How to become a Systems Analyst

Systems Analyst

A systems analyst decides what kind of IT is suitable for their business by looking at its needs. They implement new systems and look at old systems to decide whether they are working or not, upgrading them if needed.

By considering the needs and goals of a business, a systems analyst helps them function better using technology. Someone in this position will analyse their business and work out which IT programmes will help them improve, considering costs, efficiency and reliability. A systems analyst will work with colleagues to find the most compromisable solution for everybody.

The main systems analyst responsibilities are as follows: 

  • Designing computer systems with the needs and goals of the company in mind, making sure that they are based on a large amount of research, including cost-benefit analysis, to provide the most suitable solution. 
  • Maintaining current systems and troubleshooting any problems that may occur with them. 
  • Upgrading systems when the current system has proved to be not functional for its desired use. 
  • Communicating with people in other teams and ensuring that any new systems or upgrades are functioning as planned. 
  • Reporting on systems and explaining why changes have been made to management or a wider pool of employees. 

A systems analyst career path may begin with a degree in IT, computing, or business. However, it is not necessarily a graduate role – many people join at entry level without tertiary education and train on the job. 

Nonetheless, it is crucial that prospective systems analysts have a keen understanding of computing and IT, with a great knowledge of programming languages and systems. The ideal candidate will have some relevant work experience and be able to show their aptitude for the subject through a deep knowledge of it, which can be gained by taking some extra courses to supplement their education and training.

Businesses across the board need systems analysts, so it is possible to do this job in a wide range of industries. It is beneficial to have experience, knowledge and an appreciation of the specific industry. 

Systems analysts typically have full-time positions, but may often need to work overtime hours. Certain projects need to be completed as they come in, and often systems analysts will want to experiment when nobody else is in the office to avoid any IT-based disruption to work. 

The systems analyst salary is generous, factoring in the responsibility of the job and the likeliness of working overtime, with a lot of salary progression as the candidate works their way up the career ladder.

What degree is most commonly held by a Systems Analyst?

  • BA / M of Computer Science
  • MBA
  • BA / M of Information Technology
  • BA / M of Accounting
  • BA / M of Computer Engineering
  • BA / M of Electrical Engineering
  • BA / M of Computer Software Engineering
  • BA / M of Information Systems
  • BA / M of Economics
  • BA / M of Engineering
  • BA / M of Mathematics

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
For systems analysts professionals, it is certainly possible to find work abroad in an international - or even local - company. The need for systems analysts is on the increase across the globe, and many businesses are looking for the global experts in the field, and will happily organise work visas if needed. Being a systems analyst typically involves domestic or international travel, so there is also a likelihood of doing shorter business trips.

What is the Salary of a Systems Analyst?

Experience Average salary | year
Junior 1-2 Years $44,936 £24,000 $33,168
Mid-level 1-4 Years $49,860 £27,000 $37,465
Senior 5+ Years $57,216 £32,000 $42,282
Systems Manager 10+ Years $81,738 £55,000 $44,423

What skills are needed to become a Systems Analyst?

  • SQL
  • Business Analysis
  • Microsoft Office
  • Project Management
  • Management
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Data Analysis
  • Leadership
  • SDLC
  • Microsoft Word
  • Databases
  • Integration
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Java
  • Active Directory
  • HTML
  • Change Management
  • Team Leadership
  • Process Improvement
  • windows server

Systems Analyst Courses

For someone learning how to become a systems analyst, taking some extra courses is a great way to get the knowledge required for this complex role. Learning about business problems and software solutions is a great start, as are some general courses about cybersecurity and data.
  • Data to Insight: An Introduction to Data Analysis and Visualisation

    Get a hands-on introduction to data science exploring principles of statistical analysis and data visualisation

  • Introduction to Cyber Security

    Discover essential cyber security knowledge and skills and learn how you can better protect your digital life

  • Business Problems and Software Solutions

    Discover how to overcome real-world business challenges with software solutions

  • Risk Management in the Global Economy

    What is risk This free course examines the financial markets and the role that risk management tools play in the global economy

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