Systems Analyst: Meaning, Job Description and Salary

systems analyst
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Systems analysts seek to improve the user experience with computer software. These specialists advise companies and clients on whatever software they may require, install the software, and communicate with users to ensure that the systems work effectively. Systems analysts are employed by major organizations as well as small business startups. They may work for one company or consult with clients. This article explains the job description of a systems analyst and how to become one, including the average salary one is expected to earn.

Who is a Systems Analyst?

A computer systems analyst, sometimes known as a system architect, works with businesses, institutions, and private clients. Systems analysts survey and diagnose database software problems, troubleshoot user concerns, and advise management on system innovations to boost productivity. Systems analysts, whether employed by corporations or working as independent consultants, assess difficulties with program users and platforms. This position necessitates excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as knowledge of both standard and emerging technology.

Systems analysts examine the most recent database and system design technologies in order to improve infrastructures and train employees, clients, and patients to use systems efficiently. To meet the demands of their clients, these analysts can also specialize in finance technology, engineering, or educational privacy law (known as FERPA). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer systems analyst occupations will expand at a greater rate than the national average of 9%, making systems analysis a safe option for long-term employment.

Job Description for a Systems Analyst

A Systems Analyst is in charge of assessing a client’s computing demands and converting them into system specifications. Their responsibilities include doing hardware and software evaluations, advising shareholders on their IT infrastructure, and producing cost analyses of potential IT ventures.

System Analyst Roles and Responsibilities

A Systems Analyst may be expected to undertake the following tasks:

  • Training users on how to properly use their computer systems
  • Creating system instruction manuals
  • Consultation with management to determine the role of the systems in the organization
  • Regular testing of the systems to verify quality and functionality
  • Creating a cost-benefit analysis for systems
  • Inventing novel techniques to enhance system functionality
  • Choosing and configuring a system’s hardware and software

Salary and Prospects for Systems Analysts

The highest-paying industry for system analysts, according to the BLS, is oil and gas production, with an annual mean income of $124,690. Audio and video equipment manufacture, aerospace product and components manufacturing, and other information services are also high-paying businesses for system analysts, with annual mean salaries ranging from $107,330 to $112,330.

Location also influences systems analyst compensation. As of May 2018, New Jersey has the highest annual mean wage of $107,540, followed by Washington, D.C., New York, California, and Virginia. During the same time period, California employed the most systems analysts.

Years of field experience might also help systems analysts earn a higher salary. Entry-level systems analysts earn $54,716 per year, according to PayScale. Salaries can rise by $6,000 with only 1-4 years of experience.

How To Become A Systems Analyst

#1. Earn Your Degree

The educational background for careers as a systems analyst varies. Most occupations require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject. However, because analyst professions involve interpersonal skills, liberal arts majors are more likely to be hired. Liberal arts majors may want to consider attending continuing education classes to learn about information technology and computer coding or programming. Large organizations and financial institutions frequently seek candidates with a master’s degree in business administration.

Students can take these courses or degrees online through programs designed for working professionals who want to work part- or full-time. Regardless of their industry, most systems analysts continue their education beyond formal schooling through on-the-job training and continuing education seminars. To stay competitive in the employment market, they take courses and gain certifications from private corporations such as Microsoft or IBM, or they attend programs through associations and continuing education colleges.

#2. Acquire Experience

Most employers demand candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in computer or information technology. Some positions demand 1-4 years of prior professional experience in information technology service or analysis. Other jobs, notably in finance or business, frequently require an MBA.

#3. Earn Qualifications

Many systems analysts have qualifications from companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe. Although these qualifications are not often required by employers, they do prepare individuals to identify and troubleshoot problems. They also give you access to the company’s support systems and solutions. Such qualifications can increase analysts’ earning potential by broadening their skill sets and distinguishing them from the competition.

Other optional qualifications, such as the global information assurance certification, provide additional evidence of expertise and professional insight. For people interested in working for large organizations and financial institutions, an additional degree such as an MBA is essential. For prospective systems analysts, on-the-job experience is even more vital. Find a volunteer or part-time employment to establish practical skill sets and enter the job market with a firm foundation if at all possible.

Qualifications and Skills for a Systems Analyst

A Systems Analyst must have several critical skills in order to be genuinely effective in their profession. These include:

The ability to take the initiative and motivate oneself

An adaptable and flexible mentality that allows them to approach and solve a challenge from several perspectives.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Communication abilities, both written and spoken
  • The capacity to work in a team
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Developed examination and analysis skills

Important Hard Skills

Learning is more important than innate personality qualities when it comes to hard skills. Systems analysts, for example, must be proficient in Microsoft Office and programming languages such as Structured Query Language (SQL).

#1. Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office software suite is the leading system for professional and educational institutions worldwide. Learn how to use these tools, as well as the underlying structural coding language, to detect and isolate problems and give programming solutions. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, OneNote, Outlook, and Publisher are among the programs available.

