System analysis certificate programs build on foundational computer science skills, and they may be part of larger degree programs or require applicants to already hold a degree. Students in systems analysis certificate programs learn how to design networks of computers that work together to perform tasks. They learn how to consult with clients and figure out which functions must be included in the system and how to prioritize those tasks. Prospective systems analysts also gain experience experimenting with and revising systems already in place to make them faster and more efficient.
Systems analysis certificate programs are often offered as parts of computer science degree programs. In this case, certificate programs indirectly have the same prerequisites as their parent programs, which may include high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal essay. When these programs are offered individually, they may only require aspiring students to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or provide recommendation from an employer. Many programs prefer to take on applicants who currently work as IT analysts, project managers or database developers.
Certificate in Systems Analysis
Coursework in systems analysis certificate programs covers mostly technical aspects of the job. Classes may also teach research techniques to help students stay current on relevant technology. Topics that may appear in the curriculum include:
- Unified Modeling Language (UML)
- Database management
- System implementation
- System design
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment of computer systems analysts will grow 21% between 2014 and 2024, which is significantly faster than the national average. As of May 2015, computer systems analysts made a median annual salary of $85,800, according to BLS figures. The lowest-paid systems analysts earned $51,910 or less, while the highest-paid workers brought home $135,450 or more (www.bls.gov).
System analysis certification programs prepare students for a career as computer systems analysts through coursework in database management, system implementation, and system design. This certification is sometimes part of a larger program in computer science.