Systems analysts, also known as IT analysts, system architects, and system administrators, are responsible for determining how effective the technological infrastructure that is present in organizations.
To determine whether a career in IT as a systems analyst is right for you, first of all, you must understand what a systems analyst does. And if you want to get ahead of the competition, knowing which industries hire systems analysts and what skills they look for becomes more important.
What is a systems analyst?
A systems analyst is an IT professional who works at a high level in an organization to ensure that systems, infrastructures, and computer systems are working as well and as efficiently as possible.
System analysts are responsible for researching problems, developing solutions, recommending courses of action, and working with stakeholders to ensure that requirements are met. They look at a company's current system, procedures, and business processes and make action plans based on what is needed.
Systems analysts need to know about operating systems, hardware configurations, programming languages, and software and hardware platforms. They can be a part of the project from when it is being analyzed to when it is being reviewed after it has been put into action.
A few advantages of working as a systems analyst are:
- You'll have the chance to work in a variety of industries.
- You can anticipate a competitive salary and additional benefits.
- You will have the option to work independently or in a team, as you prefer.
- You will have the option to work from home or set your hours.
- There is a high demand for systems analysts.
What does a systems analyst do?
A systems analyst's job is to keep an eye out for cutting-edge hardware and software that could be used to boost productivity. They are invaluable to their companies because they quickly acquire new skills and adopt advanced procedures.
A systems analyst must use their technical expertise, communication abilities, and interpersonal savvy to navigate complex organizational structures and hierarchies. They are in charge of finishing huge projects and face new daily challenges. Systems analysis is a unique and rewarding field because it allows practitioners to use their skills while assisting others.
What is the role of a systems analyst?
A systems analyst constantly looks for new ways to use technology to improve client needs and business operations. They adapt operating systems using their knowledge and skills, developing effective strategies and procedures in each circumstance.
Additionally, they monitor the system's functions, search for errors and correct them, resolve issues, and assist clients with their inquiries.
A systems analyst must be proficient in programming languages and have extensive knowledge of the tech sector to handle the complexity and processes of various systems. Working as a systems analyst is very rewarding because you get to put your creativity and knowledge to use in problem-solving and making a difference.
As a systems analyst, you will manage the following tasks:
- Supervise the AS400 operations teams as a systems analyst and offer training and support as required.
- Organize and direct a group of two developers who create a variety of GUI report parameter screens and reports.
- To automate administrative tasks, troubleshoot problems, and carry out disaster recovery operations, write scripts in shell, Perl, or AutoIt.
- 250–300 tickets should be resolved monthly while adhering to SLAs, conducting root cause analyses, and tying defects back to development.
- Create documentation to support technology and workflow, lead multiple conversions, and design and build radiology information systems.
- Infrastructure management and VMware implementation.
- To reduce the need for printed documentation, specify business requirements for a SharePoint document management system.
- analyze and create improvements for FFS.
- The VISIO document and program flow.
- Maintaining and giving network devices IP addresses.
- Connect Jenkins to TOS builds for continuous integration.
- Using VISIO, create a data flow diagram and application details.
- Control API interface design and documentation.
What skills does a systems analyst need?
Systems analysts need to be technically proficient and able to interact and work well with teammates, managers, and clients. Here are some of the required skills to become a systems analyst:
Analytical skills: Systems analysts must have strong analytical abilities because they evaluate large amounts of data on a daily basis. Before deciding which software system to install for an organization, systems analysts gather and review data sets to pinpoint problems and potential improvement areas.
Detail-oriented reasoning: When it comes to systems analysts' main duties, we can notice that these professionals are experts at troubleshooting and testing current systems to find any potential errors, even minor errors. Systems analysts use their attention to detail to spot problems with newly installed systems and any trouble spots in currently operating ones.
Communication: Systems analysts can benefit from having excellent written and verbal communication skills. They use communication skills to respond to inquiries from clients, staff members, or managers about the system's performance. Most importantly, they convey complex concepts and issues in plain language when speaking or writing training materials.
Interpersonal abilities: Systems analysts must be able to communicate clearly with clients when a problem with a company's computer systems occurs. Establishing a trustworthy and enduring relationship between client and analyst can benefit from interpersonal abilities like patience and active listening.
Adaptability: Systems analysts may make modifications as new programs are improved and updated to consider client and employee feedback and preferences. They must be ready for any unforeseen events that might take place and stop the system from functioning or malfunctioning.
Thinking critically: Complex issues are natural and might come up at any time. In this situation, systems analysts evaluate the organizational requirements and develop creative and logical solutions. They can carefully assess the new programs to find any additional problems and alter them to deal with them.
Organizations that hire system analysts
Most systems analysts have industry-specific specializations. However, mentioned below are some of the industries that hire these skilled and experienced professionals:
Systems analysts may work for companies specializing in information technology, overseeing multiple client accounts and addressing organizational problems as they arise.
