In-demand Careers

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts

SOC Code: 15-1121

 

Summary of Career: Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

 

Projected Growth: In the Upper Rio Grande region, employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 22.9% from 2014 to 2024. As organizations across the economy increase their reliance on information technology (IT), analysts will be hired to design and install new computer systems. Smaller firms with minimal IT requirements will find it more cost effective to outsource to cloud service providers or to industries that employ expert IT service providers. This will create additional job growth in the data processing, hosting, and related services industry and the computer systems design and related services industry, respectively.

Analysts who work in the computer systems design and related services industry move from one project to the next as they complete work for clients. As more small- and medium-sized firms demand advanced systems, the practice of analysts moving between businesses is expected to increase.

Additional job growth is expected in healthcare fields. Computer systems analysts will be needed to accommodate the anticipated increase in use and implementation of electronic health records, e-prescribing, and other forms of healthcare IT.

 

Job applicants with a background in business may have better prospects because jobs for computer systems analysts often require knowledge of an organization’s business needs. An understanding of the specific field an analyst is working in is also helpful. For example, a hospital may desire an analyst with a background or coursework in health management. The Projected Annual Job Openings shown below refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

 

Upper Rio Grande Employment

2012

Upper Rio Grande

Employment

2022

Upper Rio Grande

2012-2022

Anticipated Growth

El Paso, TX

2014 Median Annual

Wage

700

860

22.9%

$60,700

Texas

Employment

2012

Texas

Employment

2022

Texas

2012-2022

Anticipated Growth

Texas

2014 Median Annual

Wage

44,140

58,100

32%

$81,700

U.S.

Employment

2014

U.S.

Employment

2024

U.S.

2014-2024

Anticipated Growth

U.S.

2015 Median Annual

Wage

567,800

686,300

21%

$85,800

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Note: The data for the Local and State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for local and state data is 2012-2022, while the projections period for national data is 2014-2024.

 

Education: Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

 

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive. Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization

 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations: N/A

Advancement: With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.