For individuals interested in working with computers, it may be worth their time to look into the field of computer systems analysis. The proliferation of technology into all areas of business – from the management of healthcare records to employee payment systems – means jobs in the field are expected to increase, even during a time of slow economic growth.
Many businesses have a need for computer-proficient employees who can operate, test and modify databases and other systems.
A bright future is predicted for the profession. U.S. News & World Report listed computer systems analyst as No. 1 in Best Technology Jobs and No. 8 in The 100 Best Jobs for 2017, citing a high job growth rate.
Job Outlook and Salary for Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts continue to be in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of those professionals will increase by 21% through 2024, faster than the average expected growth among all occupations.
Part of the expected growth will come from managing new databases, such as electronic records for healthcare facilities. Also, the BLS notes that more companies are turning to outside computer consultants and those firms are looking to expand payrolls.
In May 2016, the median annual wage for computer systems analysts was more than $87,000, the BLS reported. As with any occupation, factors such as educational qualifications and experience, as well as local market conditions, can influence the earning and advancement potential of computer systems analysts.
Education Requirements for Computer Systems Analysts
Securing a job in this growing field likely will require a dedication to attaining educational qualifications and, once in the workforce, on-the-job training in a specific discipline.
A bachelor’s degree that combines a computer-related focus with business courses is one possible method of entry into the profession. For example, a business administration degree with a concentration in computer science may provide an understanding of technology’s changing role in the corporate world and how it can be applied to improve business processes.
In addition, the BLS notes that many analysts combine programming or technical skills with a liberal arts degree.
Career Paths in Computer Systems Analysis
Computer systems analysts typically bridge the gap between the business side of an operation and the Information Technology (IT) department. Typically, the first steps in such positions involve understanding a company’s database and other computer systems – their requirements as well as their limitations – and determining whether it’s appropriate to upgrade to newer technology or systems.
Analysts often are required to consult with managers, perform testing and design new systems.
After entering the workforce, computer systems analysts can take classes or other coursework in order to keep pace with the rapid advances in technology.
Analysts who hope to eventually move into management may benefit by earning a master’s degree in computer science or a master’s in business administration with a concentration in information systems.
Military Occupational Specializations
Servicemembers making the transition to civilian life may find that the skills and knowledge required for numerous military occupational specializations correspond with the role of a computer systems analyst.
Such military specializations can include information technology specialist, information systems technician and network intelligence analyst specialist.