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Systems Analysts picture    Systems Analysts image

Systems Analysts

The primary responsibility of systems analysts is to ensure the computer systems are optimally functioning. Systems analysts research, plan, coordinate and make recommendations for software, hardware and system choices that meet a company's business requirements. Computer systems analysts usually perform a cost benefit analysis for proposed changes. In addition, since they make technical specifications based on user requests, they act as the liaisons between vendors and IT professionals of the company they represent.

A systems analyst has an important role in the systems development process. To plan and design computer systems, they utilize techniques such as data modeling, structured analysis and information engineering.

They evaluate user requirements, procedures and problems in order to improve or automate an existing system. They expand or modify a system to serve new purposes or to enhance work flow. A computer systems analyst makes sure the computer systems within an organization or across organizations are compatible so information can be shared.

Most computer systems analysts work with specific types of computer systems such as accounting, business, scientific engineering or financial systems. Those that focus on assisting an organization with choosing system software and infrastructure are called system architects. System designers specialize in developing and fine-tuning systems.

Responsibilities

  • They develop specifications, flow charts and process diagrams for computer programmers to follow
  • Perform feasibility studies of a computer system prior to making recommendations to management
  • Learn the customers requirements
  • Keep track of systems development
  • Collaborate with designers and convey the possible interface of the software
  • Implement new systems
  • Develop documentation
  • Help users and staff solve computer related problems
  • Test, maintain and monitor computer programs and systems

Job Characteristics

A systems analyst needs to have technical, analytical, interpersonal and managerial skills. They need to effectively communicate with personnel that does not have a high level of understanding about computer technology. Systems analysts should be well organized and be able to grasp concepts quickly and see the big picture. However, they also need to pay attention to small details. They also need good math and computer skills.

They typically work forty hours a week, however they may sometimes work in the evenings or on the weekends to solve problems or to meet deadlines. Some analysts telecommute, using computers to work from remote locations.

Employment Outlook

The growth rate for employment of computer systems analysts is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 29% from 2006 to 2016 which is much higher than the average for all occupations. Demand for computer systems analysts will increase as companies and organizations adopt and integrate complex technologies.

Those with advanced degrees in computer science or computer engineering or those which have a MBA with an emphasis in information systems should have the best prospects. Workers with a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, computer engineering or management information systems also have good prospects, especially those that have practical experience.

In 2006 the median annual earnings for computer systems analysts was $69,760. Regarding the popular industries for systems analysts, the professional and commercial equipment and supply merchant wholesalers industry provides the top median annual earnings.

Experienced systems analysts may move up to senior or lead systems analyst positions. They can also become computer and information systems managers, or manager of information systems or chief information officer. Some experienced systems analysts that have expertise in a specific subject become independent consultants.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Training requirements vary depending on the job. However, a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, management information systems or a related field is the minimum requirement for the occupation. Some systems analysts earn a bachelor's degree in another subject and acquire computer experience via specialized courses or hands-on experience.

For complex jobs, a graduate degree is often preferred. Since a computer analyst needs to have a solid foundation in business operations and understand which technologies will best serve a particular business model, a master's degree in business with a focus on computer technology is highly beneficial. Employers typically seek candidates that have expertise relevant to the job. For example, a systems analyst working for a bank should have some expertise in finance.

Resources

Major Employers

The major employment sector is the computer systems design and related services industry. Other significant employment sectors are insurance companies, the government, hospitals, financial institutions; management, scientific and technical consulting services firms; professional and commercial equipment wholesalers, and data processing services companies.

Schools for Systems Analysts are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Systems Analysts

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 171,400 35% $78,320
Business Management 38,550 7% $76,070
Government 35,020 7% $65,450
Insurance 31,920 6% $73,920
Durable Goods Wholesale 23,300 4% $86,350
Education 22,530 4% $61,000
Banking And Credit 20,980 4% $75,570
Internet Service Provider 17,600 3% $78,010
Office Services And Staffing 17,330 3% $74,140
Traditional Publishing 14,500 2% $78,640
Hospital 13,540 2% $66,890
Telecommunications 12,630 2% $78,070
Electronics And Computer 12,510 2% $86,360
Securities And Investment 9,010 1% $87,080
Utilities 5,720 1% $79,730
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 5,310 1% $76,920
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Results:  10
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Programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems
  • Master of Business Administration, MBA - Information Security Management
  • Associate of Science in Information Technology
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Programs
  • B.S. in Business Information Systems
  • B.S. in Applied Business Information Systems
  • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Programs
  • Computer Systems Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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Chula Vista
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Programs
  • Doctor of Business Administration in Information Systems
  • Master of Science: Information Technology: Network Design & Security
  • Bachelor of Science: Information Technology: Application and Database Development
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
Programs
  • Information Technology Associate's Degree
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Ontario
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Programs
  • Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
  • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
  • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
  • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
  • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
Programs
  • MBA - Cybersecurity
  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis - Cyber Policy
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • UC is committed to liberal education integrated with professional study
  • Accredited by the MSCHE with a beautiful campus located in Utica, New York
  • 21 graduate programs, 38 undergraduate majors & study abroad opportunities
  • More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students (full- and part-time)
  • Offers financial aid options to students who qualify for tuition assistance
Programs
  • Information Technology (BS) (Online)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Programs
  • Master - Information Technology Management
  • Bachelors in Information Technology
  • Graduate Specialization - Information Technology
  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
  • No set class times or locations
  • Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
  • Accelerated eight-week terms
  • Classes start every month
Programs
  • IT Support Specialist - Associate of Applied Science
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
  • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Systems Analysts.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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