I was asked how long a business analyst should be a business analyst before he moves on to a “real” profession like project manager. Here is my response:
I will mark my 50th anniversary in the IT business in September. I am still a business analyst and as it turns out have probably been a BA for the whole time. I don't intend to "change " jobs. Why? Because business analysis is a role, not a position. The CEO and CIO of major companies still perform business analysis activities; they still play the business analysis role. There is always a demand for someone to determine the real problem, analyze the situation, and define alternate solutions to the problem. there will always be a need for someone to analyze other businesses for acquisition or merger or analyze the competition and marketplace to help management decide on strategic direction for the organization. You may choose to leave the position of business analyst, but likely once you are working in business analysis you will always work in business analysis.