They set up systems for new customers and routinely monitor and troubleshoot programs for current ones. Systems analysts might need to regularly travel to the company's headquarters to review these systems and attend in-person meetings to discuss updates and improvements.
To help staff members better organize their financial records, some systems analysts work for banking and finance companies. They might arrange their clients' financial records to enable them to carry out transactions more quickly. To ensure proper cybersecurity initiatives are in place and protect sensitive data from unauthorized individuals, systems analysts may implement and modify software management programs that track financial data.
Health care and insurance
Medical and insurance companies, which use computer systems to file and store various data and information, are another common industry for the profession. Analysts can create or modify systems that track patient information, authorize doctors' requests for prescription medications, and help patients check in by entering their height, weight, and other details into the program. Systems can also help senior employees track the development of interns or medical students for review.
Governmental organizations use computer systems to communicate with other employees and community members. System analysts can set up computer systems that enable community members to submit requests for improvements and employees to submit assignment progress. In order to improve organizational communications and interactions with the public, they can also enhance and implement software systems.
How to become a successful systems analyst?
Are you thinking about becoming a systems analyst? Here are some of the things you should keep in mind:
- Most employers demand that a systems analyst hold a bachelor's degree in a related field, like business or computer science.
- Most positions for systems analysts require 4-6 years of relevant experience.
- Standard job titles before becoming a systems analyst include programmer analyst, business analyst, and software engineer.
- Employing managers anticipate soft skills like creativity, communication, and analytical prowess in a systems analyst.
- A systems analyst requires an average of 6 to 12 months of on-the-job training.
Different types of system analysts
Here, you can find the different job roles of systems analysts. Take a quick look:
Product analysts: Product analysts evaluate projects and products to improve them. This can include ideas for making processes more efficient or producing higher-quality products. However, a product analyst's role may occasionally overlap with a project manager's.
Business systems analyst: Business systems analysts work to improve systems throughout an organization. Typically, this entails reorganizing the business's hierarchies and improving existing processes.
Data systems analyst: Analysts use specific, targeted data to inform business changes. Typically, they collect data on specific changes and recommend ways to improve or prevent them from affecting the organization.
Software systems analyst: Software systems analysts research software and programming to inform the changes they make. They may develop proprietary software for an organization's information technology system.
Applications systems analyst: Applications systems analysts create, maintain, and improve apps for a company or organization. This can include developing an internal app for employees and an external app that the organization can sell or market.
What is the average salary for systems analysts?
Among other factors, salaries for the systems analyst's job role vary based on your experience level and geographic location. However, systems analysts can expect to earn approximately $80,733 annually on average.
The national average salary for senior systems analysts, who typically have more experience and expertise, is $90,214 annually. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% increase in demand for systems analysts between 2021 and 2031.
Best systems analyst certifications
CompTIA A+ Certification
The CompTIA A+ certification exam is designed for IT professionals who want to prove they have the skills and knowledge that can help them get entry-level IT jobs. To earn the CompTIA A+ certification, you have to pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102).
The CompTIA A+ certification gives you knowledge and skills that can be used on projects in any company. With the CompTIA A+ certification program, you will learn how to install and update operating systems and virtual machines, fix problems with peripheral devices, set up networks at home and the office, and security controls.
The CompTIA A+ certification can help you get a job as a technical support specialist, service desk analyst, associate network engineer, data support technician, desktop support administrator, help desk technician, or end-user computing technician.
The CompTIA A+ certification online exam covers various topics such as hardware, networking, mobile devices, network and hardware troubleshooting, security, the Windows operating system, other OS technologies, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures.
The A+ certification is good for three years after you pass the exam, and of course, it's easy to renew if you keep up with CompTIA's continuing education program.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification is recognized by leading employers in the world as proof of your advanced IT knowledge and expertise. The MCSE certification validates your skills in designing, implementing, and managing complex IT solutions using Microsoft technologies.
The MCSE certification is considered one of the highest levels of Microsoft certification and requires passing one or more exams depending on your chosen specialization.
There are five MCSE tracks available: Business Applications, Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, Data Management and Analytics, Mobility, and Productivity. Each track has prerequisites, such as having a relevant Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification or passing a specific exam.
Certified Systems Analyst Professional (CSAP)
The Certified Systems Analyst Professional (CSAP) certification is a well-known and widely accepted certification that validates your ability to analyze, design, and implement information systems solutions using various methodologies and tools.
The Certified Systems Analyst Professional (CSAP) certification is a vendor-neutral certification covering a wide range of domains such as systems analysis, systems design, systems development, systems testing, systems deployment, and systems maintenance.
To earn the CSAP certification, you must pass a multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge and skills in these domains. The CSAP certification can help you advance your career as a systems analyst, business analyst, system architect, or system engineer.
Apart from that, the CSAP certification is also one of the prerequisites for other certifications, such as Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) and Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE).
