Does a BA need any Technical Skills?
NO, NO, NO !!! Strictly NO. Business Analyst job is a functional consultant job mediating between Customer and Programming teams. BA job is to gather requirements of software from client at various levels in simple business terms. BA then need to communicate these requirements to programming team in system terminology NOT in technical terminology.
BA job is like a post-sales job handling customer after the sales is closed. BA strictly works within the scope of Sales Contracts executed by Sales Team. Like a Sales Person is not equipped with technical skills, then obviously BA will NOT be equipped with any technical skills.
Every job role has its own skills required. Just imagine your current job role - does any other person in your company do the same tasks as you do? No way - right… So BA job also has its own roles to be performed which only BA does and no one else; at the same time you won’t be doing other’s tasks. Similarly a Tester has a specific job role, a UX Consultant has a specific job role, a Technical Writer has a specific job role, etc.
In practical environment BAs will be tied up with their own tasks to finish so there is no scope for looking into technical stuff as well. Even if you have lot of technical knowledge, it is of no use as there are experts dealing with that separately.
IT Company’s main strength is “Technology” and employs hundreds of Programmers to deal with technical aspect of any software. If BA needs any clarification related to technical aspect, then they are there to help.