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System Analyst

A System Analyst
· Investigates the requirements of a business or organization, its employees, and its customers in order to plan and implement new or improved computer services.
· This job requires the ability to identify problems and research technical solutions.
· Good communications skills are essential for interacting with managers and other employees.

· What Is This Job Like?
· How Do You Get Ready?
· How Much Does This Job Pay?
· How Many Jobs Are There?
· What About The Future?

The information below is retrieved from

What Is This Job Like?

These workers figure out how to use computers to get things done. They tell businesses and other organizations which computers and software to buy, and they decide how to get those tools to work together.

Computer systems analysts start their work by asking people what they need their computers to do. Then, they plan a computer system that can do those tasks well. A system can include many computers working together and different types of software and tools.

After analysts understand what the system needs to do, they break down the task into small steps. They draw diagrams and charts to show how information will get into the computers, how that information will be processed, and how it will get to the people who need it. For example, analysts might decide how sales information will get into a store's computers and how the computer will add up the information in a way that makes it useful for store managers.

Analysts experiment with different computer system plans. They try various tools and steps until they find the system that is fastest, easiest, and costs less.

Next, analysts decide which computers, software, and tools to buy. They also tell computer programmers how to make any new software that is needed. They give the programmers step-by-step instructions. Some analysts help make the software, too.

The main job for some systems analysts is getting computers to work together. They connect them into a network. Analysts decide how to get information from one computer to another. Many help people get data from the Internet.

After planning a system, analysts test it to make sure it works. They check to make sure that information is processed quickly and without mistakes. They also watch to see if the system is easy to use. Often, they have to change their plans to make the systems better.

Computer systems analysts work in offices or computer labs. Some work from home. Working at the computer for a long time can give these workers eye, back, or wrist problems.

Sometimes, these workers work long hours to get a project done on time.

Analysts usually work as part of a team.

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How Do You Get Ready?

Many computer systems analysts have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems. Some analysts get college degrees in other subjects. Then, they take computer classes and get computer experience.

Some analysts also have a master's degree in business. This helps them to understand the types of computers that businesses need.

Analysts need to understand computers, math, and planning. They need to know math so that they can solve problems and figure out how much computer power different systems would use.

Logical thinking skills are also important.

Analysts need good speaking and writing skills, too, so that they can explain their systems and give good instructions.

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How Much Does This Job Pay?

In 2004, the middle half of these workers earned between $52,400 and $82,980. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $41,730. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $99,180.

Median Salary by City - Job: Computer Systems Analyst (United States)
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Median Salary by Employer Type - Job: Computer Systems Analyst (United States)
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Median Salary by State or Province - Job: Computer Systems Analyst (United States)
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How Many Jobs Are There?

In 2004, there were 487,000 computer systems analysts. Many worked for computer consulting companies. About 28,000 were self-employed. They often moved from place to place working on different projects.

Analysts also worked for governments, universities, Internet companies, and financial institutions.

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What About The Future?

The number of computer systems analysts is expected to grow much faster than average between 2004 and 2014.

People with proper training should have good job prospects. Those who have college degrees in business and courses related to computers also should be able to find jobs in this field.

New jobs are expected as more businesses try to use computers well. New Internet and wireless technologies are also expected to create more jobs because people will need to learn how to use these tools.

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