Career Definition for an IT Analyst
An IT analyst, also called a systems analyst, designs and implements information systems that optimize organizational efficiency. The process begins with managers, who provide the IT analyst with a broad objective, like capturing marketing research data. The IT analyst employs modeling, information engineering and cost-based accounting to develop a system that satisfies both management and end-users in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. Upon approval, the IT analyst oversees its implementation by managing programmers, coders and equipment vendors to ensure the design is properly executed in a timely manner and stays within budget. The IT analyst also debugs the system and ensures that it is error-free.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field|
|Job Skills||Strong analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, excellent interpersonal skills, knowledge of current technologies|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$88,740 (all computer systems analysts)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||9% growth (all computer systems analysts)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most employers prefer that candidates have at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the industry. For jobs in a technical field, degrees in information science, computer science or engineering are required, while business environments typically require a degree in management information systems. Increasingly employers are seeking those with an MBA plus a concentration in information systems. Because business and interpersonal skills are vital, graduates with non-technical degrees who have completed courses in computer programming and other information technology fields are also attractive to potential employers.
An IT analyst must combine strong analytical skills and problem-solving abilities with project management skills. Excellent interpersonal skills are crucial to reconciling the sometimes disparate needs of management, technical personnel and end-users. An IT Analyst must also be acutely aware of the latest technology and how best to leverage its capabilities for an organization.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of computer analysts, which includes IT analysts, will increase 9% from 2016 through 2026, as employers use continually evolving technologies to increase productivity and efficiency. Those with advanced degrees in computer science or MBAs with information systems concentrations should have the best prospects. According to the BLS, median annual earnings for computer systems analysts, including IT analysts, were $88,740 as of May 2018.
Similar career options within this field include:
Information Security Analyst
If a career determining what computer security measures a company needs sounds interesting, consider becoming an information security analyst. These analysts investigate computer security breaches, create and execute security procedures and policies, install protection equipment and software, run scenarios to find weak areas, research current technology threats and document activities.
To gain employment as an information security analyst, a bachelor's degree in a computer field and related work experience are required. Master of Business Administration degrees are sometimes also preferred by employers. Increased demand for information security analysts will cause the field to grow by 28% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. These security professionals should receive a median yearly wage of $98,350, as seen in a 2018 BLS report.
Computer Network Architect
For those interested in the design of network communication systems, becoming a computer network architect may be a good career move. Network architects determine what technology such as routers, drivers and power systems are needed and then design the system, drafting out where cables and other supporting equipment is placed. They also research emerging technological advances, present recommendations to management and explore information security issues.
As with other computer careers, a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems or a related field is generally required, and master's degrees are preferred by many companies. Based on 2018 statistics from the BLS, over 152,000 people were employed nationwide as computer network architects and these workers received $109,020 in median earnings. The BLS expects this field to increase by 6% during the 2016-2026 decade.