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Become A Software Analyst

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Working As A Software Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software 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 Software 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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Software Analyst jobs

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Software Analyst Career Paths

Software Analyst
Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems 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
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Analyst Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior .NET Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Network Administrator Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Analyst Project Manager Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Systems Developer 3.4 years
Lead Technician 3.3 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Software Architect 3.2 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
EDI Analyst 3.1 years
Software Analyst 3.0 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Automation Analyst 2.7 years
Interface Analyst 2.7 years
Quality Analyst 2.6 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Test Developer 2.2 years
Developer 2.2 years
Test Analyst 2.1 years
Onsite Coordinator 1.9 years
Software Tester 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 6.9%
Consultant 3.9%
Analyst 3.8%
Internship 3.6%
Developer 2.8%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.2%

Software Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

65.6%

Female

32.0%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

67.8%

Asian

18.5%

Hispanic or Latino

8.3%

Unknown

4.3%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.5%

French

9.6%

Chinese

6.8%

Mandarin

5.5%

Italian

5.5%

Russian

4.1%

Portuguese

4.1%

German

4.1%

Cantonese

4.1%

Hindi

4.1%

Korean

4.1%

Japanese

2.7%

Gujarati

2.7%

Polish

2.7%

Irish

1.4%

Estonian

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Navajo

1.4%

Belarusian

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%
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Software Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.4%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

9.2%

University of Alabama

8.7%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.2%

Villanova University

4.6%

University of Maryland - University College

4.6%

Purdue University

4.6%

Athens State University

4.1%

Wichita State University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Syracuse University

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Eastern Michigan University

3.6%

Strayer University

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.6%

George Washington University

3.1%

Kansas State University

3.1%

University of California - Irvine

3.1%

University of Maryland - Baltimore

3.1%

University of Central Florida

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

26.8%

Business

15.0%

Computer Information Systems

7.2%

Information Technology

6.9%

Computer Engineering

6.2%

Electrical Engineering

5.7%

Management Information Systems

4.3%

Finance

3.6%

Information Systems

3.4%

Management

2.8%

Computer Applications

2.4%

Engineering

2.2%

Accounting

2.2%

Mathematics

2.1%

Computer Networking

1.8%

Project Management

1.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Marketing

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.4%

Communication

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.8%

Masters

29.3%

Other

11.8%

Associate

6.5%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.1%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Software Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Analyst Teksystems, Inc. New York, NY Dec 24, 2016 $187,830
Software Analyst Teksystems, Inc. New York, NY Jun 11, 2015 $187,830
Associate, Software Analyst Jpmorgan Chase & Co. NJ Aug 11, 2015 $126,650
Business Software Analyst W. W. Grainger Inc. Lake Forest, IL May 26, 2015 $125,000
Software Analyst & Developer Intentional Software Corporation Bellevue, WA Feb 01, 2015 $125,000
Business Software Analyst Grainger Management LLC Lake Forest, IL May 26, 2015 $125,000
Oracle Software Analyst Miracle Systems LLC Arlington, VA Jan 13, 2016 $124,800
Software Analyst IDC Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Mar 14, 2016 $123,000
Software Analyst IDC Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 04, 2015 $123,000
Software Analyst IDC Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA Oct 19, 2015 $123,000
Software Analyst GCOM Software, Inc. New York, NY Apr 06, 2015 $121,500
Application Software Analyst Globytes Technology Solutions, LLC Shrub Oak, NY Aug 15, 2016 $118,000
Software Analyst IDC Technologies, Inc. Round Rock, TX Feb 23, 2015 $116,480
Software Analyst New England It Associates, Inc. Richardson, TX Aug 11, 2015 $81,952
Software Analyst Target Labs, Incorporated Seattle, WA May 01, 2015 $81,432
Software Analyst Luxoft USA Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 12, 2015 $80,995
Software Analyst Scientia Systems LLC New York, NY May 08, 2015 $80,995
Software Analyst Pyramid Technology Solutions, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 18, 2016 $80,184
Software Analyst Prominent It Solutions LLC Plano, TX Sep 10, 2015 $80,000
Software Analyst ANJI Technologies LLC Plano, TX Jun 17, 2016 $80,000
Software Analyst Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Jan 18, 2015 $69,846 -
$84,480
Software Analyst Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Sep 06, 2015 $69,846 -
$110,900
Software Analyst Target Labs, Incorporated Vienna, VA Jan 20, 2016 $69,638
Software Analyst GNR Systems, Inc. CA Sep 20, 2016 $69,638
Software Analyst II RABA-Kistner Consultants, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 01, 2015 $69,628
Software Analyst Cyient, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Sep 08, 2015 $69,493
Application Software Analyst Tata Consultancy Services Limited Irving, TX Oct 01, 2015 $69,200

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Top Skills for A Software Analyst

SQLServerTestDataWebServicesProceduresWindowsXPTestCasesC#.NETASPUnixXMLHtmlUserInterfaceSoftwareDevelopmentWebApplicationTestScriptsArchitectureTechnicalSupportQABusinessRequirementsManagementSystem

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Top Software Analyst Skills

  1. SQL Server
  2. Test Data
  3. Web Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Used SQL Server Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer to identify corrupted data.
  • Prepared test data as per the test scenarios documented in the test plan.
  • Performed Smoke, GUI, Functional, Integration, Regression, Web services and Database Testing of the application.
  • Write, review, revise, and verify quality standards and test procedures.
  • Created Windows XP ghost images for Dell and IBM computers.

Top Software Analyst Employers

Software Analyst Videos

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