IT Analyst: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for IT analysts. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, salary and the job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Information Technology Analyst?

An IT (information technology) analyst assesses, oversees and maintains IT systems for businesses, government agencies, colleges and other organizations. They may focus on system architecture, software quality assurance or programming, among other areas of an enterprise's IT structure. Regardless of which aspect of the field they work in, IT analysts are responsible for researching new developments in hardware and software to best benefit the efficiency of an organization's network, as well as running diagnostic tests on the systems. What differentiates IT analysts from programmers, developers and other IT workers is a close working relationship with management and the C-suite. The table below provides important career facts for those considering a career as an IT analyst.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Information technology, computer science
Key Responsibilities Advising management on IT issues, developing and testing systems, training users
Job Growth (2014-2024) 21% (computer systems analysts)*
Average Salary (2015) $90,180 (computer systems analysts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Job Description of an IT Analyst?

Information technology encompasses systems and networks including telecommunications, computer, wireless, cellular and the cloud. Some employers may have you work with multiple types of systems or networks, and others may have you focus on one system or network.

Typically, as an IT analyst, you will work closely with managers and other administrators to develop, change and monitor the organization's IT systems. During routine meetings, you may discuss the current system, problems, user issues, company needs and future goals. It may be your job to find problem solutions, build new systems and bring ideas to the table about how to develop systems to meet future goals. Your job may include giving managers an idea of costs for new systems or changes to current technology and monitoring the budgets of current projects.

During system development, you may test new components, troubleshoot issues and create user manuals. You may be tasked with programming and updating software. Other tasks that you may have include setting up networks, linking systems and working with multimedia devices.

What Training Do I Need?

The minimum training for a job as an IT analyst is a bachelor's degree in information technology or computer science, but many employers prefer at least a master's degree. Experience is also usually a qualification, which may be gained through entry-level positions, internships or apprenticeships. Employers often want applicants who have experience in customer service, project management and technical support.

Computer-related skills needed for this position include knowledge of operating systems, networks, IT concepts, computer hardware, computer software and programming. Knowledge of HTML, XML, Java, C++ and other similar concepts is also important.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2015, computer systems analysts earned a mean annual income of $90,180 (www.bls.gov). The BLS anticipated 21% growth for this field from 2014-2024, much faster than average, driven by healthcare IT and increased use of the cloud and mobile networks. Advancement options may include senior IT positions, management or executive positions.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you would like to work in an IT field, you could consider being a computer and information systems manager, where you would be in charge of organizing and executing the installation of software and hardware based upon the assessed needs of the company. You may also consider becoming a computer network architect, where you will create communications network infrastructures for either businesses or personal homes. Another possible career option would be becoming a computer programmer, where you will use codes to create and test new software. All these careers require a bachelor's degree, like the IT analyst position.

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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