Communications analysts are required to have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, computer information systems or information technology. Experience is an asset, and although not required, professional certification is one way to establish their skill set and appeal to potential employers.
People who like working with computers and understanding the way communication systems work may want to look into a career as a communications analyst. Communications analysts use skills in communication, problem resolution, and analysis to manage digital communication networks. The demand for computer network architects is rapidly expanding, providing increased opportunity for students with a background in computer science. A bachelor's degree is typically needed to get a start in this field. Depending on the type of work being done, voluntary certification may also be helpful.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Certification may be preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||9% for computer network architects|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$100,240 for computer network architects|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Communications analysts, also known as computer network architects, monitor computer network systems, such as intranet networks, wide area networks, local area networks, and Internet systems. They determine the structure of a network, as well as its hardware and programming protocol.
Analysts can work for a variety of organizations and industries, including government agencies, insurance companies, financial institutions, schools, and computer systems design businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment for computer network architects would grow by 9% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary earned by such architects was reported as $100,240 in May 2015 by the BLS.
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Communications analysts gather information from users, customers, and business or marketing strategists. Based on this information, the analyst is responsible for maintaining a systems network by monitoring performance and making changes based on data size or user quantity requirements.
These analysts use modeling techniques to plan new systems or identify complications in existing ones. A communications analyst can also be responsible for integrating e-mail, fax, and telephone applications, as well as installing the servers, routers, modems, or drivers required for these systems. They can also be responsible for training users in any new procedures related to systems changes.
The BLS notes that a bachelor's degree is the most common requirement for analyst positions. Related programs can be found in computer science, information technology, computer information systems, and other computer-related areas. These programs may include courses in production and operations management, managerial communication, business law, economics, calculus, and statistics.
Communications analysts may also need prior experience in the field, as well as certification from software or hardware vendors to show expertise with specific applications. Although not required by all employers, pursuing professional certification, such as the Certified Network Professional (CNP) designation, can demonstrate proficiency.
Communications analysts manage digital communications networks. They need to understand how network systems function and may be responsible for integrating hardware into one cohesive network. They also gather data that is used to modify or create networks based on their company's needs.