Computer Systems Analysts: Career Guide & Salary Facts

Learn more about careers as computer systems analysts. Find information on career opportunities, duties and task, education and training, career advancement, and salary information. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as computer systems analysts.

Duties & Tasks

Computer systems analysts learn about a business’s current computer operating systems and procedures and guides management into making the business efficient and effective. To do this, they may research emerging technologies and determine if they may benefit the company. They may also prepare a cost and benefits chart to help management decide if computer upgrades would be a sound financial decision. These analysts may test, maintain, and monitor computer systems and programs as well as develop, document, and revise system procedures. They may also stay up-to-date and read technical reports to learn how to develop computer programs to meet user requirements. Once the business decides upon the operating system, analysts may be in charge of training the computer system’s end users and may also write instruction manuals if needed.

Education Requirements

In order to become a computer systems analyst, individuals may need to possess a bachelor’s degree in information or computer sciences, although it may not be a requirement. Some companies may opt to hire individuals who have a business or liberal arts degree who know how to write computer programs. However, because the field relies heavily on business aspects, it might benefit individuals to take business courses or major in management information systems. In addition, some companies may prefer to hire those who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) along with a concentration in information systems. Since the computer business is ever evolving, individuals may decide to complete continuing education courses throughout their career in order to stay current and keep their skills current.

Career Advancement

With experience, computer systems analysts may find advancement opportunities to become project managers and oversee analysts. Individuals may achieve this experience through time on the job or through higher education. They may also strive to become information technology directors or even chief technology officers.

Salary & Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for those pursuing careers as computer systems analysts are expected to increase by 22% from 2010-2020, which is higher than the national average. This increase may be due to an increase in organizations utilizing information technology to operate their businesses and needing analysts to assist them. Those who have a background in business may find better job opportunities since they may know how businesses operate and what their needs are. Additionally, the BLS reported in May 2010 that the median annual salary of computer systems analysts was $77,740 while the median hourly salary was $37.38.

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