What degree do I need to become a Systems Analyst?

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We all know IT (Information Technology) is the buzz industry right now. You did see our Top 20 IT Careers list right? Well, you can guess Computer Systems Analyst is on this list. Why? Well, because they are the brains behind an organization’s computer system. They bring business and information technology together by factoring in the needs and limitations of both. They are responsible for making everything operate efficiently and effectively. Listen: you’re going to have to know computers, that’s a given. Get yourself a degree in computer science. But the best Analysts have strong business background skills, so an MBA will be most helpful when trying to acquire employment.


A bachelor’s degree is a must-have. Undergraduate programs in computer science, information systems or a liberal arts degree with a heavy course load of programming or technical classes can also be an option. Systems Analysts must understand the world of business, so either seek out business classes as an undergraduate or look into a graduate program in business administration. Obviously technological advances come so fast that anyone in the computer field has to stay abreast and find continual study even when in full employment. Keep that in mind if you want to stay competitive.

A Systems Analyst in a field outside of general IT may find it necessary to add coursework is unrelated fields. For example if you are hired in a hospital setting, you may need to become familiar with health management. Consider that as you choose your education.

Job Expectations

A Computer Analyst typically has the following duties:

  • research emerging technologies and determine if a company needs upgrade
  • analyze costs and benefits for organizations
  • design and develop computer systems
  • conduct training of computer systems for end users
  • supervise installation and configuration of all new computer systems

A Computer Systems Analyst needs to work with other IT professionals often; together they test and ultimately make the decisions that will help further the business they all work for. They most often work with programmers and architects that build these computer systems for the company.
They also prepare flowcharts and diagrams for the designers to assist in the system builds. Because they are the spokesperson of the IT side of a business they need to be familiar in both IT infrastructure and an organization’s business mission.


Analysts are always conducting tests to analyze trends. They are needed decision makers in technology driven businesses and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is only expected to grow faster and faster every year. Currently statistics show a projected growth of 25% from 2012 to 2022. As we see businesses move into cloud-computing, increased mobile services and wireless technology, we see this field grow even more. As healthcare management switches from old analog technology to electronic medical records, e-prescribing and even online consultations, the need for Systems Analyst to assist in the development will also be needed.

Also stated on the BLS site, the median annual wage for Computer Systems Analysts was $79,680 in May of 2012. Most Analysts work standard 40 hour work weeks during regular business hours.