Systems Analysts: Schools and Careers

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Systems Analysts - Career Information

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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.


  • 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.


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.

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Systems Analysts by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Systems Analysts, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Systems Analysts

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Systems Analysts relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Systems Analysts

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent 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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quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

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Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Information Systems - MBA (Master's), Information Systems - Bachelor, Information Systems - MSIS (Master's), more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Associate

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

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UEI College
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At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Computer Systems Technician (8-Month Diploma Program)
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California College San Diego
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  • Programs: Computer Science - Networking and Information Systems Security (BS)
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ABCO Technology
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ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

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Unitek College
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Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

  • Programs: Information Technology
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Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

  • Programs: Online Master of Business Administration Information Technology Concentration
  • Degrees: Master

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology
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Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

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  • Programs: Information Technology (BS) (Online), Information Technology (AS) (Online)
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Systems Analyst Training Schools by State

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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