Business leaders rely on information systems analysts to make informed decisions and determine the updates that computer systems in an organization require. Information systems analysts need a specific set of skills and experience, and we will tell you all about it in this guide.
If you are wondering how to become an information systems analyst, you’ve landed in the right place. This comprehensive guide covers all the steps you need to take to become an information systems analyst, the educational paths available, average salaries, job outlook, and other key aspects of the role.
What Is an Information Systems Analyst?
Information systems analysts combine technology and business skills to ensure that organizations operate efficiently. The role involves studying how a company uses technology and building innovative solutions to promote effectiveness and efficiency.
Information systems analysts focus on computer systems, while business systems analysts also take into account less technical aspects of company processes. Both of these professionals require a strong IT background to carry out their duties.
Information Systems Analyst Job Description
The information systems analyst evaluates information systems against the goals and needs of the company or client. They also work with software operators and users to determine the effectiveness of the systems.
Information systems analysts also design IT solutions to increase productivity. Sometimes, they will oversee the creation of entire business models. Foremost in mind for information systems analysts is ensuring information and computer systems meet the expectations of the users.
Information Systems Analyst Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information systems analysts earn a median annual salary of $93,730, equal to an hourly wage of $45.06. Demand for systems analysts is expected to increase as organizations rely more heavily on IT. The number of job openings for information systems analysts is expected to grow seven percent within the current decade.
Top Reasons to Become an Information Systems Analyst in 2021
There are a lot of reasons to become an information systems analyst in 2021. This career enjoys a very position job outlook as well as high compensation. Below we discuss these and other perks of this exciting role.
- Positive job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job market for information systems analysts will grow seven percent growth from 2020 to 2030. The field already employed over 600,000 professionals in 2020.
- High compensation. People in this field earn high salaries compared to most occupations. According to BLS, the median salary these analysts earned in 2020 was $93,730.
- Employable across many industries. Information systems analysts can work in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, and finance. You can even find work with the government or a nonprofit organization.
- Plenty of opportunities for career progression. A position as an information systems analyst can easily lead to a managerial role or other senior jobs.
Information Systems Analyst Job Requirements
The requirements to get a job as an information systems analyst can vary widely according to the company advertising the role. However, a common requirement in most job postings is formal education in computer systems or IT. We analyze this and other job requirements below.
- Computer systems background. While it is possible to get a job without a degree, many employers want to hire information systems analysts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Business Intelligence, or a related field.
- Programming language knowledge. Some positions may require a command of one or several programming languages.
- Database maintenance and administration. The role also requires strong knowledge and understanding of database administration and maintenance.
- Computer hardware and software skills. Information systems analysts need to be able to install, configure, document, test, and implement new systems and applications. Abilities such as hardware development, analysis, and testing as well as cloud management are strong assets for these professionals.
Types of Information Systems Analyst Careers
Information systems analysts have access to a lot of career opportunities. If you have the skills required to be an information systems analyst, you can typically find work as a computer systems analyst, computer and information systems manager, systems administrator, or computer network architect, to name a few.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts are responsible for enhancing an organization’s processes by assessing tech-related problems and implementing working solutions. These analysts also help build computer systems. To become a computer systems analyst, you need expertise in systems architecture, networking, and systems analysis, among other areas.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers monitor all the computer-based processes of an organization. They take care of all software and hardware issues for companies and are sometimes tasked with managing budgets as well.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects are responsible for developing and maintaining computer hardware systems that handle data communication networks. They are charged with monitoring these networks and keeping software and hardware up to date. Due to the high salary and great job outlook, this is considered one of the best jobs in tech.
Information Systems Analyst Meaning: What Does an Information Systems Analyst Do?
Analysis is only part of the job. These experts are also in the design and implementation teams for new information systems, but they can also work in IT support and software development. Listed below are some of the other crucial responsibilities shouldered by information systems analysts.
As an information systems analyst, you are responsible for researching new technologies for the organization that hired you. You must evaluate the costs and benefits of new technologies and decide whether it’s prudent to implement them at your workplace.
You need to collaborate with specialists, managers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the technological needs of the organization are being met. Listening to feedback from your colleagues, who are using these systems and applications every day, is essential.
You may be charged with testing software systems and ensuring that they are working properly. The job will also require filing reports to management based on your findings and coming up with solutions in case you detected any anomalies.
Essential Information Systems Analyst Skills
Information systems analysts need to have a combination of technical and soft skills to thrive in their field. While critical thinking and analytical skills are paramount for the role, so is being able to collaborate with colleagues and clients from different backgrounds.
Problem-solving is a big part of being a successful information systems analyst. You must first analyze the needs of the organization and implement working solutions. Possessing strong critical thinking skills makes it easier to identify problems.
Information systems analysts need to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and clients for different projects on a daily basis. The key to their success in this aspect of the job is being able to explain highly technical concepts in language that non-techies can understand.
Identifying the needs of the business is one of the most important technical skills you can have. To meet those needs, you will be exploring different options and choosing the most effective and economical products for the company.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Information Systems Analyst?
The time it takes to become an information systems analyst depends on several factors. If you choose to pursue a degree program, you are looking at a minimum of four years. After graduating from your program, you may also need to do an internship to gain some professional experience before applying for jobs.
Many professionals also choose to earn an advanced degree, which takes an additional two years. All in all, if you go down the academic route, it could be five to ten years before you gain employment in the field.
