In am very interested in building a future career as an information systems specialist. The specific job titles that fall in this specialization include a systems analyst, business systems analyst, computer systems analyst, systems engineer, business analyst and information systems analyst. As a systems’ analyst, I stand to be employed in multiple diverse, business, government, and information technology industries. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (2012), there were upwards of 520,600 jobs held by systems analysts by the end of the year 2012. I am particularly keen on working on Wall Street for companies such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and AIG. The computer systems design industry (and its associated industries) represents the single largest employer, accounting for upwards of 27% of all employments within the United States. The finance/insurance industry and the management of companies/enterprises industry, which accounted for 14% and 8% of all jobs respectively, while the information industry and public corporations/agencies (State and local government, excluding education and hospitals) account for 7% apiece.
As a systems/computer analyst, I may work directly for an organization, which is likely to be the case for larger organizations, but may also offer their services as consultants. A systems analysts core job is to evaluate an organization’s current computer systems/processes the design solutions that would help the organization more effective and efficient. I am effectively an architect, responsible for understanding the needs of my organizations and design solutions to improve performance or capacity. Typically, my job would involve employing a variety of techniques to evaluate the capacity, performance of the organization and advice accordingly. I am the guy to tell the company we should invest in a new server or embrace cloud computing. The key responsibilities expected of a systems/computer analyst include:
- Researching emerging and existing technologies to determine the best solutions to bolster an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
- Testing, maintenance and monitoring of computer systems and programs, including the coordination of design and implementation of new systems and programs
- Designing or developing new systems or functionality through the choice and configuration of software/hardware
- Preparation of cost/benefits analyses, staff training and advising management on the choice/use of computing infrastructure and systems
- Translation client and organizational needs into clear project specification
Naturally, evaluating systems and designing evaluating new ones requires a mastery of technical knowledge and skills. The specific qualifications, knowledge and experience, include the following:
- Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in computer-related field. Technically advanced positions may require a masters or doctorate.
- Depending on the nature of the organization, specific qualifications in the relevant field are also important. For instance, I have seen advertisements that require business/liberal arts degree coupled by technical qualifications in systems analysis.
- Knowledge of computer programming and systems development cycles
- Knowledge of management and administrative principles necessary for strategic planning, modeling, resource allocation and coordination
- Practical and theoretical knowledge of engineering science and technology
- Creative thinking necessary to develop creative solutions and approaches to problems
- Analytical skills
- Great communication and interpersonal skills
- Self-drive and motivation
- Deductive and inductive reasoning and written comprehension skills
- Ability to identify, evaluate and solve complex problems
- Customer service
The biggest impediment in qualifying for this position includes the lack of the required educational qualifications and core skills necessary to be effective at this job. Creative and critical thought is indispensable to the job. Further, practical experience is very important to this job, which is why internship programs are central to qualification. There is limited on-the-job training, which is why experience may be a problem. I am also not a very creative person, which may affect my ability to perform well. However, I have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. I will also ensure I attain proper qualifications and technical knowledge in order to be competitive.
Systems analysts are relatively well-remunerated. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (2012), entry level positions pay $49,950 per year. The median pay in the industry stood at $79,680 in the year 2012, with the top ten percent of professionals earning as much as $122,090. With the jobs in this segment expected to grow by as much as 25% by the close of the year 2022, the compensation should increase due to high demand.
Membership to, or certifications by professional associations is helpful. These associations include the Association of Business Process Management Professionals International; Association for Computing Machinery; International Association of Software Architects; IEEE Computer Society; and the International Institute of Business Analysis. Most of them require membership fees and/or sub subscription to services such as newsletters, journals or paid attendance of conferences. Luckily, most of these associations have counters across the world, including in colleges, to facilitate gaining of skills and knowledge on the field. While some are strictly meant for networking, most of them offer certifications, internships and provide members with information about the latest developments in the field. Other alternative networking opportunities exist. These include attendance of professional events, seminars and conferences, and perhaps most importantly field attachments. My personal strategy is to invest much effort in securing internships while in college and making sure I perform well, but also create networks that would help me land a great job. I should attend an internship every summer holiday, attend at least to conferences a year and always make a point to personally know my superiors.
Association of Computing for Machinery. (2005). ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Retrieved Oct 21, 2014, from http://www.acm.org/about/code-of-ethics
Bureau of Labour Statistics. (2012, March 3). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Technology Occupations. Retrieved Oct 21, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
Modern Analyst. (2009, March 11). Organizations of interest to the Business Analyst and Systems Analyst. Retrieved Oct 21, 2014, from http://www.modernanalyst.com/Resources/Organizations/tabid/108/Default.aspx
O*NetOnline. (2010). Summary Report for:. Retrieved Oct 21, 2012, from 15-1121.00 - Computer Systems Analysts
Prospects UK. (2014). Systems Analyst: Job Description. Retrieved Oct 21, 2014, from http://www.prospects.ac.uk/systems_analyst_job_description.htm