Systems AnalystJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Systems analysts deploy, maintain, and support IT systems. They create and analyze tests, and develop specifications and requirements for developers and programmers to follow. They collect data, observe workflows, and monitor systems to identify vulnerabilities or areas of improvement. System Analysts deploy new systems and procedures and troubleshoot system, application, and hardware issues.
Do you enjoy working with computers? If you’re already an expert at troubleshooting and analyzing problems, a systems analyst position could be the perfect fit.
Sample job description
We are looking for a detail-oriented systems analyst to optimize our procedures. You will be contributing to planning, preparing reports, and implementing best practices. [Your Company Name] needs someone who is a self-starter that can identify, analyze, and solve technical issues quickly, communicate effectively, and collaborate well with team members. As an ideal candidate, you have an in-depth knowledge of IT systems and solutions, an analytical mind, and are an exceptional problem solver. Your communication skills are impressive, and you possess the ability to explain technical solutions to a non-technical audience.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Implement, monitor, maintain, and upgrade internal and external systems
Troubleshoot application, hardware, endpoint, and database issues
Provide end-user support
Provide project management for designing new products, programming, and testing
Develop, analyze, prioritize, and organize requirement specifications, data mapping, diagrams, and flowcharts for developers and testers to follow
Translate highly technical specifications into clear, non-technical requirements
Test systems for overall quality assurance and validate results
Document processes and training procedures
Develop and implement maintenance procedures, monitor system health, gather system statistics, and troubleshoot reported errors and alarms
Perform system upgrades to meet the business and user needs
Implement best practices for scalability, supportability, ease of maintenance, and system performance
Education and experience
Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or computer information systems, or equivalent experience
4-6 years experience working with information technologies and systems analysis
Required skills and qualifications
Strong computer hardware, software, and analytical skills
Proven ability to assess business needs and translate them into relevant solutions
High level of understanding and knowledge of the principles and practices associated with database maintenance and administration
Experience installing, configuring, documenting, testing, training, and implementing new applications and systems
Working knowledge of a wide variety of programming languages
Excellent analytical skills
Experience with advanced computer installation, configuration, and/or networking principles and techniques
Working knowledge of various operating systems
Experience managing and utilizing databases
Strong project management skills
Ability to communicate technical information to a non-technical audience
Experience in software design, documentation, testing, and troubleshooting
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a Systems analyst is $78,100 per year in the United States and $79,900 with a yearly cash bonus. Salary depends on the level of experience, education, and geographical location.
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Systems analysts generally work in office environments and typically sit in front of a computer for long periods. They might spend their day running tests, interpreting data, implementing or upgrading systems and applications, meeting with internal and external stakeholders to determine computing needs, and troubleshooting system issues and failures. They also might make determinations on hardware needs based on cost and potential benefit to the company.
The typical work hours for a systems analyst are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Some systems analysts work overtime and weekends to meet deadlines and assist in crises such as system outages.
The role of a systems analyst is diverse and evolving, and many certifications are available to help you stand out from your peers. Here are some top certifications for systems analysts:
CompTIA Linux+ Certification. The CompTIA Linux+ credential shows your knowledge of Linux in managing servers, cloud services, cybersecurity, mobile, and web administration applications. Candidates must pass one exam for certification. The exam covers tasks associated with all major distributions of Linux, including the Linux command line, basic maintenance, installing and configuring workstations, and networking. The certification is good for three years.
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). The CRISC focuses on enterprise IT risk management based on the latest work practices and knowledge to help certification holders stay ahead of the game in tackling real-world threats in today’s business world. The CRISC confirms your experience in creating a well-defined, agile risk-management program utilizing best practices to identify, analyze, prioritize, and resolve risks. Certification is good for twelve months.
CompTIA A+ Certification. The CompTIA A+ certification is designed to help professionals land entry-level positions in IT by ensuring that they know the basics of working with hardware, networks, and computer systems. The CompTIA A+ is composed of two exams that test your knowledge of operating systems, data, security, networking, hardware, and help desk services.
Those aspiring to become systems analysts should have an aptitude for and desire to work with computers. Next, obtain a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or a related field. It’s always beneficial to achieve certification from an accredited institution. CompTIA, Linux Academy, Microsoft, and Cisco are all outstanding sources for certifications and continuing education in the IT field. Sharpen your analytical and technical skills through on-the-job training. Develop excellent written and verbal communication skills as well.
Systems analysts work in many different industries, such as in government, private corporations, and non-profit organizations. The career path might lead them to become database administrators, computer network architects, computer programmers, information security analysts, software developers, or IT Managers.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 15-1121
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
As technology evolves at a blistering pace, systems analysts will have to be constantly learning to keep up. One of the latest trends in IT is edge computing. This technology is emerging as the next-level solution over cloud computing. Edge computing bypasses the latency associated with cloud computing, increasing the speed at which users retrieve data. Another trend is quantum computing, which enhances the ability to query, monitor, analyze, and act on data. This is especially useful in fields such as banking and finance to manage credit risk and improve fraud detection. Cyber security has been around for a while, but it is evolving quickly to handle the constant barrage of new threats by hackers trying to illegally access data. As a result, the number of cyber security jobs in the US is growing three times faster than other IT jobs.
Sample interview questions
What roles do system analysts have in an organization?
How do you prioritize projects?
Do you have experience leading a project team?
What firewalls are you familiar with? How do you implement them?
How would you handle frequent changes to user and system requirements?
How do you assess internal and external IT system needs?
How do you perform a software audit?
How do you maintain system and software records?
How do you perform software registration?
How do you analyze and evaluate existing systems?
How would you communicate user scenarios in a technical document?
Describe the different modules in the SAP application.
What is a DHCP server?
What is the difference between SSH and SSL?
How do you ensure the cost efficiency of IT systems?
What steps do you take when initiating new projects?
What is the approach for top-down analysis and design?
What aspects of system analysis require documentation?
How would you handle a system or production outage?
How would you implement a new software tool?
If you are interested in a career as a systems analyst, we can connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our job openings. If a job opening does not suit you, we will be glad to keep you in mind as new positions open up. With our vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known IT organizations in the country, we can help make your next job or career path a reality. Check out our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.
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