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What is a Computer Systems Analyst?
Computer Systems Analyst is a expertly trained individual focused on the design, analysis, and implementation of information systems. A successful Computer Systems Analyst is an active, effective listener who seeks to understand both the big picture and minute details of the customer.
Computer Systems Analysis will include deep knowledge in software systems, system design, system connectivity, application design, computer programming, information technology, technology design, designing network systems, and networks across a wide variety of devices and applications.
What Does a Computer System Analyst Do?
Earning a college degree in Computer Systems will strike a balance between hardware and software knowledge in addition to systems connectivity and integration. As an ever-growing field of study, some Computer Systems Analyst programs may bend towards devices and software while others a deep dive into computer hardware, design, installation, security, and administration.
In either case, a Computer Systems Analyst will have exposure and knowledge with a wide variety of operating systems, networks, devices, applications, and computer coding labs. Exposure and experience are earned by doing in this field. System analysts will spend substantial time working to apply theories, testing, auditing, breaking code, and fixing systems to better understand the architecture and constructs of a given system.
Top Computer Systems Analyst Degrees
A variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs exist for students interested in pursuing a future as a computer systems analyst. In fact, more and more options are available to choose from year over year as more schools leverage technology. So long as accredited colleges and universities add distance learning courses to their respective course catalogs, the number of options will continue to grow.
Online learning offers a number of unique benefits not found in traditional programs. A few examples include flexibility and access to hop online and study as your schedule allows plus potential cost savings (tuition, room and board, parking, transportation) and financial aid access for students enrolled in an accredited program. To learn more about earning a degree in CSA, take the time to review the summaries below and request information from top schools that fit your personal goals.
Online Associate Degrees for Computer Systems Analysts
Associate degrees earned online or on-site are generally conferred as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Online CSA degree programs are designed to be completed in about 2-years of full time matriculation. Colleges fuse core curriculum with general education courses to provide a holistic set of integrative thinking skills to students. Liberal arts education courses will include a combination of the following: history, communications, philosophy, statistics, creative writing, art, economics, psychology, and sociology.
Core classes in an AAS degree program may not be identical from school to school; however, there will be a great deal of overlap between classes from school to school. Examples of core curriculum include:
- Technical Mathematics
- Introduction to Programming
- Logic and Reasoning
- Internet Tools
- Unix and Linux Basics
- Database Management Concepts
- Introduction to Visual Basics
- Client Server Programming
- C++ Programming
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Java Programming
Online Bachelor Degrees for Computer Systems Analysts
Bachelor degrees in CSA will be conferred as a Bachelor of Science (BS) given the heavy emphasis in science-based curricula. As the most popular type of degree conferred, a bachelor’s degree is designed to take 4-years to complete on a full-time basis. Much like the associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree fuses general education with core CSA principles to hew together vital humanistic and technical concepts.
Core classes in a Bachelor of Science CSA program may include all lower-level classes found in an associate’s degree program plus the following: hardware support, server hardware support, website administration, basics of networking, router essentials, wireless networking, multilayer switching, network security, WAN technologies, Microsoft networking, network management, and troubleshooting complex networks.
Online Master Degrees for Computer Systems Analysts
Graduate degrees at this level are conferred as a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Whether you decide to earn your CSA degree online or in class, you will have the ability to design curriculum under the tutelage of your academic advisor.
Working closely with your advisor, you will create a customized degree program that meets your interests coupled with the school’s resources. A master’s degree will take 1-2 years of full-time study to complete. Part-time students can expect to take longer to complete the CSA program as a function of course load.
An example of courses you may find in a MS or MBA computer systems analyst program may include the following:
- Database Management
- Data Mining for Business
- Computer Analytics
- Statistical Modeling
- Enterprise Application Development
- Information Systems Policy & Strategy
- Enterprise IT Security & Planning
- Computer Optimization Models and Design
- Big Data Analytics
- Data Visualization
- Decision Sciences
- Predictive Analysis
Educational Requirements of a CSA
In terms of educational requirements, Computer Systems Analyst (CSA) degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Language
- Business Management
- Computer Programming
- Information Technology
- Computer Science
- Computer Networking
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Employment Information & Systems Specializations
For students that earn a college degree in Computer Systems Analyst, there are several fields of specialization to consider after graduation. The options range from research scientist, information research scientist, computer network architect, Computer Systems Analyst, computer programmer, database administrator, information security analyst, network administrator, computer systems architect, software developer, and web developer in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.
Computer Systems Analyst Job Duties
In a recent survey performed by the Department of Labor, key insights were assembled for CSA’s. A list of the most common job responsibilities of a computer support analyst include the following:
- Coordinating resources related to computer systems and programs after a systematic process of testing, managing, maintaining, and monitoring
- Utilizing a variety of object-oriented programming languages, server applications, development processes, applications, and web-based technologies as applicable
- Creating training programs for staff, customers, and management related to computers and computer systems
- Deconstructing off-the-shelf computer software to determine the fit for an organization
- Managing a team of computer programmers and/or systems analysts to ensure project completion and completeness
- Conferring with peers and management to ensure strategy alignment on network principles
- Communicating with customers to understand system and computer-related needs
- Determining how information is stored, retrieved, and processed through the use of employee surveys and interviews
- Analyzing current and future needs of an organization and recommend new network equipment or software packages proactively
- Investigating system problems, security issues, systemic malfunctions and offering customized solutions to each
- Optimizing servers, systems, networks to make work flow more efficient
- Documenting system procedures, tests, and standards
Computer Systems Analyst Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a job growth rate of 21% over the coming decade. This rate of growth equates to some 118,600 new jobs during this reporting period. To put this job growth into perspective, the estimated average rate of growth for all jobs in the coming decade is around 7%.
With computer systems analysts expected to grow 3 times as fast, job opportunities and career growth are imminent. Median annual income for a CSA is $87,220 which is more than twice the national average. Compensation for a systems analyst can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location.
Additional Resources in Computer Systems
For additional information about the field of computer systems (CSA), you can visit the following international associations: IRMA, ICTC, IASA, or Software Engineering Institute. Associations such as these provide support, tools, resources, and career advancement opportunities targeted to CSA students and professionals. Members enjoy access to training and networking opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere in an effort to advance the field of computer support analytics and associated fields in information technology.