These professionals determine how to utilize computers to complete tasks. They instruct companies on the type of computers and software to purchase, and they determine how to make these components work in sync.
Computer systems analysts begin projects by asking their clients about the intended purposes for their computers. Then, they design a computer system to achieve these goals. Computer systems are usually composed of multiple computers with different software and components working together.
Once analysts determine the purpose of the system, they organize their projects into small steps. They prepare diagrams and charts to demonstrate how data will be entered into computers, how data will be processed, and how this data will be delivered to intended users. To illustrate, analysts may determine how sales data will be relayed to a company’s computers and how this data can be utilized by company managers.
Analysts experiment with various system designs. They experiment with an assortment of tools and processes until they develop a system that is efficient, quick, and cost effective.
Next, analysts determine the type of computers, software, and components to purchase. They also instruct computer programmers about developing the necessary new software. They provide detailed directions for programmers. Some analysts assist with the software development, as well.
The main task for certain systems analysts is making sure computers work in sync. They link computers to a network. Analysts determine how to relay data between computers. Many set up networks that relay information via the web.
After designing a system, analysts troubleshoot it to ensure it works. They monitor the system to ensure information is processed rapidly and without errors. They also make sure the system is user friendly. They frequently alter their plans to improve computer systems.
Computer systems analysts fulfill their responsibilities at offices or computer laboratories. Certain computer systems analysts perform their jobs at home. Being in front of a computer for extended periods of time can cause eyestrain, back pain, and carpel tunnel syndrome.
Occasionally, these professionals work long days to meet project deadlines.
Analysts often work in groups.
How do you prepare for this career?
Many computer systems analysts majored in information science, computer science, or management information systems during college. Some analysts studied different majors while in college and begin their careers after completing some computer classes and obtaining work experience.
Some analysts also obtain an MBA. This enables them to better determine what type of systems companies need.
Analysts must have knowledge about system design, math, and computers. They must understand math to resolve issues and determine power requirements for different systems.
Computer systems analysts should also possess logical reasoning skills.
Analysts need good verbal and written communication skills, so they provide instructions and explain system details.
How much will I earn?
During 2008, salaries for these professionals in the 50th percentile were between $54,320-87,600 annually. Those with salaries in the lower 10th percentile made $42,780 or less while those in the upper 10th percentile made $106,820 or more annually.
How many jobs are there?
During 2008, 504,000 computer systems analysts were employed. Many were employed at computer consulting firms. Nearly 29,000 ran their own businesses. They often travel to different locations while designing computer systems.
Analysts were also employed by government agencies, banks, hospitals, and colleges and universities.
What is the future outlook for this career?
Job growth for computer systems analysts is projected to increase quicker than average growth in other industries through 2016.
Those with formal training should have many job opportunities. Those who majored in business during college and completed computer courses should also have opportunities in the industry.
Job growth is projected since more companies utilize computers, and they are concerned about network safety. New wireless and web technologies should create job opportunities since people will need to be taught how to utilize these technologies.
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