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What Does a Systems Analyst Do?

Systems analysts are the investigators of the digital realm. 

System analysts, also called computer system analysts or system architects, study computer systems and work closely with company executives and IT to find more efficient ways to use computer technology. They often also work with individual users so being able to work with many different types of people is an important skill. 

Systems analysts improve computer systems and develop new ones with better productivity in mind. This includes analyzing the cost and benefit of purchasing new hardware and software and the time necessary to train staff on new programs. 

Depending on the size of an operation, this role may include the work of a business analyst, but only if the system programming is done by someone else. 

Systems analysts are crucial to an organization and a good pathway for a computer specialist to learn about any industry. If that combination sounds intriguing, read on.

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$ 52,000 - $ 152,000
$ 94,000
47,710+
Systems analysts keep computer systems running efficiently
As organizations rely more on information technology, the demand for computer systems analysts will only go up. (Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock)

Job Responsibilities

  • Determine IT infrastructure needs
  • Monitor and improve existing computer systems
  • Evaluate new technologies
  • Analyze costs and benefits
  • Plan IT infrastructure from the ground up
  • Evaluate and select hardware and software solutions
  • Oversee and document installation of new systems 
  • Test systems
  • Train users
  • Write instruction manuals

 

How To Become A Systems Analyst: FAQs

What are the educational requirements to become a systems analyst?

Many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology (IT). However, employers may accept entry-level systems analysts who have an unrelated degree or no degree if the candidate has completed computer-related coursework. Someone with an associate degree, for example, could start as an IT support specialist and work their way up.

Most systems analysts continue their education through on-the-job training and continuing education. Some go on to earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or computer science to give themselves a competitive edge.

What other qualifications do I need?

Business classes and knowledge can be helpful because systems analysts are often involved in both the technical side and the business side of a company. Industry-specific knowledge can also give candidates a leg up because it makes communication easier. 

What about certifications?

Continuing education is a must in this line of work. Program-specific certifications, such as Microsoft, are often provided by employers. Other credentials are a way for systems analysts to specialize. 

Where do systems analysts work?

Systems analysts may work for one company, or they may consult with several clients. They are needed at large corporations, small startups and government institutions.

How long does it take to become a systems analyst?

A bachelor’s degree takes four years. An associate degree takes two years, but additional education and training will be required. 

Is there a demand for systems analysts?

Yes. Job openings are expected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

What skills and qualities would make someone a good fit for this job?

  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • An eye for detail
  • A knack for finding creative solutions
  • Proficiency in programming languages
  • Curiosity about learning new computer skills
  • Typically extroverted and open 
  • Can analyze both business and technical demands from a company perspective

The bottom line on becoming a systems analyst

If you want the kind of career that makes you indispensable to a company’s overall strategy, consider this role. Systems analysts make an impact at big and small companies because they focus on increasing productivity and reducing costs. 

If you’re hands-on kind of person, consider a small company. If you’re a big-picture person, a bigger company where you lead a team may be a better fit. 
 

Systems Analyst Training in Your Area

Coordinates

Cybersecurity Certificate

Butler Community College
El Dorado (81.0 Miles)
Hutchinson Community College logo

Computer Support Specialist, A.A.S.

Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson (138.4 Miles)
Hutchinson Community College logo

Computer Support Specialist Certificate

Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson (138.4 Miles)

Information & Network Technology, A.A.S.

Manhattan Area Technical College
Manhattan (153.6 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Computer Networking Support Certificate

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Computer Systems Support, A.A.S.

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Computer Systems Support Certificate

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)
Oklahoma City Community College logo

Geographic Information System, A.A.S.

Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City (156.7 Miles)

Information Network Technology, A.A.S.

Pratt Community College
Pratt (169.3 Miles)

Computer Information Systems, A.A.S.

Garden City Community College
Garden City (287.8 Miles)

Cybersecurity, A.S.

Garden City Community College
Garden City (287.8 Miles)
Three Rivers College logo

Information Technology Specialist, A.A.S.

Three Rivers College
Poplar Bluff (292.5 Miles)