Candidates interested in obtaining the highest degree in computer systems analysis often wonder if a Ph.D. will help them in the field of computer systems analysts. They’re often excited to hear that not only will the Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysis help them, but it will provide them to seek some of the highest-level positions in this field. Computer systems analysts are extremely important in most businesses because they’re the ones in charge of the company’s computer system. Learn more about this field and what type of positions are available with a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysts.
What Computer Systems Analysts Do
Also known as systems architects, computer systems analysts are professionals who analyze an organization’s present computer systems and design solutions and systems to help the company operate more effectively and efficiently. Their knowledge of information technology and business, as well as their understanding of how these two things work together, allow them to create the best possible computer system for the organization.
They also specialize in computer systems that are specific to the company in which they work. Computer systems analysts generally do the following:
- Consult with management to learn how the IT systems fit into the organization
- Research the latest technologies to determine if utilizing them will increase the company’s effectiveness and efficiency
- Prepare a cost and benefits analysis to present to management so they can determine if it’s worth the expense
- Configure the computer software and hardware implement new, better and upgraded systems
- Oversee the configuration and installation of new systems or customize them for the type of company
- Write instruction manuals and train users on how to operate the system
- Perform testing to ensure the system is working as required
- Work closely with other members of the IT team
What a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysis Entails
The Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysis is a rare degree. Although students may study computer systems analysis and be prepared for this career, this is not usually the actual major field of study. In most cases, students will pursue a doctoral degree in computer science, which is a degree that builds on prior education, knowledge and experience in this field.
Computer systems analysis is included as a concentration or an area of emphasis. The doctoral degree generally takes four to five years to complete. Students in the doctorate complete not only coursework but also independent study and research in a specific area such as computer systems analysis.
The research results in the completion of a dissertation. Computer science doctoral degrees are very much in demand today. Students wishing to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysis may choose majors such as:
- Computer Science
- Computer Science with a Concentration in Cybersecurity
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Information Systems
- Information Science
- Intelligent Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Business Information with a Concentration in Data Analytics or Computer Systems Analysis
Computer-related doctoral degree programs are offered at many colleges and universities not only as on-campus programs but also as online programs. The online programs are ideal for candidates already working in computer-based fields but interested in advancing their education and pursuing work in computer systems analysis.
Career Outlook for Computer Systems Analysts
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that computer systems analysts should experience job growth of nine percent between 2018 and 2028, a number that should result in about 56,000 new computer systems analysts jobs created by 2028. As the economic growth has organizations relying more and more on information technology, the demand for computer systems analysts will also continue to grow.
According to a May 2018 report by the bureau, computer systems analysts earned annual wages ranging from $54,360 to $142,220 per year, with the average hourly wage at $45.01. Computer systems analysts earn the highest wages in the states of New Jersey, District of Columbia, New York, California and Virginia.
Related Resource: What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?
Potential Careers with a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysts
The Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analysis program, as well as programs aimed at careers in computer systems analysis, offer graduates a wide range of career opportunities. The position of computer system analyst generally requires only a bachelor’s degree or possibly a master’s degree.
Candidates who earn a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Analyst programs generally are interested in jobs, such as university faculty members, policy advisors and corporate researchers. Nonetheless, Ph.D. holders may also find the following positions:
- Computer systems administrator
- Network systems analyst
- Computer programmer
- Computer systems analyst
- Senior network administrator
- Software engineer
- Computer science educator
- Computer systems manager
- Computer support specialist
- Senior computer analyst
With the positive growth and excellent wage potential, it’s little wonder that so many individuals are choosing careers in computer systems analysis. Although an individual can find a very rewarding and lucrative career with only a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer systems analysts, the Ph.D. offers the extra training and skills needed to reach their fullest potential.