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How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

7/14/2013 11:29 am

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Earning an IT degree presents such a wide variety of career options, it can be difficult to know which one to pursue. While your choice will depend a great deal on the skills you have and the work environment you prefer, chances are no matter what decision you make, there will be a positive job outlook. One thriving IT-career is that of a computer systems analyst, which is relied upon heavily in the business world.

What is a computer systems analyst?
Computer systems analysts are responsible for determining how a business' computer system is serving the needs of the company, and what can be done to make those systems and procedures more effective. They work closely with managers to determine what system upgrades are financially feasible and what technologies are available that could increase the company's efficiency. Computer systems analysts may also design and develop new systems, train users and configure hardware and software as necessary. The type of system that analysts work with will largely depend upon the needs of their employer.

What certifications do I need?
Becoming a computer systems analyst does not require any particular certification, although you will need to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in information technology. Because this career is so intertwined with business, taking some courses related to the field may also be helpful. Computer systems analysts need to constantly keep themselves up-to-date on the latest innovations in technology, and can earn credentials from the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals to set themselves apart from their peers.

Should I have experience?
Having experience is always helpful when trying to secure a job. While earning an IT degree will give you important training, applying your skills on the job through an internship or other employment will look great on your resume and could lead to career opportunities.

What is the job outlook like?
The job outlook for computer systems analysts is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to grow faster than average between 2010 and 2020. On average, computer systems analysts earn approximately $83,000 per year or $40 per hour.


Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. Find out more about WGU's Degree Progams in IT

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