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Become An Information Systems Consultant

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Working As An Information Systems Consultant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Systems Consultant 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 Consultant

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 Consultant jobs

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Information Systems Consultant Career Paths

Information Systems Consultant
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Manager Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Associate Director Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Programmer 5.2 years
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Systems Developer 3.4 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Systems Integrator 3.2 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Staff Consultant 2.5 years
Consultant 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 5.9%
Programmer 5.5%
Top Employers After
Consultant 12.5%

Information Systems Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

71.7%

Female

25.3%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

74.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

4.1%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.8%

French

11.1%

Portuguese

6.7%

Hungarian

4.4%

Greek

4.4%

German

4.4%

Czech

4.4%

Carrier

4.4%

Mandarin

4.4%

Italian

4.4%

Chinese

2.2%

Hebrew

2.2%

Dutch

2.2%

Braille

2.2%

Cheyenne

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%
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Information Systems Consultant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

Pennsylvania State University

7.4%

Old Dominion University

7.4%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

6.5%

University of California - Berkeley

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.6%

University of Akron

4.6%

New York University

4.6%

Howard University

4.6%

University of Connecticut

4.6%

University of Houston

4.6%

Clark University

4.6%

Drexel University

4.6%

George Washington University

3.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

James Madison University

3.7%

University of Central Florida

3.7%
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Majors

Business

23.1%

Computer Science

14.5%

Computer Information Systems

11.2%

Accounting

6.2%

Management Information Systems

4.8%

Information Technology

4.8%

Information Systems

4.8%

Project Management

3.7%

Finance

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Computer Programming

2.9%

Management

2.7%

Education

2.3%

Political Science

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

1.9%

Economics

1.7%

Computer Engineering

1.7%

Mathematics

1.7%

Communication

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.3%

Masters

28.7%

Other

14.4%

Associate

4.7%

Certificate

3.3%

Doctorate

2.9%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.1%
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Real Information Systems Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Information Systems (IS) Senior Consultant Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel, LLC Lawrenceville, GA Jul 14, 2016 $115,000
Information Systems (IS) Senior Consultant Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel, LLC Lawrenceville, GA Jul 14, 2016 $108,962
Information Systems-Consultant, Project Management Artech Information Systems LLC OFallon, MO Apr 13, 2015 $105,000
Information Systems (IS) Senior Consultant Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel, LLC Lawrenceville, GA Jul 15, 2013 $101,760
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Tampa, FL Dec 10, 2012 $97,600 -
$130,000
Information Systems Consultant Netcom Information Technology New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $97,240
Information Systems Consultant Netcom Information Techonology, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $97,240
Information Systems Consultant Netcom Information Technology, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $97,240
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Apr 27, 2013 $96,800 -
$129,000
Clarity Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Dec 01, 2011 $95,900 -
$127,800
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Jul 15, 2011 $95,900 -
$127,800
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Bloomfield, CT Oct 30, 2009 $93,500 -
$113,600
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Bloomfield, CT Feb 21, 2010 $93,500 -
$113,600
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Bloomfield, CT Dec 24, 2009 $93,122 -
$113,600
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Wilmington, DE Oct 08, 2012 $91,000 -
$121,000
Information Systems Consultant, ERP Mellen, Smith & Pivoz PLC Bingham Farms, MI Mar 19, 2015 $90,854
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Feb 17, 2010 $90,000 -
$113,000
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Dec 08, 2009 $84,000 -
$113,600
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Greenville, SC May 11, 2013 $83,762 -
$107,400
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Greenville, SC May 11, 2012 $82,930 -
$105,200
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Greenville, SC Dec 02, 2013 $81,411 -
$107,400
Information Systems Consultant Metlife Group, Inc. Greenville, SC Mar 03, 2010 $80,400 -
$108,800
Information Systems Consultant (Systems Analyst) Metlife Group, Inc. Somerset, NJ Sep 25, 2010 $76,000 -
$97,000
Customer Information Controls Systems Programming Consultant Vedicsoft Solutions LLC Baltimore, MD Jun 29, 2015 $74,381
Information System Consultant Zap Courier & Messenger Services, Inc. Miami, FL Jun 23, 2009 $74,005
Computer Information Systems Consultant E-Bcorp Us LLC West Chester, PA Feb 06, 2008 $65,000

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Top Skills for An Information Systems Consultant

InformationSystemsDataWarehouseHardwareFinancialCobolIISQLServerWebPCDB2ProjectManagementRemoteMainframeCicsBusinessProcessTechnicalSupportUnixManagementSystemDisasterSetupInternet

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Top Information Systems Consultant Skills

  1. Information Systems
  2. Data Warehouse
  3. Hardware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Audited usage levels of information systems after implementation in pursuit of quality assurance and maximum efficiency of use.
  • Managed loading and delivery of data warehouse daily updates.
  • Maintain the ability to communicate and have knowledge of the entire Enterprise Command Center environments including hardware and software products.
  • Functioned on behalf of the Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Finance on all information technology projects and initiatives.
  • Designed, developed and implemented Cobol II and CICS programs with DB2 Databases for a Canteen Cash System.

Top Information Systems Consultant Employers

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