I'm a long-time software engineer repositioning into business analysis and I'm having a tricky time in my job hunt so far. I'm just curious if anybody else has experienced these things. I've noticed that every company has a different interpretation of what a business analyst does. Some demand experience with software testing tools, which implies you're going to be a part-time tester. Others want project management experience. A few are obviously just administrative assistants. That variety puts the average salary range from $25K - 90K. Okay, so obviously we have to decide which direction we want to go and only apply to those types of positions.
My biggest problem is that in my software job, I was relegated to working on legacy systems so I have never used *any* of the new tools for software development, testing, or even analysis. I never get past the phone interview (if even that far) when I admit that I tested software by pretending to be a user. I'm losing lots of opportunities because I don't have UML experience - I wrote requirements with Word and Visio. I know I can teach myself those tools, but companies are demanding demonstrated experience with them. How do you guys handle that?