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
The IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is an advanced-level certification for IT professionals familiar with business analysis. The CBAP certification shows that you are an expert in the BA community and a senior leader.
Earning the IIBA-CBAP certification can help you in many ways. It shows you are a strong business analyst with much knowledge and experience. It also shows that you are dedicated to your job, which helps you stand out from your competitors and get a higher salary package, about 13% more than others. IT professionals who have CCBA certification with enough BA experience can think about taking this exam.
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide) groups and describes the skills tested on the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) online certification exam. These are business analysis knowledge, business analysis planning and monitoring, requirements life cycle management, requirements analysis and design definition, and elicitation and collaboration.
To take this professional certification exam online, you must have worked at least 7500 hours in the last ten years, with at least 900 of those hours coming from four of the six BABOK guide knowledge areas. You must also have worked 35 hours on your career in the last four years.
You must also give two references and follow the terms and conditions and code of conduct. The IIBA-CBAP certification is good for three years, and to keep it valid, you must earn at least 60 continuing development units (CDUs).
Project Management Professional (PMP)
The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized credential that validates your competence and skills to perform as a project manager, leading and directing projects and teams offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
The PMP certification demonstrates that you have the knowledge and expertise to apply predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches to manage projects in any industry. To earn the PMI-PMP certification, you must pass a challenging exam covering three key domains: people, process, and business environment.
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is another of the best systems analyst certifications available. The CAPM certification is a global standard for becoming a systems analyst.
The CAPM certification shows your knowledge and skills in project management. The CAPM is designed for IT professionals who want to start or advance their careers in project management or who want to manage larger and more complex projects.
To earn the CAPM certification, you must meet some requirements such as:
- Have a secondary degree, such as a high school diploma, associate’s degree, or equivalent
- Complete at least 23 hours of project management education before taking the exam
- Pass a 150-question, multiple-choice exam that covers the fundamental concepts and practices of project management
The CAPM certification is valid for three years from the date you pass the CAPM exam. On top of that, you need to earn 15 professional development units (PDUs) to maintain it in this period.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Earning the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification can surely be a turning point in your career as an IT professional. The ISC2-CISSP is one of the best systems analyst certifications you can earn at any career stage. The ISC2-CISSP certification program validates your knowledge and skills in information security.
To earn the CISSP certification, you must have at least 5 years of hands-on experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). To maintain your CISSP certification, you earn 120 continuing professional education (CPE) credits every three years. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam duration is 3 hours. The passing score is 700 out of 1000 points.
Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE Programmer (OCPJP)
The Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE Programmer (OCPJP) certification proves your proficiency and skills in the Java programming language and its standard edition (SE) APIs offered by Oracle.
The OCPJP certification is one of the most popular and respected credentials among Java developers. The Java SE Programmer (OCPJP) certification demonstrates your ability to create robust, secure, high-performance applications using Java SE.
To earn the OCPJP certification, you must pass a multiple-choice exam covering various topics such as Java basics, object-oriented programming, generics, collections, concurrency, lambda expressions, streams, IO, JDBC, and more. The OCPJP exam duration is 180 minutes, and the passing score is 65%. The OCPJP certification is valid for a specific version of Java SE, such as 8, 11, or 17.
ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management
The ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT, Service Management certification validates your understanding of the ITIL 4 framework. The ITIL 4 framework is a set of best practices for delivering IT-enabled services in a modern digital organization.
The ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management certification program covers a wide range of domains, such as service value systems, service value chains, service providers, service consumers, service relationships, and the four dimensions of service management. The ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management is valid for life and does not require any renewal or maintenance.
To earn the ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management, you must meet the following requirements:
- Complete a training course from an accredited training organization (ATO) or an accredited e-learning solution
- Pass a 60-minute, 40-question, multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of the ITIL 4 Foundation syllabus
- Achieve a minimum score of 65% (26 out of 40 questions)
Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
The Six Sigma Green Belt certification is again one of the most popular and best systems analyst certifications. The Six Sigma Green Belt credential demonstrates your ability to apply the Six Sigma methodology and tools to improve the quality and performance of processes, products, and services. This certification program is designed for IT professionals with at least three years of hands-on work experience.
Other than that, this certification is suitable for individuals who want to lead quality improvement projects with the help of the Six Sigma approach. Six Sigma is a data-driven approach that aims to reduce defects, waste, and variation in any process by following a structured problem-solving framework called DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control).
The final say
If we take a closer look at a typical day in the life of a systems analyst, we'll notice that their responsibilities can vary depending on the stage of project development.
As a system analyst, your daily tasks could involve things like coordinating computer installations and running tests on new software or hardware. This might mean you must talk directly with users, colleagues, and managers to get things done.
They also test new and existing systems to ensure everything runs smoothly. If there are any bugs or issues, they troubleshoot them and make necessary modifications.