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Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts


Education

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What's Needed:

  • Computer systems analysts often have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, or business administration. Since the field spans business and technology, degrees in other fields are acceptable if they include programming and other computing skills.
  • Some employers will consider an associate degree in combination with work experience.
  • Senior positions may require an MBA or graduate technical degree.
  • Systems analysts advance through continuous technical learning, experience, and deepening of their business knowledge.

What you study:

Study topics include:

  • Systems analysis and design
  • Database management
  • Programming
  • Web technologies
  • Networking technologies
  • Information security
  • Business administration

What courses you'll take

Below are examples of courses that you'll likely take as a student preparing for a career in computer systems analysis.

Course Studies Purpose
Introduction to Computer Systems History, theory and modern structure of the information technology (IT) field; fundamentals of computer hardware, (including components such as hard drives and motherboards) and of software (including operating systems and common programs); terminology and concepts of information science. Introduce core ideas used in information technology professions.
Database Administration Models and principles of database design; data types (ways of classifying data) and data structures (ways of organizing data); planning, implementing and managing databases; using Structured Query Language (SQL); protecting database security. Familiarize students with principles of database design and management.
Network Management and Analysis Design of safe, efficient computer networks; networking protocols, including Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP); network infrastructure (computer components that comprise a network); analyzing and improving the flow of information throughout a network. Ready students to assess and improve network security and efficiency.
Business Information Systems Choosing hardware and software components for corporate information systems; theory, execution and administration of databases and other computer systems that support the management level of a business organization; investigating, testing and maintaining corporate network security. Give understanding of information system issues specific to business environments.
Information Systems Analysis Roles of information technology in requirements management (prioritizing and tracking requirements throughout business projects); creating use cases (lists of steps by which the user and software arrive at specific goals); and other aspects of software models using Unified Modeling Language (UML); system prototyping and development. Prepare students to develop, document and improve large-scale information technology systems.

Video Overview

Quickly highlights what computer system analysts do in their daily work. Slightly out of date but still a helpful summary. Created for the US Department of Labor.


Certifications and Licensing

The value of certification varies by job and industry. Systems analysts in highly technical roles may benefit from technical certification. The IEEE offers the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) and the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) certifications for candidates in software positions. Also, many technology vendors offer product certifications. Analysts in a specific industry, such as finance, should also consider its certifications or licensing programs.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

Most computer systems analysts work a full-time week that may include frequent overtime. Client emergencies or deadlines sometimes require extended hours on short notice.

Work location:

