Computer Systems Analyst Job Facts

Computer systems analysts find technical solutions to business situations and figure out the most efficient way to make technology work for a company. Read on to find out about this job, what you need to enter the field and what you could potentially earn. Schools offering Business Systems Analysis degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Computer Systems Analyst?

A computer systems analyst is an individual who holds at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related or information science field. Some employers might prefer to hire people who also hold an MBA with a concentration in information systems. Computer systems analysts primarily match the computer needs and limitations of a business with the available information technology. They may be responsible for writing systems training manuals and seeing to it that potential users are sufficiently trained in the purpose and use of the systems.

Degree RequiredBachelor's degree
Key Responsibilities Analyze, test, and design organizations' computer systems for optimum efficiency
Job Growth (2014-2024)*21%
Median Salary (2015)*$85,800

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Computer Systems Analysts Do?

Computer systems analysts provide foundational technology assessments for businesses or organizations to determine necessary hardware and software for projects, commerce and day-to-day tasks. Your job as a computer systems analyst could include technical planning for general and specific projects, research of available technology, testing your solutions with existing systems and implementation. You'll be responsible for access and management of employee, company and consumer data.

You might need to find ways to integrate new applications into existing software and business practices. Alternately, you could work with a programmer to develop software to meet a particular need. You would use a variety of methods and principles to be sure that your plan is thorough, efficient and cost-effective. In large environments, you might work on a single part of a large project, coordinating with other analysts to ensure each part accommodates the others to efficiently meet a goal.

What Education Do I Need to Be a Computer Systems Analyst?

Since significant knowledge in both business and technology is necessary, a bachelor's degree in computer science or business administration might provide you with an advantage in the job market. You can select business electives within a technical degree program to provide you with management, budgetary and marketing knowledge to help with business-side integration. Likewise, many non-technical degree programs offer some coursework or a concentration in information technology.

If your bachelor's degree is in neither of these disciplines, you can enroll in a 2-year master's degree program in business administration or information management. In many cases, you can complete your studies online if you have scheduling conflicts. Many Master of Business Administration programs include a specialization in technology project management.

What Salary Could I Earn?

In October 2016, reported that the middle half of computer systems analysts earned an average salary range of $55,000-$79,000 per year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest paid industries in 2015 included support activities for mining and securities and commodities intermediation and brokerage. The BLS anticipated that your employment prospects would be excellent, with a 21% job increase between 2014-2024, which is much faster than average.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer network architects are those professionals who design and construct communication networks. This position requires at least a bachelor's degree. Taking security measures into consideration, they work with management to create networks that fulfill a company's needs. They see to it that hardware and software upgrades are implemented as necessary. They constantly conduct research into new, appropriate technologies. The BLS reported that the median pay for computer network architects in 2015 was $100,240.

Another related position is an information security analyst which also requires applicants to possess a bachelor's degree. These are computer professionals who design, plan and carryout measures to uncover and/or preclude the possibility of various cyber intrusions into an organization's computer system. With an eye toward increasing the privacy and efficiency of a company's operation, they keep up with the latest information regarding cyber security, prepare reports and make recommendations to management regarding the status of and possible improvements to an organization's security. According to the BLS, in 2015, information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $90,120.

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