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Degrees for Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts apply problem-solving skills to working with computers. Read on to learn about undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as career outlook information.

What Kind of Degree Programs Prepare Me to Work as a Computer Systems Analyst?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers typically look for candidates with a bachelor's degree when hiring computer systems analysts; however, having a graduate degree might provide an advantage if you're looking for a position in a business environment (www.bls.gov). Applicable degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can earn your Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Systems, MBA/Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Systems or MBA/M.S. in Management of Information Systems.

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degree
Key Topics Discussed Organizational leadership, operating systems, cost analysis, networking, computer systems architecture
Median Salary (2018) $88,740 (for all computer systems analyst)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% growth (for all computer systems analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Learn in a Degree Program?

As an undergraduate, you can learn the basics of computer systems design, analysis, networking and troubleshooting. Coursework might cover a mixture of computer science and engineering fundamentals. This could include classes in computer systems architecture, programming, electronics and operating systems. You also might need to apply the knowledge you've acquired through these courses in a senior design project.

Master's degree programs will teach you more about management. You can expect to complete coursework in cost analysis, organizational leadership and case analysis. Some graduate programs also require an internship where you'll apply your management skills. Otherwise, you can expect to complete coursework that examines computer systems for business applications, IT planning and computer programming.

What Should I Know About My Career Opportunities?

According to the BLS, demand for systems analysts could increase 9% between 2016 and 2026. If you decide to enter this field, the demand you'll enjoy will be related to upgrading computer systems, utilizing mobile technologies and integrating systems. You also might work on issues related to cyber security, networking and wireless communications. The BLS reported that median earnings of analysts were $88,740 in 2018.