Sep 29 2017

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Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts are the “big picture” thinkers in IT. Armed with an understanding of both business and technology, these professionals analyze an organization’s current computer systems procedures, and recommend strategic changes to increase productivity, reduce costs and accomplish other business goals. Many systems analysts are skilled developers who design and code computer systems updates personally or lead the development team in a hands-on capacity, while other analysts without a programming background will liaise with software developers to implement changes.

The systems analyst’s prime directive is to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of an organization’s IT spend. Mission-critical activities include monitoring computer system performance, finding and procuring new technologies based on cost-benefit analyses, designing and developing new computer systems, and working closely with users to optimize performance and troubleshoot problems post-implementation.

With a projected growth rate of 21% from 2014 to 2024, computer systems analysts have earned their spot among the nation’s fastest growing IT occupations. Universities and private computer schools offer a range of systems analyst training and degree programs. Compare the top-rated systems analyst training programs online and in your area below.

a.k.a. IT Systems Analyst | Business Systems Analyst | Computer Information Systems Analyst (CISA) | SysAnalyst

Computer Systems Analyst Skills Responsibilities

Typical day-to-day duties and in-demand skill sets for computer systems analysts include the following. Systems analysts:

  • Work closely with managers and end-users to define systems requirements and business goals.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of computer systems and develop strategies to improve IT productivity.
  • Assist in the design development of new computer applications and enhancements to existing apps.
  • Recommend initiatives to increase the ROI of an organization’s information technology expenditures.
  • Perform cost-benefit analyses for potential computer system upgrades to support purchase decisions.
  • Create systems models, diagrams and charts to provide direction to system developers engineers.
  • Provide orientation and training sessions to end-users for new and modified computer systems.
  • Assist in the deployment, customization and post-implementation troubleshooting of new systems.
  • Rather than deep expertise about every piece of technology, systems analysts need a top-level understanding of how IT processes and components (such as hardware, software networks) interact to further business objectives.

Computer Systems Analyst Salary

  • Average computer systems analyst salary in USA: $79,000

Computer Systems Analyst Salary: $79,000

Average starting salaries for systems analysts and related positions:

  • Desktop Support Analyst: $53,000
  • Financial System Analyst: $72,000
  • Data/Information Analyst: $73,000
  • Software Systems Analyst: $77,000
  • E-Commerce Analyst: $78,000
  • Business Process Analyst: $79,000
  • Business Continuity Analyst: $79,000
  • Computer Systems Analyst: $79,000
  • Information Security Analyst: $80,000
  • Business Systems Analyst: $83,000
  • ERP Business Analyst: $87,000
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: $87,000
  • CRM Business Analyst: $90,000
  • Healthcare Systems Analyst: $94,000
  • Senior Business Systems Analyst: $95,000
  • Senior Computer Systems Analyst: $97,000
  • Systems Analyst Consultant: $102,000

Top 5 highest paying U.S. cities for computer systems analysts:

  1. Bridgeport, Connecticut | Salary: $101,000
  2. Jacksonville, North Carolina | Salary: $98,000
  3. Danbury, Connecticut | Salary: $98,000
  4. Washington, D.C. | Salary: $97,000
  5. San Jose, California | Salary: $96,000

Most systems analysts work full-time. The hourly wage for computer systems analysts ranges from $24 to $83 per hour, depending on the professional’s skill set, industry, location and experience level. Top-notch computer system analysis consultants can charge upwards of $150/hour.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014 – 2015 •

Computer Systems Analyst Education Requirements

Most employers require systems analyst applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer systems analysis, computer science, computer information systems (CIS), management information systems (MIS), business intelligence or a similar field of study. As this field deals with both business and IT, some systems analysis positions require a Master of Business Administration (MBA), preferably with a technical focus, such as information systems or technology management. Whichever your learning path, systems analysts should expect to take classes throughout their careers to stay competitive and keep up with emerging and innovative technologies.

Marketable skills to look for in a system analysis education program include business intelligence analysis, technology management, software development, business information systems administration, data processing, project management, business systems integration, risk management and soft skills. Systems analysts should also learn the business-side of their chosen field. For example, a bank may prefer a systems analyst with a background or coursework in finance, while a hospital might fast-track candidates with health care knowledge. Keep this in mind when planning your degree program curriculum and electives. The subject matter in computer systems analyst training works well with online learning platforms.

Computer Systems Analyst Training Degree Programs

Browse the top-rated undergrad graduate degrees, professional certificates and self-paced online courses matching the Computer Systems Analyst education requirements and career track.

Admissions advisors can provide more info about systems analyst programs and curriculum, admissions start dates, online learning, career opportunities, tuition costs, personalized financial aid options scholarships.

Got targeted learning goals? Many schools offer individual courses from campus and online degree programs.

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