Computer Analyst: Career and Salary Facts

Computer analysts assess what kind of computer and related technology needs an organization has, and then oversees the process of designing and implementing the appropriate systems. Keep reading to see employment options, job duties, education requirements, career outlook, and earning potential for this job. Schools offering Business Systems Analysis degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Computer Analyst?

Computer analysts work in many different fields (one of the fastest growing being healthcare), building and maintaining computer systems for their employers. Based on their analysis of the company's needs, they recommend computer products and technology to meet those goals, directing its implementation and usage. These professionals require a great deal of computer knowledge and critical thinking skills to identify what an organization needs out of their computer systems to be more efficient and effective. They must also be willing to learn new skills to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of technology, recommending new products as necessary for the good of the company. You can learn some details about a career as a computer analyst in the table below:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Computer science, management information services, information science
Key Responsibilities Design computer systems, make sure hardware and software are properly installed, work with other company managers and workers to understand their computing needs, make sure computer systems are cost effective
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 21%
Mean Salary (2016)* $91,620

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where Would I Work as a Computer Analyst?

Computer analysts work for any organization that needs to set up and use a computer system. Your possible employers could be insurance companies, financial firms, government agencies, business-management firms and data-processing firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 556,660 men and women were employed as computer analysts in the U.S. as of 2015 ( Of these, roughly one-quarter worked for computer systems designers and related service providers. About 20% of them worked more than 40 hours per week.

What Duties Will I Perform?

You'll evaluate the information technology needs of an organization; from there, you'll either design and configure new computer systems or adapt existing systems to meet the needs. This process entails consulting with managers and workers about their objectives, determining what resources are available and understanding how an organization manages workflow. You may then create a model system and prepare a cost-benefit analysis to help administrators decide whether to implement it. If approved, you can then supervise hardware and software installation, conduct tests, and make adjustments. You might also be called upon to train users and write user manuals.

What Type of Education Should I Get?

Employers look for computer analysts who hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree. You can major in technical fields, such as computer science, management information services, or information science, and be adequately prepared for this career. Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Systems can also make you appealing to employers.

A bachelor's degree program in computer science acquaints you with computing concepts, such as algorithms, data structures and programming languages. Meanwhile, majoring in management information systems involves you in the process of applying computer technology to the solution of business problems, including budgeting, accounting or controlling inventory. If you decide to get your master's degree, an MBA program with a specialization in information systems synthesizes concepts from finance, economics, information technology and business management to help business leaders make maximum use of computing resources.

What Can I Expect of My Salary and Career Outlook?

For May 2016, the BLS listed the mean annual wage of computer systems analysts to be $91,620. It also projected their employment to increase 21% over the 2014-2014 decade. Growth was anticipated to be driven by the ongoing adoption of computer and information technology, particularly in the healthcare industry. The driving need to integrate wireless Internet with existing networks and have better data security were other considerations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Database administrators use their knowledge of computers to secure their employer's internet data using encryption software, ensuring unauthorized persons cannot access it. Management analysts examine a company's organizational structure and suggest changes to make it more effective and efficient. Computer network architects create computer networks for small and large companies in order to connect users for a variety of purposes. These positions all typically require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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