How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst With a tremendous rise in employment opportunities in the IT industry, one of the most sought-after jobs today is that of a computer systems analyst. They work not only in large IT firms, but can also find employment in various other places like hospitals, banks, financial institutions, universities, and any place that uses large computer systems. Let’s take a detailed look at the job profile of a computer systems analyst and what it takes to become one. Job Description Computer systems analysts must have a thorough understanding of the computer systems and operations of the industry or organization they work for, in order to find and resolve software problems and keep the system running smoothly. They may need to interact with clients, prepare reports, and work with other software professionals. Their main task is to integrate the business needs of the organization with information technology to help the organization run smoothly and effectively. Senior computer analysts may supervise the entire running of a project from design to implementation and must see to it that the team works by the standards set by the client, stays within the budget, and meets deadlines. These analysts, who oversee and direct the entire working of an organization’s computer system, can be called project managers as well. Qualifications and Requirements Computer systems analysts should ideally have a degree in information technology, computer science, or information systems. Some systems analysts also function as business analysts, and they need to understand, design, and implement solutions for business problems. They may or may not have an IT degree, but usually have a degree in business administration or management. It’s important for an analyst to have a good grasp of the industry he is working in. For example, for someone in a bank, it would help to have good financial knowledge. Though relevant degrees in computer science and/or business are a plus for getting into this profession, it is possible to gain entry into this field even if you don’t have an IT degree, but are very good at programming and have an expert knowledge of computer systems. Apart from educational qualifications, to become a successful computer systems analyst, you must possess excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, and be able to foresee how a project may undergo changes in the future. You must be a team worker and a good communicator, as most projects involve working in cooperation with other professionals. You must have a creative bent of mind, and be able to think differently and create groundbreaking and novel ideas for your projects. Job Outlook As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for this profession is expected to grow by 22% in this decade, which is faster than average. Though the pay depends upon the industry and work setting, according to BLS, the annual median pay for a computer systems analyst is $77,740. For those aspiring to become a computer systems analyst, it is recommended that you go for a computer science program. Choose a college that has been accredited by a reputed organization. Additional information about a college can be found by reading reviews and student testimonials. You can also check whether the college has any complaints against it. How seriously and promptly a college handles such issues explains a lot about its standards. As an example, if you search CollegeAmerica complaints, you’ll see that the college has resolved all complaints that were filed against it, which is a good sign. It's not just the degree, but the college from which you get it that plays an equally significant role in your professional life. So, in short, enrolling in an accredited and well-established college is your first step in becoming a successful computer analyst.