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COVER STORY

Top job in 2015: Computer systems analyst

By Dave Gardner

In the world of Information Technology (IT), the roles of politician and negotiator are performed by the computer systems analyst. These professionals act as a liaison between programmers, engineers and key business stakeholders. Careers as a systems analyst are profitable, with annual salaries in big markets that can range from $80,000 to $120,000, and the United States Bureau of Labor (BLS) statistics forecasts an employment growth exceeding 24 percent. Computer systems analysts can carry great responsibility. They may be required to develop, test and analyze expansive systems, as well as create a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the best software and hardware to use in a particular situation. Matt Artz serves as director of business systems analysis for UM Tech. He is a native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, where he first discovered a knack for math and science. “IT just came easy to me when I was a kid,” remembers Artz. “When I was growing up we had a computer in the house, and very early I found I was interested in math and

Quick Facts from the BLS: Computer Systems Analysts 2012 Median Pay .................................................................................$79,680 per year $38.31 per hour Entry-Level Education...........................................................................Bachelor’s degree Number of Jobs, 2012..........................................................................520,600 Job Outlook, 2012-22...........................................................................25% (Much faster than average) Employment Change, 2012-22 ...........................................................127,700 What Computer Systems Analysts Do 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.

science, which are so relevant to IT.” He is a graduate of Marywood University, where he earned a bachelors degree in business administration, with a specialty in computer information systems. His educational resume also includes an MBA in finance. According to Artz, there’s a public misconcep-

tion that a systems analyst deals primarily with technology and machines. In truth, he says, the job’s key interaction is now with people, requiring a person grounded in business who focuses on people, as well as systems. He has fond memories of a particular Marywood professor who reinforced the idea that

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Artz

systems analysts must serve the human end of the equation. This instructor, who was married to an anthropologist, played a key role in Artz’s professional development. The anthropologic end of IT still fascinates Artz. He studies how IT systems transform technology as a whole and make the world a better place as people and computers interact. “My interest is connecting people and technology, with humans as the stakeholders,” says Artz. “This perspective creates a win-win for everyone involved.” His typical job duties of a systems analyst are never “typical.” For example, Artz’s employer recently merged several IT firms and he participated in rebuilding one of the internal platforms for a large number of users. To accomplish this, a comprehensive understanding of the relevant hardware and software was needed, along with knowledge of networking changes and all of the various types of users. In this case, Artz’s efforts served a group that spanned business owners to property manag-

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Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal March 2015  

March 2015