Career Development

What Does a System Analyst Do?

Find out what a system analyst does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a system analyst.

Systems analysts are responsible for analyzing and designing complex systems. They work with a variety of stakeholders to determine how best to implement new technologies or processes into an organization’s workflow.

Systems analysts may be tasked with developing detailed diagrams of existing systems, identifying areas where improvements can be made, and creating plans for implementing those improvements. They commonly use software tools such as CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) tools to help them design these systems in a way that is easy to understand and implement by other members of the team.

System Analyst Job Duties

System analysts typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining knowledge of new technologies in order to recommend updates to existing systems or to help design new ones
  • Helping to define business processes and workflow, including documenting standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each process
  • Creating diagrams of data flow and processing steps, such as flowcharts or data models
  • Designing new computer systems or updating existing systems based on client requirements
  • Recommending software applications that may improve the efficiency of the system
  • Conducting feasibility studies to determine whether a new system should be developed
  • Designing and developing computer databases and other network infrastructure components
  • Testing new computer hardware to ensure it functions properly with existing hardware and software
  • Providing technical support for existing systems by resolving issues with users or writing new code as needed

System Analyst Salary & Outlook

System analysts’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company or organization they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $91,500 ($43.99/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $145,000 ($69.71/hour)

The employment of system analysts is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for these workers is expected to increase as organizations invest in information technology (IT) and analytics to improve efficiency and productivity. Organizations will need to hire more system analysts to help them understand and use data to make better business decisions.

Related: In-Depth System Analyst Salary Guide

System Analyst Job Requirements

A system analyst typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require system analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, systems engineering or another closely related field. Some employers may hire candidates who have a related master’s degree, such as a master’s in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

Training & Experience: Many employers will require candidates to have at least two years of experience in a related role. Some employers may prefer candidates who have at least five years of experience. Candidates can gain experience in a variety of related roles, including computer support specialist, computer programmer, computer systems analyst, computer systems engineer, network engineer and network administrator.

Certifications & Licenses: Systems analysts can obtain a variety of certifications that demonstrate their expertise in different types of systems and software.

System Analyst Skills

System analysts need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the abilities to use software, applications and tools to complete tasks. This includes knowing how to use the software and understanding how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. It’s important to have a wide range of technical skills so you can support the needs of the organization you work for.

Communication skills: As a system analyst, you may be required to communicate with clients, other team members and other stakeholders. Effective communication is an essential skill for this job, as it can help you convey information clearly and answer questions.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for system analysts, as they may be called upon to find solutions to technical problems or help users troubleshoot issues. This can include identifying the source of a problem, devising a solution and implementing it.

Research skills: As a system analyst, you need to be able to research and understand complex systems and processes. You may need to research and learn about new software, hardware or other technology to help you with your job.

Business acumen: A system analyst needs business acumen to understand the financial implications of their decisions. They need to be able to read a profit-and-loss statement and understand how changes to a system might affect the company’s bottom line.

System Analyst Work Environment

System analysts generally work in air-conditioned offices and spend most of their time in front of a computer terminal. They may work for large corporations, government agencies, or small businesses. System analysts usually work a standard 40-hour week, but they may have to work overtime to meet deadlines or solve problems. System analysts typically work on teams with other analysts, programmers, and engineers. They may also work with customers or clients to understand their needs and develop solutions.

System Analyst Trends

Here are three trends influencing how system analysts work. System analysts will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The need for more technical skills is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of systems and the need for system analysts to have a deeper understanding of how they work.

As systems become more complex, system analysts will need to be able to understand how they work and how to troubleshoot problems. This requires a deep understanding of the underlying technology and how it works.

Systems Are Becoming More Interconnected

As systems become more interconnected, there is an increased need for system analysts who can connect the dots between different systems and make them work together.

System analysts who are able to connect the dots between different systems will be in high demand as businesses continue to integrate their systems in order to improve efficiency and productivity. By understanding how different systems work together, system analysts can help businesses achieve their goals while also improving the overall quality of life for employees.

More Focus on Security

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for system analysts who specialize in security will grow.

System analysts who are skilled in security will be in high demand as businesses look for ways to protect their data from hackers and other threats. In addition, system analysts who are familiar with security measures can help businesses to create better safeguards against potential attacks.

How to Become a System Analyst

A systems analyst career path can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of technologies and solve complex problems. However, it’s important to consider the requirements for this job before starting your search.

System analysts need to have strong analytical skills and be able to think critically about problems. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical people. Additionally, they must be able to work independently and be able to manage their time effectively.

Related: How to Write a System Analyst Resume

Advancement Prospects

System analysts typically start their careers in entry-level positions and advance to senior-level positions as they gain experience and knowledge. Many system analysts eventually become information technology (IT) managers or project managers. Some system analysts may also become independent consultants.

System analysts typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. However, some employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in information systems. System analysts also must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

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