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Become An Applications Systems Analyst

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Working As An Applications Systems Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $80,018

    Average Salary

What Does An Applications Systems Analyst Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become An Applications Systems Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Applications Systems Analyst jobs

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Applications Systems Analyst Career Paths

Applications Systems Analyst
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Chief Technology Officer
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Associate Director Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Adjunct Faculty Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Consultant Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Manager Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Analyst 3.8 years
Systems Developer 3.4 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Systems Integrator 3.2 years
EDI Analyst 3.1 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Interface Analyst 2.7 years
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Functional Analyst 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 5.4%
Internship 4.2%
Programmer 3.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.3%

Applications Systems Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

57.2%

Female

39.6%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

76.6%

Asian

10.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.3%

Unknown

3.2%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8%

Chinese

10.5%

French

10.5%

Mandarin

10.5%

German

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Carrier

5.3%

Bengali

5.3%

Tagalog

5.3%

Cantonese

5.3%
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Applications Systems Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.2%

University of Houston

9.6%

University of Maryland - University College

5.3%

Strayer University

5.3%

University of Arizona

5.3%

East Tennessee State University

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.4%

Portland State University

4.4%

DePaul University

4.4%

University of Kansas

4.4%

Saint Louis University-

3.5%

Northern Arizona University

3.5%

Webster University

3.5%

West Virginia University

3.5%

Old Dominion University

3.5%

Western Governors University

3.5%

Northeastern University

3.5%

Syracuse University

2.6%

Bucknell University

2.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

2.6%
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Majors

Business

20.7%

Computer Science

18.3%

Computer Information Systems

13.3%

Information Technology

8.2%

Information Systems

5.2%

Management Information Systems

3.6%

Management

3.0%

Nursing

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Project Management

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.4%

Finance

2.4%

Mathematics

2.4%

Accounting

2.2%

Communication

1.8%

Computer Networking

1.8%

Education

1.6%

Economics

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.8%

Masters

22.9%

Other

14.8%

Associate

8.4%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

1.7%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Applications Systems Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Applications Systems Analyst SP Technologies LLC Washington, DC Dec 11, 2016 $127,000
Capital Markets Application Systems Analyst Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Charlotte, NC Mar 21, 2016 $125,000
Applications Systems Analyst Regions Bank Birmingham, AL Jul 13, 2016 $125,000
Applications Systems Analyst Dynanet Corporation Arlington, VA Nov 21, 2016 $125,000
Principal Application Systems Analyst Iron Bow Technologies, LLC Chantilly, VA Aug 23, 2016 $124,402
Principal Application System Analyst Iron Bow Technologies, LLC Chantilly, VA Nov 14, 2015 $121,369
Master Application System Analyst ECCO Select Kansas City, MO Jan 05, 2016 $120,640
Systems Analyst, Credit Application Management Barclays Services Corp. New York, NY Oct 31, 2015 $115,000
Principal Application Systems Analyst Iron Bow Technologies, LLC Chantilly, VA Jul 06, 2015 $115,000
Applications System Analyst II/Tibco Administrator Adecco Group Na/Modis, Inc. Baltimore, MD Aug 02, 2016 $114,722 -
$128,351
IT Applications Systems Analyst/Programmer Specialist Henry Ford Health System Detroit, MI Aug 18, 2016 $110,160
Systems Analyst, Master Data Management Application AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company Syracuse, NY Sep 16, 2016 $109,846
System Analyst, Oracle Applications Jade Global Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 03, 2016 $109,762
Application System Programmer/Analyst Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management Los Angeles, CA Aug 18, 2015 $107,973
Applications Systems Analyst-Consultant Bluecross Blueshield of Tennessee Chattanooga, TN Nov 27, 2015 $89,877 -
$118,968
Interactive Applications System Analyst State Street Bank and Trust Company Boston, MA Jun 16, 2016 $89,500 -
$104,000
Application Systems Analyst Five 9 Group, Inc. Suitland, MD Nov 03, 2016 $88,878 -
$96,500
Systems Analyst/Application Analyst TFS Group, Inc. Vienna, VA Oct 16, 2016 $88,000
Applications Systems Programmer/Analyst Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Kansas City, MO Jun 15, 2016 $87,649
Systems & Application Analyst Stein, Sperling, Bennett, de Jong, Driscoll, Et.Al Rockville, MD Mar 02, 2016 $87,235
Application Systems Analyst Adaequare Inc. Alexandria, VA Jun 08, 2015 $87,194
Interactive Applications System Analyst State Street Bank and Trust Company Boston, MA Jan 09, 2016 $87,000 -
$97,000
Systems Analyst In Oracle Applications Denken Solutions, Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 08, 2016 $75,132
Systems Analyst In Oracle Applications Denken Solutions, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 09, 2016 $75,132
Applications Systems Analyst/Programmer/Specialist Pyramid Technology Solutions, Inc. Indianapolis, IN May 20, 2015 $75,130
Systems Analyst, Business Applications YUME, Inc. Redwood City, CA Apr 09, 2016 $75,000
Enterprise Applications Systems Analyst Verinon Technology Solutions Ltd. Arlington Heights, IL Nov 28, 2016 $75,000
Enterprise Applications Systems Analyst Verinon Technology Solutions Ltd. Round Rock, TX Nov 28, 2016 $75,000
IT Applications System Analyst Programmer Henry Ford Health System Southfield, MI Jul 13, 2015 $75,000

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Top Skills for An Applications Systems Analyst

Pl/SqlDataAnalysisProceduresWebApplicationsWindowsXPSQLServerFinancialProductionIssuesTroubleshootUnixManagementSystemProjectManagementBusinessProcessesSetupGo-LiveERPSharepointBusinessRequirementsApplicationSupportTechnicalSupport

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Top Applications Systems Analyst Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create and modify PL/SQL tables, indexes, stored procedures, functions, sequences and database triggers.
  • Performed data analysis of the gathered information to propose application enhancements to increase system efficiency and productivity.
  • Assessed ISO 9000-3 standards and implemented Quality Control procedures for ISO 9000-3 certification for the organization.
  • Design posters, brochures, icons, fliers and web advertisements for statewide grant funded web applications.
  • Worked with Windows NT 4.0 Server and Windows 2003 on robotic equipment, Windows XP and NT on workstations.

Top Applications Systems Analyst Employers