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Computer Systems Analyst Career Overview

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Jun 20, 2024

A computer systems analyst works on two monitors.

Computer Systems Analyst Career Overview

Virtually every industry uses computers to automate, optimize, and standardize daily operations. In fact, the typical business setting uses an entire digital ecosystem, including multiple interconnected computers and devices.

These organizations require information technology (IT) professionals to ensure that their systems run smoothly and help accomplish business objectives. Those with foundational education and training and an aptitude for analytical thinking should consider the role of computer systems analyst, a career path that can have an outsize impact on an organization’s computer efficiency.

What’s a Computer Systems Analyst?

A computer systems analyst, also known as a computer systems architect, carefully studies a business’s or an organization’s computer network and then develops and implements a plan to optimize it. Ultimately, a computer systems analyst is in charge of creating an IT infrastructure, along with related IT processes, that help the entire business or organization work as effectively as possible.

Computer Systems Analyst Job Description

The duties and responsibilities for the role can change from one employer to the next, but typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Coordinating with managers and team leaders to assess IT needs

  • Researching different technologies that may benefit the organization’s IT infrastructure

  • Determining the costs and challenges associated with new IT implementations

  • Developing ways to extend the functionality of computer systems

  • Overseeing, configuring, and testing new IT systems

  • Training employees on how to use computer systems, sometimes using written manuals as a resource

What’s the Computer Systems Analyst Salary?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for computer systems analysts was $103,800 in 2023. Salaries can be affected by factors such as experience, education, and location.

The BLS predicts the growth rate for computer systems analysts will increase by 10% between 2022 and 2032, far faster than the average for all professions.

How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

Success in this role requires extensive IT knowledge, including an up-to-date understanding of technologies. A combination of a strong degree program and on-the-job experience can offer IT professionals a robust foundation for a rewarding career.

Pursue an Undergraduate Education

Earning a degree in IT or a related field can provide the foundational skills needed for long-term impact as a computer systems analyst. These degree programs can help foster analysis and critical thinking skills, while also providing some baseline familiarity with fundamental principles in IT, cybersecurity, and more.

Seek Entry-Level Work

Aspiring computer analysts can further hone their skills by seeking entry-level positions in the IT departments of businesses or organizations. Some companies even offer entry-level computer systems analyst roles. For those who call North Carolina home, many technology companies in North Carolina hire analysts. Working as a software developer or engineer may also help. Entry-level work can provide familiarity with different database and network environments, while also offering opportunities to develop skills in programming.

Consider an Advanced Degree

Earning an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree-level program in information communications technology, may also be valuable. Beyond skill development, it can lead to roles with higher responsibility or higher salaries.

Similar to an advanced degree, a professional certification — which may be a prerequisite — can lead to roles with higher responsibility and higher salaries. Two certifications for aspiring computer analysts to consider are the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and the CompTIA Security+.

Focus on Core Skills

Through a combination of education and on-the-job training, aspiring computer analysts can cultivate the skills most necessary for long-term success. The core skills for this position include the following:

  • Problem-solving

  • Analytic thinking

  • Creativity

  • Written and oral communication

  • Familiarity with a wide range of operating systems and technical environments

In addition, aspiring computer analysts should develop a robust set of hard skills, including familiarity with different database structures as well as coding languages like C++ and Java.

Explore Work Optimizing Computer Systems

Every organization benefits from a seamless and efficient technology ecosystem. For those who wish to play a major role in creating and optimizing these environments, a career as a computer systems analyst can be challenging and rewarding.

To learn the skills the positions require, consider North Carolina Central University’s online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program. In this program, students cultivate the competencies most desired by employers in North Carolina and across the country. Also, they can choose to focus their studies in one of three different concentrations: Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, or Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Each concentration allows students to hone their skills in a particular aspect of computer science.

The curriculum includes an emphasis on database management, project management, business programming, systems analysis, and more. The program’s flexibility means it can be adapted to your timetable. Find out more about NCCU Online’s program today, and take the first step toward a career as a computer systems analyst.

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Betterteam, “Computer Analyst Job Description”

Indeed, Computer Systems Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Indeed, What Is a Computer Systems Analyst?

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Systems Analysts

ZipRecruiter, What Is a Computer Systems Analyst and How to Become One

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