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Computer systems analyst is a highly-regarded position in the IT field, and a common question is what skills one needs to become a computer systems analyst. Computer systems analysts are highly trained professionals in charge of an organization’s computer system and processes. While the required education is typically at least a bachelor’s degree, computer systems analysts must possess other skills and attributes to be as successful as possible at their job. Here are some skills needed to become a computer systems analyst.

Good Listening and Communication Skills

Computer systems analysts are hired by organizations in need of their skills and knowledge of computer systems and how they work. They’re putting the success of their business in the analyst’s hands and are relying on them to make everything perfect. Computer systems analysts must be able to listen to what the organization needs and what benefits the company wants from the IT Project. Additionally, computer systems analysts must be able to communicate effectively.

Upper management’s focus is to be profitable and successful, but they don’t always understand the important role of an efficient and secure computer system plays in that success and profitability. Computer systems analysts must be able to detail what the system needs, how to accomplish those goals and what the cost will be.

Ability to Work Effectively with Upper Management

When computer systems analysts work on an organization’s computer system, they often discuss what they’re doing or what they hope to do with users and other members of the IT team. However, top executives and managers are generally the ones who give the final approval on the job. The downside about this is that management is concerned with running the business and are often clueless about their computer systems.

They also have little idea of what it costs to implement technology changes into the system. Computer systems analysts often feel frustrated when they know what needs to be done to make the business efficient but are unsuccessful in getting upper management to agree to the job and/or the cost. The ability to work well with upper management is often one of the best skills a computer systems analyst can possess.

Ability to Say Yes or No When Needed

Although good two-way communication is extremely important when computer systems analysts are working for an organization, the ability to say “yes” or “no” when necessary is even more important. The analyst’s job could depend on this ability. If a computer systems analyst knows without a doubt that the company needs certain technology implemented into the system, but management feels otherwise, the analyst must be able to explain why it’s important to follow his or her recommendations.

There may come a time when the analyst just wants to get out of a meeting and will say “yes” without fully realizing the ramifications. Also, the analyst may need time to complete a job that the company wants to be finished sooner. The analyst must be able to say no or yes or whichever answer is appropriate rather than just agreeing with management. Computer systems analysts are professionals who were hired because of their skills, and they must have the backbone to stand by what they know and believe.

Ability to be Flexible

The ability to be flexible is important with any occupation, but computer systems analysts must have this ability because they may be working on huge computer systems, and their successful work can make the difference in if the organization is successful or not. Large businesses typically know what they want so they hire professionals like computer systems analysts to get the job done.

Unfortunately, they may recommend shortcuts to cut back on costs. Computer systems analysts must be able to be flexible because they’re not always going to get management to agree with their recommendations. They must be able to compromise and reengineer their proposals to the best solution for both.

Ability to Work with Others

Computer systems analysts often work as part of a team. The analyst may be one of several analysts working for an organization and must be a team player able to work with others. Even if the computer systems analyst is an outside contractor, he or she may still be required to work with members of the company’s IT department. The ability to work well with others is very important because it can help get the job done as quickly, efficiently and cost-effective as possible.

Related Resource: What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?

If candidates have any doubts as to the popularity of this job, they should consider this fact. U.S. News & World Report ranks computer systems analysts second among Best Technology Jobs, 11th among the Best STEM Jobs and 27th among the 100 Best Jobs. Earning the degree and working to develop the necessary skills needed is the best way candidates can prepare themselves for this incredible position.