Rhodes Business School addresses skills shortage with latest postgraduate offering

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Prof Owen Skae, Director of the Rhodes Business School
Prof Owen Skae, Director of the Rhodes Business School

The Rhodes Business School is now offering a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analysis to help solve critical skills deficits in business.

"Business analysts understand and identify where and how business can change to operate more economically, efficiently, effectively and sustainably," explained Director of Rhodes Business School, Professor Owen Skae. "There is a critical shortage of business analysts in South Africa, and local companies generally outsource this vital role offshore. This results in a negative impact on our local economy."

According to Rhodes University desktop research and discussions with industry experts and potential employers of business analysts, each offshore outsourced business analyst creates an adverse economic multiplier effect of R5 million per job. "There is a demand for an estimated 5 000 business analysts in South Africa. Reversing this trend is vital to the creation of employment, intellectual business capacity, business productivity, and performance in South Africa," said Skae.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analysis will contribute towards developing the knowledge base of business analysis, which the Department of Labour has identified as a scarce skill. Skae explained, "Business analysis is becoming increasingly critical as it can have a dramatic impact on overall corporate performance.”

This qualification forms an essential element in the School’s postgraduate offerings, which gears its range of programmes to match the current demands of both local and international business markets.

According to Skae, this qualification results from the accumulated knowledge and experience the School has gained from training over 600 business analysts in its successful Certificate in Sustainable Business Analysis course.

A postgraduate diploma enables working professionals to undertake advanced reflection and development through a systematic survey of current thinking, practice, and research methods in an area of specialisation. Requirements for admission to the postgraduate diploma course include either a Bachelor's Degree or relevant Advanced Diploma. For those candidates who don’t meet the academic needs, there is provision to admit 10% of the class size by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). When considering RPL applicants, factors such as age, seniority, work experience, and previously completed certificate programmes will be taken into consideration.

"The future of work will require self-help and self-learning, both of which are among a business analyst’s skill set. A natural curiosity combined with the passion for making organisational systems and work practices more sustainable is what makes this such an exciting career prospect," said Skae. "The business analyst's time has come."