How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts monitor and modify computer systems to ensure that they are working at peak efficiency and that they can successfully fulfill all of the needs of a company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a computer systems analyst is $77,740 a year. The job outlook for computer system analysts is extremely high, with a 22 percent growth rate projected from 2010 to 2020, which makes it an excellent field for those concerned about job security.

This profession is expected to have expertise in both business technology and information technology so they can make the best suggestions to management. Most computer systems

$77,740
Bachelor's Degree
None
None
544,400
22%
120,400
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
analysts will work full-time for a large corporation, but about a quarter of those within the profession are employed by firms specializing in the development and management of computer systems. Small companies usually do not have a need for a computer systems analyst, though there are some exceptions to this rule.

What Does a Computer Systems Analyst Do?

A computer systems analyst will look through a computer system to locate any areas in which the system could be altered to perform better or increase overall efficiency. Analysts may identify hardware changes that could potentially benefit the company or find issues with the current model that may be affecting employee productivity. Once an analyst has identified ways in which they would change a system, they usually give advice and information to management. They may be the ones to implement these changes themselves, or they may allow the company’s IT staff to handle the changes.

Once changes have been made to a system, the analyst will ensure that everything is working correctly. The analyst will also train staff members on how to use the new system and will often create documentation for staff members. Analysts may be called in regularly to ensure that the system is still working correctly and to update systems with the most current technology.

How Do You Become a Computer Systems Analyst?

A computer systems analyst usually has a Bachelor’s Degree in a field such as Computer Science or Information Technology. Often, a computer systems analyst may hold a Master’s Degree in the field. It is rare for someone to enter into this profession without a degree, but it is possible. Those wishing to become analysts without computer science degrees will need to pass certifications to prove that they have the knowledge necessary for the position. Experience can often replace a degree in the computer science field.

Degree holders can either begin working with an analyst firm or they may begin working directly with a company. Many companies, from large corporations to non-profit agencies, will hire analysts directly. Positions are often open as junior computer systems analysts for those that require training. Some may also move from other positions such as systems administrators or network administrators into the profession.

How Do You Advance as a Computer Systems Analyst?

Computer system analysts are extremely advanced professionals with a very bright career outlook. Those interested in advancing beyond the profession may be interested in opening their own IT consulting companies. There are also related fields that a systems analyst could go into, such as computer network architects.

O*Net Online shows that a computer network architect makes a median wage of $91,000. Architects operate much like systems analysts, except they develop complex structures for corporations that operate efficiently and are extremely secure. Systems analysts could also potentially become computer security experts.

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