There is another option, however. A coding bootcamp can help you enter the workforce in a matter of months. Coding bootcamps use hands-on learning and project-based training to help students get the experience they need to land entry-level roles in their chosen field.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become an Information Systems Analyst?
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you gain employment as an information systems analyst. There are many bootcamps out there that you can attend to learn the practical computer science skills needed to work as an information systems analyst. Due to the hands-on training approach used by the best coding bootcamps, you will graduate with a large portfolio of projects that you can use during the job search.
Coding bootcamps are also a great educational and training option due to their flexibility. Bootcamp programs come in a variety of formats. It won’t be hard to find a part-time, full-time, online, in-person, self-paced, or instructed-led program in whichever subject you would like to pursue. If you choose to, you can study only a few hours per week.
Can I Become an Information Systems Analyst from Home?
Yes, you can. Nowadays, there are many options to study online and gain the skills you need to become an information systems analyst. Bootcamps often have remote training programs. You can also enroll in an online degree offered by a university to get the foundation you need for a career in the field.
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How to Become an Information Systems Analyst: A Step-by-Step Guide
To become an information systems analyst, you need a firm understanding of the fundamentals of information technology and of modern computing principles. This step-by-step guide should give you an idea of the typical career path for an information systems analyst.
Step 1: Get a Degree
Many information systems analyst positions require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Business Intelligence, or a related field. It normally takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Gain Experience
After graduating from school, it is important to gain experience. You can do this by getting an entry-level job or doing an internship. An internship can be a great opportunity to learn the ropes in your field and get a taste of what the job and the industry are like.
Step 3: Certification
Certification from reputable institutions and companies like IBM, Adobe, or Microsoft can set you apart from your peers during the job search. While certification is not compulsory, it can drastically increase your employability and earning potential.
Best Schools and Education for an Information Systems Analyst Career
To fulfill your educational requirements for a career in systems analysis, you can attend a coding bootcamp, vocational school, community college, or university. Below, we take a deep dive into each educational and training option.
Information Systems Analyst Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps offer programs that train you for the role of an information systems analyst. The top software engineering bootcamps will prepare you for work as an information systems analyst.
Vocational schools, also known as career schools, teach students practical trade skills that can help you gain employment quickly. While it would be hard to find a program at a vocational school that thoroughly prepares you for the information systems analyst role, you can find IT programs that will help you master the basics.
You can attend a community college to get an Associate Degree in Information Technology, Information Science, or Systems Management. Often, these institutions also offer foundational courses in IT, computer science, and management that can help you acquire useful skills. If you choose to attend a community college, you should also consider taking business courses to further prepare for the role.
Information Systems Analyst Degrees
Earning a bachelor’s degree is probably the most popular route to get started in the field. You can pursue a degree in management information systems, computer science, or a related tech field.
Most bachelor’s degrees can be completed in four years and include general education coursework alongside the core courses. The curriculum may involve the basics of database design, management principles, and system architecture. As part of your degree, you may be required to take part in an internship program to gain specialized training.
The Most Important Information Systems Analyst Certificates
To stand out as an information systems analyst, there are a few professional certifications you should consider. Employers always prefer candidates that remain abreast of the latest developments in the field and are on top of the latest technologies. Having a certificate is one way to prove this. Depending on your career goals, you may want to consider one of the following certifications.
Certified IT Professional
The Certified IT Professional (CITP) certification is meant for certified public accountants (CPAs) who also possess information technology skills. This certificate proves that you possess well-rounded skills in a variety of IT disciplines.
Certified Computing Professional
The Certified Computing Professional (CCP) targets more advanced experts in the information systems field. It has five levels of accreditation according to expertise: executive management, principal, mastery, associate/practitioner, and foundation.
Cisco Certified Networking Professional Routing & Switching
The Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Routing & Switching certification helps verify skills such as identification, installation, configuration, and management of networks. It also demonstrates your ability to fix networking issues. Sitting the exam does not require prior experience.
How to Prepare for Your Information Systems Analyst Job Interview
To ace your job interview, you will need to do some preparation. Make sure to carry out extensive research about the company and read the job description thoroughly to know exactly what the interviewer will be looking for. Rehearsing your answer to common questions can also be very beneficial. To help you, here are some sample interview questions you can expect.
Information Systems Analyst Job Interview Practice Questions
- Have you ever designed a system with little resources? How did it go?
- Can you conduct a feasibility study to check if a system meets the intended goals?
- How do you deal with constantly changing user requirements?
- Can you create a base document outlining the controls, checkpoints, and data flows of a system?
Should I Become an Information Systems Analyst in 2021?
Yes, you should become an information systems analyst if you have an interest in information technology, computer science, and management. This career offers a lot of opportunities, job growth, and a high average salary. If you are passionate about helping companies find and incorporate the right technological solutions, then this is the job for you.
Information Systems Analyst FAQ
Yes, you can become an information systems analyst without a degree. Coding bootcamps can give you the essential skills employers are looking for. These programs use practice-based learning to help students build a portfolio and acquire real-world experience.
Becoming an information systems analyst can be time-consuming and stressful no matter which education method you choose. However, with some dedication, you should have no problem getting a job in the field once you complete your training.
Information systems analysts are problem solvers. They are responsible for implementing or designing computer software, cloud services, and hardware. They also ensure that companies have access to the right technology solutions to maximize operational efficiency.
Information systems analysts are considered high earners. These experts earn a median wage of $93,730 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can expect regular pay raises as you gain experience.
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