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Become A Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 4.7 years
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst
Programmer 5.2%
Consultant 4.1%
Top Careers After Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst
Consultant 9.8%
Manager 4.3%
Engineer 3.1%

Do you work as a Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$77,000
Show Salaries
$60,000
Min 10%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Atlas Air
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
5.5 years
How much does a Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst in the United States is $77,778 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $60,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $99,000.

Real Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Laksan Technologies LLC San Ramon, CA Mar 02, 2015 $146,090
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 05, 2016 $142,376
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems Inc. Santa Clara, CA May 27, 2015 $135,000
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY Apr 25, 2016 $130,666
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY Jun 13, 2016 $130,666
SR Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY May 19, 2016 $130,666
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY May 20, 2016 $130,666
SR Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY Oct 28, 2015 $126,422
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Edison, NJ Oct 05, 2016 $123,490
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jun 24, 2016 $120,349
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Kareo Irvine, CA Oct 15, 2015 $118,082
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Client Network Services, Inc. Lansing, MI Oct 08, 2016 $112,455
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Logic Planet, Inc. Richardson, TX Mar 10, 2016 $111,363
SR Computer Programmer Analyst Tanisha Systems Inc. New York, NY Nov 08, 2016 $108,763
Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst SQA Concepts Inc. Lexington, MA Apr 01, 2015 $75,000
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Droisys, Inc. Lake Alfred, FL Oct 28, 2015 $75,000 -
$108,000
Sr.Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 24, 2015 $74,922 -
$85,000
Sr.Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 24, 2015 $74,922 -
$89,304
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 03, 2015 $74,922 -
$110,000
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Dublin, OH Sep 30, 2015 $74,922 -
$110,000
SR. Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 19, 2015 $74,922 -
$85,150
Senior Computer Programmer\\Analysts Nithya Information Systems Inc. Katy, TX Sep 15, 2016 $66,500
Sr.Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Marlborough, MA Jan 09, 2016 $65,978 -
$95,000
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Plymouth, MN Feb 27, 2015 $65,416 -
$74,800
Senior Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Plymouth, MN Feb 26, 2015 $65,416 -
$748,000
Sr.Computer Programmer Analyst Persistent Systems, Inc. Iselin, NJ Aug 06, 2015 $65,083 -
$79,900

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Top Skills for A Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst

  1. Relational Databases
  2. SQL
  3. Cobol
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide technical and functional support to systems using Crystal Reports, SQL Server and Visual Basic.
  • Maintained and created new software using COBOL, PL1, and EASYTRIEVE for Manufacturing, Finance, and Payroll systems.
  • Designed, wrote, implemented Test Standardization programs and systems on IBM Mainframe and PC computers.
  • Performed extensive assembler maintenance and enhancements to Life-70 Insurance software package, including on-line CICS Macro-level code.
  • Designed, coded, tested, and implemented a variety of financial and customer service application project in an MVS/VSAM/DB2/CICS/COBOL environment.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Computer Programmer/Analysts

  1. New Jersey
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. California
  5. North Carolina
  6. Colorado
  7. Georgia
  8. Maryland
  9. New York
  10. Rhode Island
  • (385 jobs)
  • (663 jobs)
  • (210 jobs)
  • (1,612 jobs)
  • (327 jobs)
  • (255 jobs)
  • (378 jobs)
  • (389 jobs)
  • (550 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)

Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

65.7%

Female

24.1%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Black or African American

11.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.8%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

5.0%
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Senior Computer Programmer/Analyst Education

Schools

Hudson Valley Community College

11.6%

University of Florida

7.0%

State University of New York Albany

7.0%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

Schoolcraft College

4.7%

Western Governors University

4.7%

State University of New York College at Plattsburgh

4.7%

Florida State University

4.7%

Strayer University

4.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.7%

Fitchburg State University

4.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.7%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

Sage College of Albany

4.7%

More Tech Institute

4.7%

Pace University - New York

4.7%

Florida Atlantic University

4.7%

Bluffton University

2.3%

Saint Joseph's University

2.3%

University of the West

2.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

28.1%

Business

17.8%

Computer Information Systems

12.6%

Electrical Engineering

5.9%

Computer Programming

5.2%

Information Technology

4.4%

Accounting

3.0%

Computer Engineering

3.0%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Information Systems

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Psychology

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Political Science

1.5%

Area Studies

1.5%

Computer Systems Security

1.5%

Computer Technical Support

1.5%

Elementary Education

1.5%

Mathematics And Computer Science

1.5%

Journalism

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.9%

Masters

20.7%

Other

11.8%

Associate

9.5%

Certificate

4.1%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

1.2%
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