Computer Systems Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Computer Systems Analyst, or Systems Architect, analyzes a company’s current computer systems and designs upgrades to help the organization function more efficiently. Their duties include understanding the needs of an organization and its IT systems, researching new software and hardware solutions and evaluating the costs and benefits of implementing these new programs.

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Computer Systems Analyst Duties and Responsibilities 

A Computer Systems Analyst often specializes in computer systems specific to the organization they are employed by. They may assist other IT team members in gaining a better understanding on how computer systems can better serve an organization by closely working with business leaders from the company. A Computer Systems Analyst might: 

  • Consult with managers to determine the IT system’s role within an organization.
  • Research new technologies to determine if installing them could increase the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization.
  • Prepare cost and benefits analysis to help management determine if IT systems and upgrades to existing computing infrastructure are financially worthwhile.
  • Devise ways to introduce new functionality to current computer systems.
  • Design and implement new systems by selecting and configuring software and hardware.
  • Oversee the installation and configuring of new systems, customizing them for the organization.
  • Conduct tests to make sure the systems are working as expected.
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instructional manuals.

What Does a Computer Systems Analyst Do? 

Computer Systems Analysts evaluate a company’s current technology programs and implement new systems that enhance the organization’s operations and productivity levels. They carefully research each potential software system’s features to determine its costs and if it provides significant value to the company’s operational processes. Computer Systems Analysts often meet with organization leaders to establish their long-term goals to find existing customized programs geared toward their specific needs. 

Some Computer Systems Analysts perform quality assurance duties of testing and diagnosing the issues with a company’s current computer systems. They may also develop and write code for current software applications targeted toward the organization’s goals and budget.

Computer Systems Analyst Skills and Qualifications

A Computer Systems Analyst calculates how much computer power, memory and storage an organization’s computer systems require. They often work with other team members to resolve issues that may arise after the initial system is set up. Having the following skills and qualifications is helpful: 

  • Analytical skills for interpreting complex information received from several sources, deciding the best way to move forward with a project and anticipating how changes may affect projects 
  • Communication skills for working with the IT department and management, explaining complex issues in ways each will understand
  • Creativity to find innovative solutions to computer issues when necessary

Computer Systems Analyst Salary Expectations 

The average salary a Computer Systems Analyst can expect to make is $78,924 per year. This information is based on 2,692 anonymously submitted salaries along with information collected from Indeed users and past and present Indeed job postings from within the last 36 months. 

Computer Systems Analyst Education and Training Requirements

Usually, a Computer Systems Analyst holds a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field along with coursework in business and management information systems. Sometimes employers look for applicants with master’s degrees in business administration with an information system concentration, or for more technically complex jobs a master’s degree in computer science. Computer Systems Analysts often continue taking classes so they can stay informed on new and innovative technologies. 

Computer Systems Analyst Experience Requirements 

Many times a Computer Systems Analyst is considered a general-purpose analyst, developing new systems or fine-tuning existing ones. However, Computer Systems Analysts can specialize in specific areas. A Software Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst does in-depth testing to diagnose issues on the systems they design. By completing tests and diagnosing issues, they can make sure critical requirements have been met. A QA Analyst also writes reports for management that recommend ways to improve systems. 

A Programmer Analyst designs and updates systems software while creating applications customized to meet the needs of their organization. While there is more coding and debugging associated with a Programmer Analyst Position than other types of analysts, they still work closely with management and other business analysts to decide what the company needs and what applications can be developed to meet those needs. 

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Frequently asked questions about Computer Systems Analysts

 

Do Computer Systems Analysts have different responsibilities in different industries?

Most Computer Systems Analysts hold similar responsibilities of researching and implementing new software systems for a company across all industries. They’re usually expected to have knowledge of the specific computer systems that businesses in their industry often use. 

For example, Computer Analysts who work in the engineering industries must know common engineering software solutions, while those who work for a bank or finance center must understand how different financial systems operate. This helps them provide more accurate software solution recommendations to each organization.

 

What are the different types of Computer Systems Analysts?

There are three common types of Computer Systems Analysts. Many Computer Systems Analysts’ work focuses primarily on locating, recommending and building a budget to implement the best software systems according to that organization’s needs and goals. Quality Assurance Computer Systems Analysts troubleshoot and diagnose any technical issues a companies’ software system is experiencing. Programmer Computer Systems Analysts identify the needs of a business and use coding to add updates to current software systems to help achieve their organizational goals. 

 

What makes a good Computer Systems Analysts?

Strong Computer Systems Analysts have extensive knowledge of and passion for computer systems and information technology as they regularly work with different software systems for hours at a time. They must also have effective critical thinking and problem solving abilities to regularly assist companies in finding new software systems that solve their organizational challenges and increase their efficiencies. 

Computer Systems Analysts regularly meet with a company’s leadership team to determine their wants, needs and goals, so great communication and listening abilities are ideal for most candidates. They also need public speaking abilities to present on new, innovative software recommendations for company leaders to pursue.

 

What's the difference between a Computer Systems Analyst and a Software Developer?

While both positions entail working with software systems, there are some key differences between the two. Computer Systems Analysts often work primarily on improving current systems and finding existing software programs for a company to adapt into their current processes. Software Developers create new programs for companies from scratch that will benefit the organization. They work closely with business leaders to determine their needs and build a software system catered specifically toward them.

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