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Become An Information Systems Analyst

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Working As An Information Systems Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $76,107

    Average Salary

What Does An Information 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 Information 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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Information Systems Analyst jobs

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Information Systems Analyst Career Paths

Information Systems Analyst
Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Engineer Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Network Engineer Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Systems Operator 3.8 years
Systems Developer 3.4 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Integrator 3.2 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Operations Analyst 2.7 years
Consultant 2.4 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.7%
Consultant 3.8%
Analyst 3.3%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.6%

Information Systems Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

64.3%

Female

33.2%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

76.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

2.7%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.5%

French

8.3%

Portuguese

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Swahili

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Swedish

1.2%

Nepali

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

German

1.2%

Tamil

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Armenian

1.2%

Russian

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Lingala

1.2%

Gujarati

1.2%

Thai

1.2%
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Information Systems Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.0%

Strayer University

7.6%

University of Maryland - University College

6.5%

Webster University

4.6%

George Mason University

4.6%

Liberty University

4.6%

Capella University

4.2%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

Sacramento City College

3.8%

Northeastern University

3.8%

The Academy

3.4%

DePaul University

3.4%

Purdue University

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

Bellevue University

3.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.4%

Syracuse University

3.0%

Villanova University

3.0%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.0%

Temple University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

19.4%

Computer Science

13.8%

Computer Information Systems

12.8%

Information Technology

8.4%

Information Systems

6.2%

Management Information Systems

5.9%

Geography

3.6%

Management

3.1%

Finance

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.7%

Computer Networking

2.7%

Project Management

2.6%

Computer Systems Security

2.4%

Accounting

2.4%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Nursing

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Education

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.6%

Masters

25.4%

Other

15.2%

Associate

9.9%

Certificate

4.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
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Internship
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Real Information Systems Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Information Systems Analyst City of Portland Portland, OR Jun 06, 2016 $219,427
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Apr 11, 2016 $159,309
HR Information Systems Analyst Sunpower Corporation Austin, TX Jun 06, 2015 $144,585
Information Systems Analyst, Principal Pacific Gas and Electric Company San Francisco, CA Aug 29, 2016 $144,550
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Nov 17, 2016 $143,917
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Dec 12, 2015 $143,777
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Sep 09, 2015 $143,777
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Saint Petersburg, FL Sep 12, 2015 $143,777
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Bellevue, WA Oct 26, 2015 $140,000
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 24, 2016 $139,725
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 06, 2016 $138,726
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 19, 2015 $137,917
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 29, 2016 $136,000
Information Systems Analyst Powertech America, Inc. West Point, GA Apr 14, 2016 $98,430
R&D Information Systems Analyst III Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Dec 27, 2016 $97,573 -
$113,676
Human Resource Information Systems Analyst Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 26, 2015 $96,962 -
$109,200
Information Systems Analyst Arkansas Department of Education Little Rock, AR Sep 02, 2015 $96,931
Information Systems Analyst KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jun 06, 2016 $96,922
Programmer Analyst/Information Systems Analyst Scalar USA, Inc. Rolling Meadows, IL Mar 27, 2015 $96,013
Information Systems Analyst III John Muir Health Walnut Creek, CA Jul 25, 2016 $95,576 -
$152,922
Information Systems Analyst Net Serpents LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Jul 15, 2016 $95,139
Geographic Information Systems Analyst Laksan Technologies LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 06, 2015 $79,250
Information Systems Analyst Al-Monitor LLC Houston, TX Oct 14, 2015 $79,186
Geographic Information Systems Analyst Laksan Technologies LLC Edison, NJ Sep 03, 2015 $79,102
Management Information Systems Analyst Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Stamford, CT Jul 06, 2015 $79,061 -
$125,000
Management Information Systems Analyst Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Stamford, CT Jan 05, 2015 $79,061 -
$90,000
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Dearborn, MI May 09, 2016 $78,250
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Dearborn, MI Feb 09, 2016 $78,250
Information Systems Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. OFallon, MO Jan 10, 2016 $78,208

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Top Skills for An Information Systems Analyst

ComputerHardwareInformationSystemsDataEntryProceduresWindowsXPCustomerServiceSQLServerWebActiveDirectoryTechnicalSupportTroubleTicketsPCSetupFinancialHRTestPlansGISProjectManagementInternetInformationTechnology

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Top Information Systems Analyst Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Information Systems
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigate, evaluate, and recommend new computer hardware/software and support equipment.
  • Supervised a Geographic Information Systems Analyst Staff.
  • Utilized the HP Quality Center for test script data entry, access and execution.
  • Analyzed customer needs, designed databases, authored supporting documentation and implemented appropriate production procedures.
  • Installed Windows XP workstations and conduct peer training on personal computing hardware and software.

Top Information Systems Analyst Employers