About 25 percent of computer systems analysts work for computer systems design and similar companies. Finance, insurance, and other industries also employ a high number while other analysts are self-employed. Although they usually have offices or telecommute, analysts often travel to client sites and may stay for an extended length of time.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook – The site describes the computer systems analyst as a key interface between IT and business. It highlights the job duties in an organization with sophisticated computing needs and explains how to enter the profession. For a closer look at the systems analyst career, also consult websites within the computing field.
  • IEEE Computer Society – The IEEE Computer Society is the international membership organization for computing specialists. The site’s student community section offers several resources for aspiring professionals such as free courses, scholarship listings, and employer information. Job candidates can search a jobs board and learn about IEEE certifications.
  • The Computing Research Association – The CRA is a nonprofit focusing on computing research and education. The site’s resources section offers workplace reports that provide valuable information for job candidates, students, and anyone investigating technology fields. A separate student section has a wealth of academic and career resources for all levels.
  • Association for Computing Machinery – The ACM is a global professional society for scientific computing and education. The site includes a comprehensive Computing Degrees & Careers section that offers accurate and engaging information. Additionally, the site has a huge library of technical and career publications.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column -- for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AKAnchorage$80,500$64K - $99K400.02%
ALBirmingham - Hoover$95,360$61K - $121K3500.07%
ALHuntsville$82,730$46K - $114K1600.08%
ALMontgomery$79,560$43K - $116K600.04%
ARFayetteville - Springdale - Rogers$82,910$58K - $117K7300.36%
ARFort Smith$83,660$64K - $111K300.03%
ARLittle Rock - North Little Rock - Conway$71,780$48K - $106K2800.08%
AZPhoenix - Mesa - Glendale$100,960$65K - $132K1,9800.11%
AZTucson$94,060$58K - $141K2700.08%
AZYuma$100,940$68K - $119KN/AN/A
CABakersfield - Delano$92,000$49K - $150K1700.06%
CAFresno$81,910$54K - $127K700.02%
CALos Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale (Metro Area)$80,370$59K - $142K4,2600.11%
CAOakland - Fremont - Hayward (Metro Area)$97,510$67K - $165K1,5000.15%
CAOxnard - Thousand Oaks - Ventura$96,280$65K - $138K1900.07%
CARiverside - San Bernardino - Ontario$82,200$50K - $137K5400.05%
CASacramento - Arden - Arcade - Roseville$106,840$72K - $145K6600.08%
CASalinas$90,620$68K - $145K400.03%
CASan Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos$105,970$66K - $151K1,1300.09%
CASan Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City (Metro Area)$119,790$82K - $170K2,0100.20%
CASan Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara$134,340$81K - N/A2,8300.32%
CASan Luis Obispo - Paso Robles$126,600$43K - $170K300.03%
CASanta Ana - Anaheim - Irvine (Metro Area)$104,380$47K - $145K1,5000.11%
CASanta Barbara - Santa Maria - Goleta$85,870$61K - $132K1500.09%
CASanta Rosa - Petaluma$98,630$47K - $160K500.03%
CAStockton$81,020$49K - $102K500.02%
COBoulder$88,560$28K - $122K4100.25%
COColorado Springs$98,300$62K - $139K5000.21%
CODenver - Aurora - Broomfield$99,600$54K - $143K2,2000.18%
COFort Collins - Loveland$89,870$61K - $136K800.06%
COGreeley$77,110$52K - $141K300.04%
CTBridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk$94,120$65K - $142K4100.10%
CTHartford - West Hartford - East Hartford$103,240$66K - $132K4600.08%
CTNew Haven$90,580$64K - $119K1300.05%
CTNorwich - New London$87,410$51K - $116KN/AN/A
DCWashington - Arlington - Alexandria (Metro Area)$105,930$64K - $164K9,8700.42%
DEDover$75,050$58K - $95K500.09%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$95,330$63K - $140K4500.14%
FLCape Coral - Fort Myers$60,900$41K - $94K2000.10%
FLCrestview - Fort Walton Beach - Destin$82,980$42K - $117K1100.15%
FLDeltona - Daytona Beach - Ormond Beach$52,300$36K - $81K1800.12%
FLFort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach - Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$63,540$39K - $107K1,0700.15%
