If you’re looking for a career that combines business and information technology (IT), and helps organizations operate more efficiently and effectively, working as a computer systems analyst may be a good option.
Also known as systems architects, they analyze an organization’s computer systems and procedures, then design solutions to optimize and improve operations.
Computer systems analysts collaborate with others to determine operational needs and add new IT functionality to existing systems as needed. They will also research emerging technologies and determine if and how they should be implemented. This includes overseeing installation, configuring new systems, conducting testing and training the systems’ end users.
Computer systems analysts can work directly for companies or as independent contractors for different clients either on their own or for an IT firm. Among the major responsibilities of a computer systems analyst:
- Ensuring all systems integrate successfully
- Developing processes to resolve technical problems
- Introducing new technologies to fulfill business needs
- Testing the effectiveness of new and existing software
- Communicating IT projects to non-technical employees and executives
- Designing and installing information systems
- Preparing cost and benefits analyses to determine IT system upgrades
- Training employees on computer systems and writing user manuals
Employment of computer systems analysts through 2026 is expected to grow 9%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average annual salary as of May 2017 was $92,740.
As organizations increasingly rely on technology in their operations, computer systems analysts will be in demand. Smaller firms will employ computer systems analysts through IT service providers. The implementation of electronic health records, e-prescribing and other forms of healthcare IT may bring about career possibilities for computer systems analysts in the healthcare sector.
In terms of IT jobs, computer systems analysts ranked No. 4 for Best Technology Jobs in U.S. News and World Report. A position’s salary, the job market, growth potential and other factors determine the magazine’s rankings.
How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst
Most computer systems analysts tend to have a bachelor’s degree. A business degree with a concentration in computer information systems is a good idea, although some employers may hire candidates with other degrees and IT skills, according to the BLS. Some employers may require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) for higher-level positions or a master’s degree in computer science for more technically complex jobs.
Computer systems analysts must also have an intimate understanding of the field in which they work. For a bank or financial services firm, the analyst would need to understand financial concepts. And for a hospital, knowledge of healthcare applications would be ideal.
Non-technical skills integral to success include effective written and verbal communication, creativity, attention to detail, collaboration, problem-solving and analytical skills.
Certification programs that may enhance your resume include Salesforce.com (cloud-based customer relationship management software), Agile Product Lifecycle Management, Dell Boomi and Dell Boomi AtomSphere (integration platform as a service), Oracle Java SE 7 Programmer (programming software), MySQL Database Developer (database management) and CRM Fundamentals with SAP.