Computer Systems Analyst

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Job Outlook:
Much faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
Work From Home
Salary
High: $161,980.00
Average: $107,530.00
Hourly
Average: $51.70

What they do:

Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.

On the job, you would:

  • Troubleshoot program and system malfunctions to restore normal functioning.
  • Provide staff and users with assistance solving computer-related problems, such as malfunctions and program problems.
  • Test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems.

Important Qualities

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.

Business skills. Analysts design and implement computer systems or upgrade existing systems to meet an organization’s business goals. Analysts must have a thorough understanding of their organization’s business objectives in order to meet its needs.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a liaison between management and the IT department and must explain complex issues in a way that both understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, they must be resourceful and use ingenuity in their work.

Detail oriented. Analysts study an organization’s computer systems and must pay attention to the minutiae to find areas of inefficiency or error.

Organizational skills. Analysts may coordinate work with different areas of an organization and must keep track of many tasks and deadlines to ensure that projects proceed according to plan.

Personality

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

87% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
79% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
72% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
66% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
66% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Strengths

89% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
89% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

70% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
67% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
67% Recognition  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
67% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Aptitude

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

78% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
72% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
72% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
72% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
66% Speech Recognition  -  The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Job Details

Responsibilities
Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
Test software performance.
Coordinate software or hardware installation.
Write computer programming code.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Configure computer networks.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Modify software programs to improve performance.
Collect data about customer needs.
Identify information technology project resource requirements.
Train others in computer interface or software use.
Analyze project data to determine specifications or requirements.
Design integrated computer systems.
Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
Modify software programs to improve performance.
Develop diagrams or flow charts of system operation.
Develop testing routines or procedures.
Document design or development procedures.
Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
Provide recommendations to others about computer hardware.
Read documents to gather technical information.
Supervise information technology personnel.
Manage information technology projects or system activities.
Apply information technology to solve business or other applied problems.
Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

100% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
95% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
94% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
89% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
88% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
87% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
84% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
80% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
80% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
80% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
79% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
76% Importance of Repeating Same Tasks  -  How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
71% Responsibility for Outcomes and Results  -  How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
66% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
65% Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions  -  How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
78% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

99% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
90% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
90% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
86% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
86% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
79% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
79% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
76% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
70% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
67% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
67% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
66% Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People  -  Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
66% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
66% Thinking Creatively  -  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

What Computer Systems Analysts Do

Computer systems analysts
Analysts create diagrams to help programmers and architects build computer systems.

Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design improvements to them. In doing so, these analysts help the organization operate more efficiently.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of information technology (IT) systems in an organization
  • Research different technologies to decide if they would increase the organization’s efficiency
  • Analyze costs and benefits of IT systems and upgrades to help managers decide which, if any, to install
  • Devise ways to add functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design new systems by configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems and customize them for the organization
  • Test systems to ensure that they work as expected
  • Write instruction manuals and train the systems’ end users

Most computer systems analysts specialize in computer systems that are specific to their organization type. For example, an analyst might work with financial computer systems or with engineering computer systems. Computer systems analysts work with other IT team members to help an organization’s business leaders understand how computer systems best serve the organization.

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques, such as data modeling, to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view processes and data flows. Analysts conduct indepth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory, storage, and computing power the computer system needs. They prepare diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system setup. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Analysts who focus on coding and debugging, in addition to their other tasks, may be referred to as programmer analysts. They also may design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. For information about other occupations that do programming or testing, see the profiles on computer programmers and software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who also plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Work Environment

Computer systems analysts held about 531,400 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of computer systems analysts were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 24%
Finance and insurance 13
Management of companies and enterprises 10
Information 8
Government 7

Computer systems analysts may work directly for an organization or as contractors, often for an information technology firm. The projects that computer systems analysts work on usually require them to collaborate with others.

Work Schedules

Most computer systems analysts work full time.

Getting Started

Education:
51%
Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)
42%
Bachelor's Degree

How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts
Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree.

Computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. Studying a computer science or information systems field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire job candidates who have a degree in business or liberal arts along with relevant skills.

Education

Computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as mathematics. Because these analysts are involved in the business side of an organization, taking business courses or majoring in management information systems may be helpful. Some employers hire job candidates who have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Systems analysts may take continuing education courses throughout their careers to stay abreast of new technology. Technological advances are common in the computer field, and continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts also must understand the industry they are working in. For example, an analyst working in a hospital may need a thorough understanding of healthcare plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having industry-specific knowledge helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts may advance to become project managers and lead a team of analysts. Some eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Job Outlook

Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 10 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 37,600 openings for computer systems analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

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.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about computer systems analysts, visit

Association for Computing Machinery

Computing Research Association

IEEE Computer Society

For information about opportunities for women pursuing information technology careers, visit

National Center for Women & Information Technology

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Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.