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Become A Business Analyst/Programmer

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Working As A Business Analyst/Programmer

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

  • Repetitive

  • $73,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Business Analyst/Programmer 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 A Business Analyst/Programmer

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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Business Analyst/Programmer Career Paths

Business Analyst/Programmer
Business Analyst Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst/Project Manager Consultant/Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst/Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst-Consultant Project Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst-Consultant Senior Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst-Consultant Project Leader Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Test Engineer Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Business Analyst/Programmer
Programmer 8.7%
Consultant 6.3%
Top Careers After Business Analyst/Programmer
Consultant 7.5%

Do you work as a Business Analyst/Programmer?

Business Analyst/Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

57.0%

Female

33.9%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.3%

Asian

14.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.3%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Portuguese

12.5%

Arabic

12.5%

Italian

12.5%

Russian

6.3%

Urdu

6.3%
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Business Analyst/Programmer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.3%

University of Washington

6.4%

Pace University - New York

5.5%

Villanova University

5.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.6%

Northwestern University

4.6%

Ohio State University

4.6%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.6%

University of Houston

4.6%

New York University

3.7%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.7%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.7%

Oakland University

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

22.5%

Business

19.1%

Computer Information Systems

8.8%

Management Information Systems

6.1%

Information Systems

5.4%

Finance

4.0%

Information Technology

4.0%

Computer Programming

3.3%

Project Management

3.3%

Computer Engineering

3.3%

Accounting

3.3%

Management

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Mathematics

2.6%

Economics

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.7%

Education

1.4%

Data Processing

1.4%

Industrial Engineering

1.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.8%

Masters

28.8%

Other

14.7%

Associate

5.8%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
RCM Technologies
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Business Analyst/Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Business Analyst/Programmer in the United States is $74,018 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $57,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $94,000.

Real Business Analyst/Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Business/Programmer Analyst Rithtech Software Services LLC Canonsburg, PA Dec 18, 2013 $120,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Rithtech Software Services LLC Fairfield, CA Apr 24, 2013 $120,000
Programmer/Business Analyst Ariston TEK, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 18, 2015 $116,813
Programmer Analyst/Business Analyst Ariston TEK, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Aug 31, 2015 $116,813
Programmer Analyst/Business Analyst Ariston TEK, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jul 31, 2015 $116,813
Programmer/Business Analyst Ariston TEK, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 17, 2015 $116,813
Business/Programmer Analyst Stellium Inc. Jackson, MI Aug 24, 2015 $115,000
Business Analyst/Sql Programmer Upclear, Inc. New York, NY Jan 11, 2016 $108,000
Business Programmer Analyst III Science Applications International Corporation Owings Mills, MD Mar 23, 2015 $106,832
Business Programmer/Analyst YASH & Lujan Consulting, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 04, 2013 $101,400
Business Analyst/Programmer Analyst Nanoesoft Inc. Albany, NY Mar 17, 2014 $100,000
Business Programmer Analyst Rithtech Software Services LLC Farmington Hills, MI Aug 03, 2015 $100,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Shoolin Inc. [FKA Irisgs Inc.] Detroit, MI Sep 17, 2014 $80,000
Programmer Analyst/Business Analyst On Demand Agility Solutions, Inc. Harrisburg, PA Jan 08, 2016 $80,000
Business Applications Analyst/Programmer Analyst Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA Sep 24, 2016 $79,789 -
$92,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Rithtech Software Services LLC Farmington Hills, MI Jul 01, 2013 $79,000
Business Programmer Analyst Revere Info Tech, Inc. Shrewsbury, MA Jan 04, 2016 $76,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Novi It Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 01, 2014 $76,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Reva Consulting Inc. Bloomington, IL Oct 01, 2015 $66,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Reva Consulting Inc. Bloomington, IL Nov 19, 2014 $66,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Reva Consulting Inc. Detroit, MI Dec 19, 2016 $66,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Reva Consulting Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Sep 01, 2014 $66,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Reva Consulting, Inc. Farmington, MI Oct 20, 2016 $65,811
Business/Programmer Analyst Tisco Group Inc. Northville, MI Aug 26, 2016 $65,500
Business/Programmer Analyst Shoolin Inc. [FKA Irisgs Inc.] Kings Mountain, NC Feb 14, 2016 $65,000
Business/Programmer Analyst Shoolin Inc. Dublin, CA Aug 01, 2014 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Business Analyst/Programmer

  1. SQL
  2. Database
  3. Business Requirements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Use MS-SQL (T-SQL) to extract/import data for data manipulation to be used by our Engineering Dept..
  • Manage relational databases interfacing with business applications, gather requirements and design documentation for business reporting (BI) metrics.
  • Communicate with end user to develop understanding of customer business requirements and to determine functional needs and system requirements.
  • Developed procedures for handling complaints as well as an effective escalation process to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Created test plans and test cases and ran integration tests to verify that the system conformed to user requirements.

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Top 10 Best States for Business Analyst/Programmers

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Delaware
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. New York
  6. North Carolina
  7. Minnesota
  8. Connecticut
  9. New Jersey
  10. Colorado
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