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Become A Senior Programmer Analyst

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Working As A Senior Programmer Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 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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Senior Programmer Analyst jobs

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Senior Programmer Analyst Career Paths

Senior Programmer Analyst
Software Developer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Functional Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Network Administrator Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior .NET Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 5.4 years
Systems Programmer 5.2 years
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Senior Programmer 3.4 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Lead Programmer 3.1 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Software Designer 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Lead Data Analyst 2.7 years
Interface Analyst 2.7 years
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Application Lead 2.6 years
Programmer 2.6 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Staff Consultant 2.5 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Contract Developer 2.3 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 10.2%
Consultant 6.3%
Developer 1.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 10.2%
Developer 2.3%

Senior Programmer Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

73.1%

Female

24.1%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

72.6%

Asian

15.8%

Hispanic or Latino

7.9%

Unknown

2.8%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.7%

French

9.6%

Russian

8.2%

German

6.2%

Hindi

4.1%

Carrier

4.1%

Italian

3.4%

Chinese

3.4%

Cantonese

2.7%

Swedish

2.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Mandarin

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Dutch

1.4%

Sanskrit

1.4%

Ukrainian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%
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Senior Programmer Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.7%

New York University

6.9%

DePaul University

5.4%

More Tech Institute

5.2%

Northeastern University

5.2%

Villanova University

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

George Washington University

4.8%

University of Houston

4.7%

Northern Illinois University

4.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.4%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.3%

Pace University - New York

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.8%

University of South Florida

3.8%

Temple University

3.7%

Wayne State University

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%

Strayer University

3.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

33.3%

Business

13.5%

Computer Information Systems

9.1%

Computer Programming

5.1%

Management Information Systems

4.0%

Information Technology

3.9%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Information Systems

3.6%

Mathematics

3.5%

Computer Engineering

3.4%

Computer Applications

2.7%

Project Management

2.4%

Accounting

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Engineering

1.8%

Finance

1.7%

Education

1.2%

Data Processing

1.2%

Economics

1.0%

Computer Technical Support

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.6%

Masters

23.8%

Other

14.1%

Associate

8.0%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

1.4%

License

0.0%
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Real Senior Programmer Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sr.Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 01, 2015 $165,000
Senior Programmer Analyst Infogen Software Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 13, 2017 $130,333 -
$131,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 15, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 24, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 13, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 18, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 20, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 09, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 17, 2016 $127,379
SR. Programmer Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 28, 2016 $127,379
Sr.Programmer Analyst North Dome Solutions Ashburn, VA Nov 01, 2016 $125,757
Senior Programmer Analyst Infogen Software Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 01, 2016 $107,702 -
$108,000
SR. Programmer Analyst GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 06, 2017 $100,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Experis Us, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 25, 2017 $99,466 -
$146,090
SR. Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Senior Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 03, 2016 $95,000
SR. Programmer Analyst-(Systems Engineer Windycity Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 11, 2017 $90,000
Senior Programmer Analyst Kforce Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2014 $87,654 -
$146,090
Senior Programmer Analyst Kforce Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 29, 2016 $85,567 -
$146,090
Senior Programmer Analyst Kforce Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2017 $85,567 -
$146,090
Programmer Analyst (Senior Business Analyst) Asta CRS, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 10, 2012 $84,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 09, 2016 $80,000
SR. Programmer Analyst GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 09, 2016 $80,000
Senior Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 30, 2016 $80,000
Sr.Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 03, 2016 $78,000
SR. Programmer Analyst GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 03, 2016 $72,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Delviom LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 20, 2017 $70,803
SR. Programmer Analyst Delviom LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 11, 2017 $70,803
SR. Programmer Analyst Delviom LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2017 $70,803
SR. Programmer/Analyst Infinite Computer Solutions Ashburn, VA Mar 16, 2011 $70,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Anira Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2015 $70,000
SR. Programmer Analyst HCL Global Systems Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2013 $67,577
SR. Programmer Analyst Infogen Software Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 19, 2016 $66,000
SR. Programmer Analyst Infogen Software Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 22, 2016 $66,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Programmer Analyst

Pl/SqlDataWarehouseProceduresDB2WebServicesIBMMainframeCicsJCLWindowsNTSQLServerFinancialUnixVsamASPXMLEDIC#.NETManagementSystemHtmlJavascript

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Top Senior Programmer Analyst Skills

  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Data Warehouse
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed Oracle DB queries based on business requirements that were used as starting points for production PL/SQL code.
  • Created a data warehouse and a process to archive historic production data.
  • Conducted tests to determine whether equipment, software and procedures were operating as expected.
  • Project was developed on the mainframe utilizing DB2 and COBOL, with an intranet front ends.
  • Developed and maintained java web services applications in Facets.

Top Senior Programmer Analyst Employers