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Become A Requirements Analyst

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Working As A Requirements Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $101,780

    Average Salary

What Does A Requirements 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 Requirements 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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Requirements Analyst Jobs

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Requirements Analyst Career Paths

Requirements Analyst
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Business Analyst Senior Consultant Director Of Information
Director, Applications
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Business Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Business Requirements Analyst Senior Business Analyst Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Business Analyst 2.9 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 5.7%
Analyst 4.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.6%
Analyst 4.4%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as a Requirements Analyst?

Requirements Analyst Demographics

Gender

Female

49.0%

Male

48.2%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

52.5%

Asian

14.0%

Black or African American

13.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Unknown

6.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.8%

Japanese

11.1%

Hindi

11.1%

Chinese

5.6%

German

5.6%

French

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Bengali

5.6%

Tagalog

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Polish

5.6%

Italian

5.6%
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Requirements Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.8%

Strayer University

10.1%

George Washington University

8.1%

University of Maryland - University College

7.4%

George Mason University

7.4%

Johns Hopkins University

5.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.4%

Georgetown University

4.0%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.0%

University of Central Florida

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

Troy University

3.4%

Saint Leo University

3.4%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.4%

Defense Acquisition University

3.4%

Syracuse University

2.7%

Texas A&M University

2.7%

Villanova University

2.7%

American University

2.7%

Michigan State University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.1%

Computer Science

13.9%

Information Technology

6.0%

Management

5.5%

Information Systems

4.8%

Computer Information Systems

4.8%

Finance

4.2%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.7%

Project Management

3.2%

English

3.0%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Computer Engineering

2.5%

Human Resources Management

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

Political Science

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

Psychology

2.1%

Economics

1.8%

Communication

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

39.2%

Bachelors

38.0%

Other

13.1%

Certificate

4.3%

Associate

3.0%

Doctorate

1.9%

Diploma

0.5%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Requirements Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Requirements Analyst Vega Consulting Solutions Washington, DC Sep 30, 2013 $123,133
Product Requirements Analyst Guidewire Software, Inc. Foster City, CA Feb 25, 2016 $121,997
Requirements Analyst, Lead Processing and Lead Management General Motors Company Detroit, MI Jul 12, 2016 $119,583
Requirements Analyst Integrated Resources, Inc. Washington, DC Mar 14, 2016 $113,950
Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Mar 22, 2016 $104,350
Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Jun 14, 2016 $102,263
Solutions/Requirement Analyst Populus Group LLC Columbus, OH Dec 30, 2016 $99,133
Solution/Requirement Analyst Populus Group LLC Columbus, OH Nov 23, 2015 $99,133
Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Dec 20, 2016 $98,089
Lead Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Aug 18, 2016 $93,915
Lead Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Feb 23, 2016 $93,915
Full Requirements Analyst Nextera Energy Power Marketing, LLC Juno Beach, FL Apr 25, 2016 $85,000
Requirements Analyst Global Systems LLC Vienna, VA Jan 10, 2016 $84,000
Requirements Analyst Lead Populus Group LLC Dublin, OH Jul 11, 2016 $83,480
Requirements Analyst Lead Populus Group LLC Dublin, OH Jun 12, 2016 $83,480
Requirements Analyst Lead Populus Group LLC Columbus, OH Jul 11, 2016 $83,480
Requirements Analyst II Healthnow New York Inc. Buffalo, NY Nov 03, 2014 $82,100 -
$90,000
Requirement Analyst Quality Software Services, Inc. Columbia, MD Aug 24, 2013 $77,000
Lead Requirements Analyst Dedicated Technologies Inc. Columbus, OH Jul 01, 2016 $77,000 -
$110,000
Requirements Analyst Populus Group LLC Dublin, OH Dec 31, 2016 $75,132
Requirements Analyst Fast Switch Ltd Columbus, OH Nov 21, 2014 $75,132
Requirements Analyst Bae Systems Information Solutions Washington, DC Jan 10, 2015 $75,005
Requirements Analyst Bae Systems Information Solutions Washington, DC Oct 01, 2015 $75,005
Requirements Analyst USM Business Systems, Inc. Washington, DC Jan 25, 2016 $75,000
Requirements Analyst Unicon International, Inc. Columbus, OH Sep 09, 2015 $75,000 -
$85,000

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Top Skills for A Requirements Analyst

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  1. Business Requirements
  2. Test Plans
  3. Process Improvement
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Converted Business Requirements into Functional Requirements Specification.
  • Developed Verification/Validation test plans/test reports for Remote Diagnostics software on instruments and conducted V and V testing on Medical Devices.
  • Liaised across multiple stakeholders to formulate, recommend, and implement business process improvements that supported achievement of organizational objectives.
  • Led requirements elicitation for an implementation of a data warehouse within the organization.
  • Worked closely with Technical Teams to ensure application development was in accordance with agency specific requirements.

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Top Requirements Analyst Employers

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