What Is an Information Systems Analyst?
Information systems analyst use their skill with and knowledge of information and computer networks to best meet the needs of clients, typically businesses. Information systems analysts are called upon not only to demonstrate knowledge of information technology but also an ability to communicate with the user, interpret their desires, and apply information technology to best reconcile the user’s needs with the system’s capabilities.
Sometimes this means using existing systems in new ways, but other times it means designing and implementing new systems entirely. In many ways, the analyst is trying to solve a puzzle by working backward: they take the finished idea and decide how to come up with pieces that create the desired whole. Information systems analysts need to have strong communication skills as well as the ability to translate generically expressed needs into specific computer commands, a talent that only comes with training.
How to Become an Information Systems Analyst
Anyone desiring to become an information systems analyst should seek at least a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, though it’s not out of the question for analysts to pursue graduate-level degrees if they want to open doors to higher-paying jobs with more complex systems to tackle. The type of degree can vary based on your interests and goals.
For instance, some analysts work in more technical arenas, which means that studying computer science, math, and computer engineering is a good way to enter the field. However, other analysts are in more broadly relatable business environments, which means that it’s a good idea to major in business or management systems. This provides a solid base in both business strategies and systems integration, the two things that every analyst needs to understand in order to succeed.
Regardless, it’s important to study coding, computer science, and networking systems. Internships in corresponding fields also provide invaluable experience.
Information Systems Analyst Career Outlook & Salary
In a fortunate but expected turn of events, job prospects for information systems analysts are excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Resources. The government group expects that employment for analysts will grow 20% through 2018, a significant amount higher than the national average of approximately 11%.
As more and more companies adopt advanced computer systems to help them work, and as those systems themselves continue to evolve, the need for qualified information systems analysts will grow accordingly. Those jobs will also continue to be financially rewarding. The BLS listed the 2008 median income for analysts at $75,500, with pay ranging from $45,000 annually on the low end to north of $110,000 for the top 10 %.
The bottom line is that hard-working, qualified systems analysts will be able to thrive in the field, and they’ll do so in a variety of industries, from private business to education to government.