#2. SQL

SQL is a data management system and application that supports and orients all data management systems and programs, including Microsoft Office products. It enables programmers to create websites and connect datasets and online applications to create interoperable, complicated search engines and platforms for corporate and institutional innovation.

#3. Systems Administration

These workers monitor computer systems, including software and program configurations, whether at a corporation, school, or government branch. They are also in charge of user access and security. They assist community members in gaining access to computer systems, troubleshooting difficulties as they emerge, upgrading or installing new systems, and translating necessary information or metadata between applications.

Important Soft Skills

Professionals can learn soft skills, but these abilities are more dependent on personality qualities and personal preferences. Systems analysts must be able to communicate effectively across several channels, use critical thinking to solve client problems with technological solutions, and examine both business and technical demands from a company standpoint.

#1. Communication

Systems analysts speak with their supervisors, colleagues, personnel, and clients on a regular basis. They work on projects with colleagues and managers, and they may be required to present technical knowledge to their clients. These experts may need to communicate via phone, email, and face-to-face meetings, as well as report progress via formal reports.

Systems analysts use critical thinking to solve problems on several levels, first assessing an organization’s needs, then devising and executing solutions. As a result, they must utilize strong critical thinking abilities to recognize problems, propose logical alternatives, carry out plans, and assess if their adjustments result in improvements.

Systems analysts identify the requirements of organizations or corporations. They create software systems and propose programs or security advancements to protect sensitive data at their firm. These specialists research product choices and identify the most cost-effective system innovations conceivable, taking into account both short- and long-term outcomes.

#2. Technical Evaluation

Financial and company technical advisers use software and programs to forecast financial climates, whereas school administration technical analysts focus on information technology and education dissemination advances.

Education and Training Requirements for Systems Analysts

Systems Analysts must generally have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field of study. Additional business courses or a concentration in management information systems may also be advantageous areas of study for this job. A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is required by some employers for Systems Analysts. A master’s degree in computer science (MCS) is typically more appropriate for this role as the job becomes more sophisticated.

Though technical degrees are rarely necessary for this position, programming or technological experience might give beneficial training. Because technology is constantly evolving, continuing education is essential for anyone working in IT to stay updated on new technology.

Though there is a greater emphasis on education rather than experience to enter this area, some roles will demand industry knowledge. This is done so that Systems Analysts working on an organization’s system may completely comprehend the nature and requirements of the systems in connection to the company. Hospitals, for example, might require a Systems Analyst who is well-versed in health plans and programs, but a bank’s Systems Analyst may require a background in finance.

Job Description for a Business Systems Analyst

Business Systems Analysts are in charge of analyzing and developing a company’s business operations. These highly analytical individuals, also known as Systems Analysts, have both business and technological knowledge. The responsibilities include:

  • Analyzing needs, evaluating costs, and developing system procedures
  • Examine both existing and new business procedures.
  • Determine effective solutions to company software system problems.
  • Inform management on typical trends, queries, and other difficulties.
  • Make recommendations for ways to improve and restructure company practices.
  • Regular tests and analysis are used to evaluate firm performance, information, and strategies.
  • Monitor the status of the company’s systems and report any improvements or changes.
  • Investigate and calculate the expenses of upgrades and improvements.
  • Develop project goals, phases, and finances to provide specifications for new projects.


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, computer science, or a related discipline.
  • A minimum of three years’ experience as a business systems analyst.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication abilities.
  • Hughly analytical mindset.
  • Microsoft Office proficient.

Business Systems Analyst Salary

As of March 28, 2023, the average Business Systems Analyst salary in the United States is $80,345. However, the salary range frequently ranges between $72,574 and $89,081. Salary ranges can vary greatly depending on a variety of things, including schooling, certifications, supplementary talents, and the number of years you have worked in your field. 

Does System Analyst Require Coding?

Most analysts perform some programming as part of their job. Analysts that specialize on coding and debugging on top of their other responsibilities are known as programmer analysts. They may also design and update their system’s software and develop apps tailored to the demands of their firm.

What Are 4 Skills of a Systems Analyst?

  • Critical Thinking
  • Organizational Understanding 
  • Problem Identification
  • Problem Analysis and Resolution. 

What Are the 3 Major Roles of a Systems Analyst?

The systems analyst has three primary roles: consultant, supporting expert, and change agent. 

What Programming Language Does System Analysts Use?

Systems analysts must be proficient in Microsoft Office as well as programming languages such as Structured Query Language (SQL).

What Are the Six Responsibilities of a System Analyst?

Typical responsibilities include:

  • System software maintenance
  • Taking care of system issues
  • Meeting with users to determine business requirements
  • Executing project management
  • Taking on the role of team leader 
  • Managing lower-level information technology personnel.
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