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Computer Systems Analysts Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts at a Glance

Computer systems analysts are number 2 on the list of the 500 best jobs overall. The industry is expected to experience a 31.4% increase in job growth based on everything from ever-changing technology to the growth of new businesses.  According to JIST Publications’ Salary Facts Handbook, computer systems analysts analyze business, engineering, and science problems for application to data processing systems. They analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. In addition, computer system analystsmay supervise computer programmers, and analyze or recommend commercially available software.

Computer systems analysts work in just about every sector, but their numbers are higher in state government, insurance, computer system design, professional and commercial equipment, and company and enterprise management.

Schools to consider:

Employment Trends

Job Outlook: Rapid increase
Annual Openings: 56,000
Percent Growth: 31.4%
Total Jobs Held: 487,000
Projected Employment: 650,000 by 2016
The Best 500 Jobs Overall Ranking: 2

Source: “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” JIST Publishing 2009. Farr, Michael and Shatkin, Laurence, Ph.D.; “Salary Facts Handbook,” JIST Publishing 2008. Editors @ JIST.

Advances in technology, demand for computer networking, the application of sophisticated technologies, and the growth of electronic commerce will keep the demand for computer systems analysts high. While outsourcing may have a slight effect on the number of job openings in the U.S., there will still be plenty of work to go around over the next 7+ years.

Salary Trends

In 2009, computer systems analysts earned an average salary of $73,090 per year. This figure represents a 4.6% increase over 2008 ($69,760).Computer systems analysts in the 90th percentile can expect to earn around $106,820 per year, while 75th percentile computer system analysts can expect to earn $87,600 per year. Entry-level computer systems analysts can expect to earn an impressive starting salary of around $42,780 per year.

Degrees and Training Programs

A master’s degree is slowly becoming the standard in the career world of computer technology. Employers may very well hire an individual with an advanced degree over a bachelor’s degree. In general, a minimum bachelor’s degree is required for entry into the field. Most colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science or other technical field and many colleges offer the coveted MBA (master in business administration) with a concentration in information systems.

Because advanced and current technical skills are required for all computer systems analysts positions, continuing education courses are required. Colleges and universities, private training institutions, employers, and hardware/software vendors offer continuing education courses. Seminars are also an acceptable form of continuing education.

Coursework Required

Aspiring computer systems analysts can expect to take a number of general courses in mathematics, English, humanities, and social sciences. Major courses will range from operating systems concepts and system analysis & design to information systems business concepts and emerging technologies. Other courses will include networking concepts, security concepts, database concepts, and internet/web fundamentals.

A good example of how quickly technology advances is the lifespan of a PC. Did you know that most PC’s are irrelevant after only 2 years? Computer systems analysts must constantly educate themselves in order to keep up with technology.