FLGainesville$53,480$40K - $78K7000.59%
FLJacksonville$72,230$40K - $122K1,4800.25%
FLLakeland - Winter Haven$66,550$46K - $87K2900.15%
FLMiami - Miami Beach - Kendall (Metro Area)$67,640$42K - $105K1,3200.13%
FLNaples - Marco Island$58,760$39K - $89K600.05%
FLNorth Port - Bradenton - Sarasota$50,050$40K - $86K4000.17%
FLOcala$63,800$40K - $95K400.04%
FLOrlando - Kissimmee - Sanford$64,020$45K - $113K2,2300.22%
FLPalm Bay - Melbourne - Titusville$60,700$39K - $93K4600.24%
FLPanama City - Lynn Haven - Panama City Beach$64,060$38K - $94K500.08%
FLPensacola - Ferry Pass - Brent$56,910$40K - $156K1700.11%
FLPort St. Lucie$54,090$40K - $77K1100.09%
FLSebastian - Vero Beach$74,380$45K - $116K600.13%
FLTallahassee$53,180$39K - $83K9800.62%
FLTampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater$69,620$40K - $115K3,3500.30%
FLWest Palm Beach - Boca Raton - Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$58,340$38K - $94K6700.13%
GAAtlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta$92,310$62K - $136K3,1200.14%
GAAugusta - Richmond County$67,880$49K - $111K2300.11%
GADalton$76,130$57K - $112K500.09%
HIHonolulu$92,150$65K - $117KN/AN/A
IACedar Rapids$81,310$58K - $117K2200.16%
IADavenport - Moline - Rock Island$93,260$66K - $138K900.05%
IADes Moines - West Des Moines$90,460$52K - $144K4700.15%
IAIowa City$83,740$60K - $118K500.06%
IASioux City$55,180$32K - $118K300.05%
IDBoise City - Nampa$60,830$46K - $110K2000.08%
ILBloomington - Normal$76,980$51K - $119K500.06%
ILChicago - Joliet - Naperville (Metro Area)$103,520$65K - $144K4,2100.12%
ILLake County - Kenosha County (Metro Area)$88,690$56K - $136K2100.06%
ILRockford$80,540$63K - $105K500.03%
INColumbus$158,270$42K - $185K300.07%
INEvansville$71,620$30K - $111K600.04%
INFort Wayne$69,290$43K - $116K1600.08%
INGary (Metro Area)$97,100$66K - N/A400.01%
INIndianapolis - Carmel$85,720$51K - $115K1,0700.12%
INSouth Bend - Mishawaka$77,720$56K - $95K400.03%
INTerre Haute$80,270$64K - $109KN/AN/A
KSTopeka$83,150$47K - $113K600.06%
KSWichita$90,240$45K - $119K2700.10%
KYBowling Green$64,970$42K - $90K400.07%
KYLexington - Fayette$69,030$41K - $95K1800.07%
KYLouisville - Jefferson County$77,180$45K - $112K5300.09%
LABaton Rouge$85,880$51K - $140K1000.03%
LANew Orleans - Metairie - Kenner$86,020$60K - $115K900.02%
MABoston - Cambridge - Quincy (Metro Area)$107,730$67K - $150K3,3600.20%
MAFramingham (Metro Area)$108,980$79K - $152K4400.28%
MALowell - Billerica - Chelmsford (Metro Area)$114,170$79K - $171K3000.26%
MAPeabody (Metro Area)$103,980$74K - $143KN/AN/A
MAPittsfield$109,270$81K - $122K400.12%
MASpringfield$72,710$45K - $121K2100.07%
MAWorcester$107,700$66K - $146K2000.08%
MDBaltimore - Towson$99,790$61K - $149K2,1000.17%
MDBethesda - Rockville - Frederick (Metro Area)$101,250$57K - $169K1,9600.35%
MDHagerstown - Martinsburg$102,130$65K - $147K1100.11%
MDSalisbury$127,370$76K - $145KN/AN/A
MEPortland - South Portland - Biddeford$86,010$49K - $115K2100.11%
MIAnn Arbor$73,820$40K - $130KN/AN/A
MIDetroit - Livonia - Dearborn (Metro Area)$92,510$59K - $140K5800.08%
MIGrand Rapids - Wyoming$70,130$41K - $139K2400.06%
MIKalamazoo - Portage$55,360$39K - $103K500.04%
MILansing - East Lansing$56,460$42K - $111K800.04%
MIWarren - Troy - Farmington Hills (Metro Area)$75,160$53K - $122K7400.07%
MNDuluth$66,360$43K - $88K1300.11%
MNMinneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington$85,480$60K - $120K2,6800.15%
MNSt. Cloud$69,990$46K - $102K300.03%
MOJefferson City$83,500$43K - $120KN/AN/A
MOKansas City$86,410$54K - $118K2,0200.21%
MOSpringfield$74,050$50K - $109K500.03%
MOSt. Louis$91,470$65K - $123K2,5500.20%
MSGulfport - Biloxi$79,550$53K - $95KN/AN/A
MSJackson$80,860$51K - $112K1200.05%
MTMissoula$134,460$68K - $150KN/AN/A
NCAsheville$76,920$65K - $95K600.04%
NCBurlington$81,880$47K - $138K300.05%
NCCharlotte - Gastonia - Rock Hill$102,740$64K - $144K1,4500.17%
NCDurham - Chapel Hill$90,370$46K - $128K1,1900.44%
NCFayetteville$81,060$54K - $121K600.05%
NCGreensboro - High Point$85,470$51K - $120K2900.09%
NCGreenville$74,200$34K - $115K800.10%
NCHickory - Lenoir - Morganton$97,470$47K - $136K800.05%
NCRaleigh - Cary$90,170$65K - $124K1,3000.25%
NCWinston - Salem$96,180$62K - $124K1200.06%
NDFargo$77,840$33K - $135K700.06%
NELincoln$69,220$50K - $100K1000.06%
