bankers must also be able to pass the Series 7 exam, which is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of securities products, regulations and financial concepts.

Work Environment

Business analysts work in a variety of environments, depending on the industry they’re working for. For example, if you work as a business analyst for an insurance company, your office may be located in a building that houses other employees from different departments. Business analysts who work for retail companies often have offices near their departmental teams to ensure they can collaborate with them easily.

Investment bankers typically work in more traditional office settings where they can focus on completing tasks and meeting deadlines. They also spend time traveling to meet with clients or attend conferences.


Both business analysts and investment bankers use analytical skills to examine data and make recommendations based on their findings. They also both need to be excellent communicators in order to present their ideas clearly to clients, colleagues and upper management.

However, there are some key differences in the skills each of these professionals uses on the job. Business analysts typically need to have project management skills in order to oversee the implementation of changes recommended by their analysis. They also need to be able to use modeling software to create simulations that help them test their hypotheses. Investment bankers, on the other hand, need to have sales skills in order to pitch their products and services to potential clients. They also need to be comfortable with financial analysis software in order to assess a company’s financial health and identify opportunities for growth.


Business analysts earn an average salary of $80,401 per year, while investment bankers earn an average salary of $116,983 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has.


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