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Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts study an organization's current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Systems Analyst, Programmer Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Computer Systems Analyst, Computer Systems Consultant, Computer Analyst, Information Systems Analyst (ISA), Applications Analyst, Business Analyst, Systems Engineer, Computer Architect

 

Summary

Determining how a computer system can best serve a business or organization's needs is a key role of a computer systems analyst. As such, these professionals must be big-picture oriented and have a clear understanding of how the components within a computer system—hardware, software, and networks—work together. They're charged with analyzing that interaction and making recommendations that will ultimately help a company or organization operate more efficiently. Computer systems analysts juggle a lot of responsibilities, which can include choosing and configuring hardware and software, matching technology to users' needs, monitoring and testing the system in operation, and troubleshooting problems after implementation. Introverts need not apply: Collaboration is a big part of the job, as analysts frequently consult with management and users, as well as convey system requirements to software developers and network architects.

Types of computer system analysts:

  • Systems analysts specialize in developing new systems or fine-tuning existing ones to meet an organization’s needs.

  • Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose a specific type of hardware and software system. They develop long-term goals for the computer systems and a plan to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems are set up to best serve the organization's mission.

  • Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing of the systems they design. They run tests and diagnose problems to make sure that certain requirements are met. QA analysts write reports to management recommending ways to improve the system.

  • Programmer analysts design and update their system's software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging the code than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers. For more information, see the profiles on computer programmers and software developers.

 

Educational Requirements

Most employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees in a relevant field, such as computer science. Because computer systems analysts are also heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses.

 

Salary Information 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following information corresponds to the salaries of Computer Systems Analysts in 2018. The bottom 10% of earners made less than $54,360, the median salary was $88,740, and the top 10% of earners made more than $142,220.

 

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Information retrieved from U.S. News Best Jobs: Computer Systems Analyst and O*NET Online: Computer Systems Analysts.

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