NEOmaha - Council Bluffs$91,620$59K - $120K9000.20%
NHManchester$118,790$80K - $181K900.09%
NHNashua (Metro Area)$116,460$45K - $180K1200.09%
NJCamden (Metro Area)$84,240$44K - $139K7800.16%
NJEdison - New Brunswick (Metro Area)$111,620$74K - $147K2,6900.28%
NJNewark - Union (Metro Area)$111,860$74K - $149K9000.09%
NJTrenton - Ewing$108,150$76K - $153K4400.20%
NMAlbuquerque$84,890$51K - $117K4200.12%
NMLas Cruces$65,360$49K - $100K400.06%
NVLas Vegas - Paradise$84,630$54K - $123K2500.03%
NVReno - Sparks$125,710$63K - $182K1300.07%
NYAlbany - Schenectady - Troy$86,210$61K - $133K4600.11%
NYBuffalo - Niagara Falls$79,090$54K - $111K4700.09%
NYNassau - Suffolk (Metro Area)$94,050$58K - $142K5400.04%
NYNew York - White Plains - Wayne (Metro Area)$107,190$65K - $163K4,4800.09%
NYPoughkeepsie - Newburgh - Middletown$100,190$66K - $149K1600.07%
NYRochester$70,350$45K - $116K4900.10%
NYSyracuse$87,290$54K - $139K1200.04%
NYUtica - Rome$102,120$59K - $176K300.02%
OHAkron$84,330$58K - $115K1400.04%
OHCincinnati - Middletown$85,780$54K - $121K8600.09%
OHCleveland - Elyria - Mentor$90,410$63K - $118K6600.07%
OHColumbus$97,430$69K - $121K1,7500.19%
OHDayton$86,800$62K - $122K2900.08%
OHToledo$69,090$47K - $102K1000.04%
OHYoungstown - Warren - Boardman$77,110$60K - $116K600.03%
OKOklahoma City$83,070$47K - $118K2400.04%
OKTulsa$93,900$46K - $119K2000.05%
ORCorvallis$93,090$64K - $117KN/AN/A
ORMedford$85,370$47K - $103K900.12%
ORPortland - Vancouver - Hillsboro$106,720$69K - N/A1,0600.11%
ORSalem$89,190$71K - $115K1300.09%
PAAllentown - Bethlehem - Easton$88,830$52K - $131K1300.04%
PAHarrisburg - Carlisle$83,940$46K - $119K2700.09%
PALancaster$89,740$67K - $116K400.02%
PAPhiladelphia (Metro Area)$104,520$65K - $148K1,5500.09%
PAPittsburgh$89,720$52K - $121K7000.06%
PAReading$81,800$61K - N/A1100.07%
PAScranton - Wilkes - Barre$76,920$56K - $116K1100.04%
PAState College$92,380$50K - $125KN/AN/A
PAYork - Hanover$91,250$50K - $123K500.03%
PRSan Juan - Caguas - Guaynabo$45,040$29K - $77K3400.05%
RIProvidence - Fall River - Warwick$87,000$62K - $127K4100.08%
SCCharleston - North Charleston - Summerville$94,970$53K - $119K2200.07%
SCColumbia$55,660$40K - $87K3400.10%
SCGreenville - Mauldin - Easley$78,020$48K - $114K3000.10%
SCSpartanburg$66,910$32K - $89K400.04%
SDSioux Falls$67,290$43K - $112K1300.09%
TNChattanooga$93,700$62K - $120K1300.06%
TNKingsport - Bristol - Bristol$67,700$44K - $111K400.03%
TNKnoxville$79,620$55K - $109K1600.05%
TNMemphis$79,990$50K - $116K3500.06%
TNNashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro - Franklin$79,510$49K - $118K5500.07%
TXAmarillo$90,340$55K - $140K300.03%
TXAustin - Round Rock - San Marcos$104,490$64K - $152K2,1000.26%
TXCollege Station - Bryan$65,460$48K - $76K400.04%
TXDallas - Plano - Irving (Metro Area)$89,640$64K - $135K4,1100.20%
TXEl Paso$41,060$33K - $79K500.02%
TXFort Worth - Arlington (Metro Area)$86,540$60K - $118K5900.07%
TXHouston - Sugar Land - Baytown$87,670$50K - $137K2,9100.11%
TXKilleen - Temple - Fort Hood$72,180$48K - $106K500.04%
TXSan Antonio - New Braunfels$87,500$62K - $133K1,0100.12%
TXWaco$65,020$38K - $123K400.04%
UTOgden - Clearfield$72,210$47K - $95K500.02%
UTProvo - Orem$80,020$54K - $108K700.04%
UTSalt Lake City$84,810$52K - $116K4100.07%
VABlacksburg - Christiansburg - Radford$72,310$49K - $101K300.05%
VACharlottesville$71,880$42K - $95K1200.12%
VALynchburg$80,900$45K - $112K500.05%
VARichmond$84,790$61K - $127K7800.13%
VARoanoke$57,020$35K - $100K1200.08%
VAVirginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News$76,960$47K - $121K9300.13%
VTBurlington - South Burlington$75,760$51K - $117K700.06%
WAKennewick - Pasco - Richland$87,160$64K - $118K500.05%
WAOlympia$85,430$72K - $89K3400.36%
WASeattle - Bellevue - Everett (Metro Area)$101,430$75K - $137K3,5000.25%
WASpokane$80,670$63K - $110K1100.06%
WATacoma (Metro Area)$88,030$64K - $135K700.03%
WIAppleton$77,820$50K - $111K1100.10%
WIEau Claire$42,730$28K - $82KN/AN/A
WIGreen Bay$71,000$49K - $108K1200.07%
WIJanesville$53,650$17K - $82K500.08%
WILa Crosse$57,500$36K - $153K400.06%
WIMadison$88,010$54K - $117K7100.21%
WIMilwaukee - Waukesha - West Allis$77,340$50K - $116K1,0800.13%
WIOshkosh - Neenah$84,010$65K - $113K500.05%
WISheboygan$90,900$71K - $115K1000.17%
WIWausau$61,680$34K - $108K300.05%
WVCharleston$78,910$52K - $110K500.03%
WVMorgantown$46,620$26K - $111K400.07%