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Become A Computer Programmer Analyst

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Working As A Computer Programmer Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Programmer 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 A Computer Programmer 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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Computer Programmer Analyst Career Paths

Computer Programmer Analyst
Programmer Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Senior Systems Analyst Application Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Business Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Consultant Consultant/Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Computer Systems Analyst Network Administrator Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Computer Programmer Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 4.7 years
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Computer Programmer Analyst
Programmer 5.4%
Consultant 3.0%
Internship 2.5%
Top Careers After Computer Programmer Analyst
Consultant 6.2%
Programmer 4.1%
Owner 3.5%

Do you work as a Computer Programmer Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$70,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$54,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Data
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
5.9 years
How much does a Computer Programmer Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Computer Programmer Analyst in the United States is $70,265 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $89,000.

Real Computer Programmer Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 20, 2018 $135,491
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 25, 2018 $135,491
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 28, 2018 $135,491
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 22, 2018 $135,491
Computer Programmer Analyst Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 02, 2013 $86,900
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 11, 2017 $82,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2018 $82,000
Computer Programmer Analyst (Oracle Developer) Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 05, 2014 $78,000
Computer Programmer Analyst Milky-IWAY Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 08, 2016 $70,000
Computer Programmer Analyst It Trailblazers, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2011 $70,000
Computer Programmmer Analyst Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 21, 2012 $70,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 11, 2015 $70,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2017 $67,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2017 $67,000
Computer Programmer Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 31, 2016 $67,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 02, 2016 $65,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 03, 2016 $65,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2016 $65,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 18, 2016 $65,000
Computer Programmer Analyst Multivision Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2011 $62,067
Computer Programmer Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 15, 2015 $61,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 15, 2015 $61,000
Computer Programmer Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2015 $61,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst Vena Portae Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA May 20, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 30, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA May 25, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 11, 2015 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2014 $60,000
Computer Programmer Analyst Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Feb 04, 2014 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst Vena Portae Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 22, 2014 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst Vena Portae Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 29, 2013 $60,000
Computer Programmer Analyst HRK Solutions LLC Ashburn, VA May 02, 2012 $60,000
Computer Programmer/Analyst Gtras, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2009 $60,000 -
$71,000
Computer Programmer Analyst Navitas Business Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 14, 2009 $56,700
Computer Programmer/Analyst Excelacom Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 12, 2010 $56,680
Computer Programmer/Technical Analyst Excelacom Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 12, 2010 $56,680
Computer Programmer Analyst It Trailblazers, LLC Ashburn, VA May 11, 2011 $55,432
Computer Programmer Analyst Navitas Business Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 12, 2011 $54,600

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Top Skills for A Computer Programmer Analyst

  1. Cobol
  2. Database
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed, developed, and confirmed new COBOL and COGNOS Powerhouse 4GL program specifications and supported internal and external users.
  • Provide end-user training, assistance and documentation in geographic database use.
  • Produced auditing and verification reports using SQL PLUS, and PL/SQL from background ORACLE tables in a relational database structure.
  • Developed/Updated/Enhanced reports using SQL Reports and IBM mainframe/Microsoft reporting tools and crystal reports against numerous complex databases.
  • Converted project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language.

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Top 10 Best States for Computer Programmer Analysts

  1. Colorado
  2. North Carolina
  3. New Jersey
  4. Arkansas
  5. Louisiana
  6. Delaware
  7. Connecticut
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Utah
  10. Rhode Island
  • (467 jobs)
  • (747 jobs)
  • (815 jobs)
  • (106 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (314 jobs)
  • (755 jobs)
  • (190 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)

Computer Programmer Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

58.4%

Female

32.9%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.5%

French

15.8%

German

10.5%

Portuguese

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Italian

5.3%

Swedish

2.6%

Dutch

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

Occidental

2.6%

Greek

2.6%

Dakota

2.6%

Polish

2.6%
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Computer Programmer Analyst Education

Schools

Florida State University

17.8%

University of Phoenix

11.5%

University of Maryland - University College

5.2%

New York University

4.7%

George Washington University

4.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

George Mason University

4.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.2%

Community College of the Air Force

4.2%

Northeastern University

4.2%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

University of the District of Columbia

3.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.1%

State University of New York Albany

3.1%

Florida International University

3.1%

Strayer University

3.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.1%

Capella University

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

27.6%

Business

16.2%

Computer Information Systems

10.5%

Computer Programming

8.3%

Information Technology

5.5%

Management Information Systems

4.4%

Mathematics

3.8%

Information Systems

3.6%

Management

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.4%

Accounting

2.4%

Education

1.8%

Electrical Engineering

1.7%

Elementary Education

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Finance

1.5%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Nursing

1.2%

Data Processing

1.2%

Information Sciences

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.2%

Masters

21.2%

Other

16.0%

Associate

12.6%

Certificate

5.1%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.1%
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