Computer Analyst Job Description
Computer analysts work with large organizations to assess their IT capabilities, technologies, and processes, and determine how to improve their efficiency to achieve organizational goals. Balancing technical and advisory skills, computer analysts work with IT departments and decision-makers throughout the organization to improve how these elements work together.
Most computer analysts come from IT backgrounds, although many combine this with operations or administration to make informed decisions about computer hardware and software that can help drive business success. Computer analysts also play a central role in guiding the installation and configuration of new IT solutions.
Computer Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
While the specific responsibilities of a computer analyst can vary depending on their organization, most share several core duties:
Assess IT Capabilities
Computer analysts primarily assess an organization’s IT department by considering a number of factors related to technologies and processes. The computer analyst may examine existing technologies on both the client and business side, assessing data related to server loads, customer or client metrics, and data usage to determine whether the IT department can meet the organization’s current and future data management and security needs.
Examine Business Needs
Computer analysts work closely with management and organizational leadership to understand the organization’s current and future needs and business goals, and to determine how they can effectively use technology to meet those goals and remain flexible and scalable. In this aspect of the role, the computer analyst determines how current technologies fit into market share and client-side goals as well as operations and internal processes.
Identify Areas for Improvement
By assessing their organizations’ IT department structure and capabilities along with its business goals, computer analysts identify potential issues within the IT infrastructure. This can involve assessing technologies and systems for security flaws, potential sources of failure, and vulnerabilities. Additionally, computer analysts may suggest areas where data management and security can be improved.
Recommend Hardware and Software Improvements
Computer analysts work closely with IT departments and executives to provide advice and guidance on IT hardware, software, and services. These recommendations can cover improving IT training and processes or installing entirely new systems and servers to address the organization’s current and future IT needs. In this aspect of the role, many computer analysts focus on efficiency, availability, security, and scalability.
Enhance Process Efficiency
Often, computer analysts need to work with their organization’s existing technologies because of budgetary limitations. In these cases, computer analysts may focus on improving the efficiency of internal processes and identifying opportunities to use existing technologies more effectively. Computer analysts may make recommendations to improve the way their organizations design and enforce IT policies and procedures.
Install and Configure IT Solutions
Many computer analysts also work directly with IT departments to install and configure new hardware and software. They may oversee server migrations, for example, to prevent downtime or data loss, or may help departments procure new equipment or software licenses. In some cases, computer analysts may also provide training support for personnel.
Computer Analyst Skills and Qualifications
Computer analysts assess large organizations’ IT systems, processes, and technologies to help them run more efficiently. Workers in this role tend to have at least a bachelor’s degree and the following skills:
- Analytical thinking – assessment and analysis are both central to the computer analyst’s role, since they need to examine IT departments and technology on both an organization-wide and granular scale
- Familiarity with organizational strategy – computer analysts should also have a keen sense of their organization’s strategies and goals, and should understand how technologies can support these goals
- Problem-solving skills – computer analysts should be excellent technical and creative problem-solvers, and should be able to examine an organization’s needs and devise software and hardware solutions
- Team coordination – in this role, computer analysts work with IT departments and decision-makers to coordinate the installation and configuration of new technologies or solutions, so they should be able to effectively collaborate
- Communication skills – written and verbal communication are both essential for computer analysts, since they need to communicate with personnel and prepare reports on their findings
Computer Analyst Education and Training
Computer analysts typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer or information science. Additionally, some workers in this role have advanced degrees in business administration with a focus on information systems to help align technology with business goals. Most computer analysts have several years of IT experience, working as technicians or support analysts as they gain expertise in the field.
Computer Analyst Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that computer systems analysts earn a median annual salary of $88,270. The highest-paid workers in this role earn more than $139,850, while the lowest-paid 10 percent of computer systems analysts earn less than $53,750 per year.
The BLS expects employment of computer systems analysts to grow at an average pace of 9 percent through 2026, with the highest concentration of new positions in the healthcare industry.
If you’d like to learn more about working as a computer analyst, we found many resources on the web for further information:
CompTIA Certifications – CompTIA offers several certification courses that can help computer analysts advance their careers and learn best practices for system design and enhancement across organizations
Systems Analysis and Design – this comprehensive textbook covers system analysis and design using real-world examples and hands-on projects
Association of Information Technology Professionals – computer analysts can join AITP to connect with other IT professionals, access continuing education and professional development materials, and read industry news
Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World – read this book to learn about the impact of emerging technologies on the computer analyst’s role
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