Computer Systems Analyst
What you need to know
Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively.
They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
Computer systems analysts can work directly for an organization or as contractors, often working for an information technology firm. The projects that computer systems analysts work on usually require them to collaborate and coordinate with others.
Some of the things computer systems analysts might do:
- Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
- Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
- Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
- Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
- Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
- Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
- Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
- Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals
- Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also figure out how changes may affect the project.
- Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.
- Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.
The average pay for computer systems analysts in the United States ranges from $60,680 to $158,010 as of May 2021.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
As organizations across the economy continue to rely on information technology (IT), computer systems analysts will be hired to design and install new computer systems.
Small firms with minimal IT requirements will find it more cost effective to contract with outside firms for these services rather than to hire computer systems analysts directly.
Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.
Some employers prefer applicants who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.
Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Information Systems.