How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at AIU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

With the increasing use of technology and complex computer networks in the workplace, businesses rely on highly trained personnel to make sure their systems run properly. IT departments often help manage the day-to-day maintenance, updating, and troubleshooting of a company's computer systems; however, these systems must be designed and periodically overhauled to continue to efficiently meet a business's needs. Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, help evaluate the technological needs of a company and work with management and IT departments to design and implement new computer and network systems and processes.1

So how do you become a computer systems analyst, and how can you decide if it's the right career path to pursue?

Why Should You Become a Computer Systems Analyst?

As companies increasingly rely on complex computer systems to do business, the need for analysts (both internal and as external contractors) is projected to grow. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that positions in field will increase by 9% through 2026.2

The National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2018 JOB OUTLOOK report also reflects the anticipated need for job candidates with computer and technology knowledge. Of the employers that responded to the survey, 55.3% responded that they planned to hire candidates with computer science degrees in the near future and 48.5% said they planned to hire information sciences and systems graduates.3

What Does a Computer Systems Analyst Do?

Computer systems analysts examine an organization's current computer systems for strengths and weaknesses and advise management on changes and updates needed to help make sure operations remain secure, efficient and effective.1

Additionally, computer system analysts work closely, and communicate often, with business executives and a company's IT department to help everyone at the company understand how their computer systems work and how to improve operating efficiency. In some cases, analysts may work as project managers to ensure efficient and timely IT project completion.1

Furthermore, computer systems analysts develop creative solutions and think analytically about complex issues. Computer systems analysts should have a strong background in computers and electronics, engineering and technology, and administration and management.4

What Kind of Degree Should You Pursue?

Start by pursuing a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, such as information technology or computer science, which may help you prepare to pursue entry-level positions. Companies may also hire candidates with degrees in business or a liberal arts field as long as they have significant experience working with computer and technology systems. Because computer systems analysts may be expected to know and understand the business side of companies, it may beneficial to have completed courses in business management and administration. Additionally, due to the importance of a computer systems analyst to a company's success, employers may seek candidates with a graduate degree.5

As technology develops, computer systems analysts may continue to advance their education to stay current on new and innovative technologies. Continuing education may include becoming more knowledgeable about processes, legislation, and regulations within your specific field to understand how these factors can impact the technological needs of a business.5

Ready to get started? Learn more about information technology degrees at AIU.

American InterContinental University cannot guarantee employment or salary. For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, go to www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures.
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1. “Computer Systems Analysts: What Computer Systems Analysts Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-2 (Visited November 19, 2018).
2. “Computer Systems Analysts: Job Outlook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-6 (Visited November 19, 2018). Conditions in your area may vary.
3. “Job Outlook 2018.” National Association of Colleges and Employers. Retrieved from: https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/business-majors-dominate-list-of-top-majors-in-demand/ (Visited November 19, 2018). Conditions in your area may vary.
4. “Computer Systems Analysts.” O*Net Online. Retrieved from: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1121.00 (Visited November 19, 2018).
5. “Computer Systems Analysts: How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-4 (Visited November 19, 2018).

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