In 2019, there were over 2 billion computers in the world, including servers, desktops, and laptops, according to Supply Chain Management Outsource. With so many computers being used by so many businesses, many technology-based jobs offer bright futures. One technology position expected to keep growing is computer systems analyst.
Avery Kellam, adjunct faculty member at Purdue Global, talked about computer systems analysts and what the future holds for the position.
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What Are a Systems Analyst’s Main Duties?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analysts study the current computer systems and procedures of an organization and design more efficient and effective solutions. They bring business and information technology together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
The BLS reports that among the day-to-day duties, system analysts:
- Choose, configure, design, and implement new software and systems
- Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems
- Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
- Research emerging technologies to consider implementation
- Test systems to ensure they work as expected
- Train the systems’ users and write instruction manuals
“Systems analysts do a variety of things, but their main job is to ensure that the computer systems have the highest level of availability and reliability,” Kellam says. “You’re looking for the most common problems so you can find a resolution very quickly.”
Most systems analysts specialize in computer systems specific to their organizations, such as in the financial or engineering fields.
“Systems analysts have a major role to play in organizations,” Kellam says. “They are key to security, as well as a company’s reputation and financial posture.”
Each day, a systems analyst can expect to encounter new challenges.
“Every day is different,” Kellam says. “You can always count on the day to be adventurous. You’re never going to walk into the same thing. It’s very fast-paced.”
According to the BLS, in a typical day, you can expect to:
- Conduct testing of systems
- Consult with managers
- Design and implement new systems
- Devise ways to add functionality to existing systems
- Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems
- Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits
- Research emerging technologies
- Train the systems’ end users
- Write instruction manuals
What Skills Are Needed for a Career as a Systems Analyst?
Someone who wants to be a systems analyst should have a variety of skills, including analytical, communication, and creative skills.
Analysts are expected to take information from various sources, interpret it, and decide next steps. They also must determine the effect of changes on the project.
Analysts should be able to document and follow standard operating procedures.
“Computer systems analysts also have to be able to understand proper procedures,” Kellam says. “These standard operating procedures are required to remediate any kind of incident.”
Analysts connect management with the IT department so they should be able to explain complex issues.
“You should be able to communicate issues to your peers and management at all times,” Kellam says.
Analysts are expected to find innovative solutions to computer problems, so an ability to bring new ideas to tasks is important.
“Process improvement is very important,” Kellam says. “Not everything is set in stone, and there are more ways to make improvements.”
What Is the Career Outlook for Computer Systems Analysts?
As with many computer-based careers, employment of computer systems analysts is growing. According to the BLS, jobs for systems analysts are projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030.
“What’s really driving this growth is the fact that more companies are relying on computer systems,” Kellam says. “As you bring in more computer systems, you have a need for people to monitor those systems.”
The BLS says the following fields are where most computer systems analysts are employed.
||Percentage of Hires
|Computer systems design and related services
|Finance and insurance
|Management of companies and enterprises
“This is a good career for people who are starting out,” he says. “Once you master a systems analyst role, you can grow into other roles, such as team lead or manager.”
Become a Computer Systems Analyst with Purdue Global
Purdue Global offers a chance for you to learn more about being a computer systems analyst with a Purdue Global + Google Data Analytics certificate, an online bachelor's in information technology, and a master's degree in information technology. These programs can prepare you for a career in computer systems analysis.
Find out more about Purdue Global by reaching out to us today.