How to Begin a Professional Career as a Computer Systems Analyst

How to Begin a Professional Career as a Computer Systems Analyst
Computer Systems Analyst: A Quick Look
Median Salary $79,760 per year
$38.35 per hour
Entry-level Education University level (bachelor degree level)
On-the-job training No
Primary employers Computer systems design, Finance, Insurance, Companies Management
Number of positions (U.S.) 520,600
Job Growth (2012-2022) 25% (Much higher than average)
New positions (2012-2022) 127,700
How to Begin a Professional Career as a Computer Systems Analyst
This picture shows a typical workday of a Computer Systems Analyst. Read on to find out more about this exciting position

What Does A Computer Systems Analyst Do? A Computer Systems Analyst works within information systems of organizations (such as large firms). They study their current computer systems and procedures in order to better optimize them. They then design information systems solutions to assist the organization in optimizing cost efficiency. Read more.

Salary As of May 2012, the median salary for a Computer Systems Analyst sits at a comfortable $79,760 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This makes the profession seem far more lucrative than other professions. Read more.

Becoming A Computer System Analyst In order to become a member of this profession, you must complete a set amount of formal training and demonstrate the required skills to perform the position. Computer Systems Analysts often major in bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information science. However, they don’t have to major in this field as a mandatory requirement. If a candidate can demonstrate the required skills in information technology or computer programming, you can major in most any computer related degree. An interested candidate who desires a career as a Geographer must complete a lot of studying and formal training. Find out more about How to Begin a Professional Career as a Computer Systems Analyst  in our new post. Read more.


Job Outlook According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Computer Systems Analysts should grow by 25 percent from 2012 to 2022. They say that this rate is much faster than the average rate for all other occupations in the job market. The growth in the sectors of cloud computing, cyber security and mobile networks will also lead to this increased demand for workers such as a Computer Systems Analyst. Read more.

Computer Systems Analyst As previously stated, the median annual pay for a Computer Systems Analyst sat at a comfortable $79,760 as of May 2012 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This median salary means that half of all employed Computer Systems Analysts earn less than this amount. The other half earn more than this amount. You should know that the lowest earning 10 percent in the field held a salary lower than $49,950 per year in 2012. The top earning 10 percent earned less than $122,090. These differences also account for the level of work experience this calculation accounts for. You can expect to earn a much higher salary (or average) following 5 years of experience as a Computer Systems Analyst. After 10/20, a Computer System Analyst may earn a salary at the top echelon of their average. Although jobs in these computer-related fields tend to pay much better than the average for all professions ($34,750), the median annual wage for all computer occupations stood at $76,270. This makes the annual wage of a Computer Systems Analyst (at $79,760) even higher than the average.

How to Become a Computer System Analyst As previously mentioned, a bachelor degree in Computer Science or in Information Science isn’t a traditionally a requirement of most employers. However, holding one of these degrees can definitely provide a certain advantage on the job market. While you may obtain a job as a Computer Systems Analyst with just about any bachelor as long as you can perform the job duties, many employers still prefer someone with a college background in a computer-related field. Also, employers generally prefer candidates who hold a master's degree as opposed to candidates with only hold a bachelor's degree. You may want to consider continuing your post secondary education level with a master’s program if you wish to begin a successful career as a Computer Systems Analyst. The best master’s programs to enroll in for this profession are typically an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program or some sort of Computer-Science related program. Some employers prefer the later considering that a Computer Systems Analyst must understand the business aspect of the firm’s activity in order to optimize work. Some of the jobs in the field are more technical-oriented. These position benefit more from a master’s degree in Computer Science. Many Computer Systems Analysts continue to enroll for various, useful courses throughout their careers in order to maintain their skills and remain competitive in the job market. If you like learning and enjoy the classroom, this is most likely a good career choice for you.

Computer Systems Analyst Job Description Computer Systems Analysts spend a typical work day fulfilling the following job duties:

  • Consulting with managers in order to better understand the role of the firm's computer system.
  • Researching new software and technologies to determine the potential of increasing the firm’s productivity.
  • Preparing various analyses of costs versus benefits in order to decide whether to invest in these new technologies.
  • Designing and developing new computer systems by installing or improving new hardware and software components.
  • Improving the function of existing computer systems.
  • Testing the newly implemented systems to determine the results.
  • Training the firm’s employees to use the new systems, as well as writing instruction manuals.
Generally, Computer Systems Analysts work closely together with the firm's management to assist the IT team to better understand its role. Computer Systems Analysts also assist managers to better understand how they can use these computer systems to achieve better financial results. MBA are useful to many of the professionals in their field. Computer Systems Analysts hold many different job titles. If a Computer Systems Analyst supervises the installation and progress of an IT system from start to finish, the company may label him as an IT project manager. If the job focuses more on a certain, focused aspect of the profession, the job title may change accordingly. Besides the general all-purpose Computer Systems Analysts, certain employers also call these employees system designers (or system architects), software quality assurance (QA) analysts, and programmer analysts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most Computer Systems Analysts work full-time. Roughly one quarter of these employees work more than 40 hours per week. You must decide if you want to get involved in over-time work. But, you would be wise to make such a choice with a career as lucrative as this one.

Job Outlook The employment field for Computer Systems Analysts isn’t narrow. The Bureau expects the field to grow even further in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 520,600 professionals work this field as of 2012. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job market to hire 648,400 more employees in this field by 2022. That means that the position should grow by 25 percent in the field. The Computer Systems Analyst serves as a poignant example of a profession with a lot of potential in the near future. The economy relies heavily on computers. And, since all businesses must optimize the way they work in order to maintain a high level of efficiency, this profession will continue to grow even after the foreseeable deadline used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022). The business side of this profession plays such an integral role in the position. A Computer Systems Analyst would benefit (and remain relevant) in the job market possessing some pertinent degree in business (such as an MBA). The Bureau expects the bulk of the growth for this job to arise withing electronic medical records, e-prescribing, and IT healthcare in general. There will also be more IT consulting firms, which already serve as such an important employer to Computer Systems Analysts already. All other firms and organizations constantly employ a professional from one of these IT consulting firms in order to analyze and optimize their systems. The professionals contracted for such a job are expected to move on to other projects or assignments once they complete the preexisting work. A significant demand exists for their services all over the industries, so this will not be a problem.


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