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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0JdNufvn-o.
Quick Facts: Computer Systems Analysts
2023 Median Pay $103,800 per year
$49.90 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2022 531,400
Job Outlook, 2022-32 10% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2022-32 51,100

What Computer Systems Analysts Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and design ways to improve efficiency.

Work Environment

Most computer systems analysts work full time.

How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. Studying a computer science or information systems field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire job candidates who have a degree in business or liberal arts along with relevant skills.

Pay

The median annual wage for computer systems analysts was $103,800 in May 2023.

Job Outlook

Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 10 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 37,600 openings for computer systems analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for computer systems analysts.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of computer systems analysts with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about computer systems analysts by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Computer Systems Analysts Do About this section

Computer systems analysts
Analysts create diagrams to help programmers and architects build computer systems.

Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design improvements to them. In doing so, these analysts help the organization operate more efficiently.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of information technology (IT) systems in an organization
  • Research different technologies to decide if they would increase the organization’s efficiency
  • Analyze costs and benefits of IT systems and upgrades to help managers decide which, if any, to install
  • Devise ways to add functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design new systems by configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems and customize them for the organization
  • Test systems to ensure that they work as expected
  • Write instruction manuals and train the systems’ end users

Most computer systems analysts specialize in computer systems that are specific to their organization type. For example, an analyst might work with financial computer systems or with engineering computer systems. Computer systems analysts work with other IT team members to help an organization’s business leaders understand how computer systems best serve the organization.

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques, such as data modeling, to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view processes and data flows. Analysts conduct indepth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory, storage, and computing power the computer system needs. They prepare diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system setup. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Analysts who focus on coding and debugging, in addition to their other tasks, may be referred to as programmer analysts. They also may design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. For information about other occupations that do programming or testing, see the profiles on computer programmers and software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who also plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Work Environment About this section

Computer systems analysts
Some systems analysts work as consultants.

Computer systems analysts held about 531,400 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of computer systems analysts were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 24%
Finance and insurance 13
Management of companies and enterprises 10
Information 8
Government 7

Computer systems analysts may work directly for an organization or as contractors, often for an information technology firm. The projects that computer systems analysts work on usually require them to collaborate with others.

Work Schedules

Most computer systems analysts work full time.

How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst About this section

Computer systems analysts
Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree.

Computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. Studying a computer science or information systems field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire job candidates who have a degree in business or liberal arts along with relevant skills.

Education

Computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as mathematics. Because these analysts are involved in the business side of an organization, taking business courses or majoring in management information systems may be helpful. Some employers hire job candidates who have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Systems analysts may take continuing education courses throughout their careers to stay abreast of new technology. Technological advances are common in the computer field, and continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts also must understand the industry they are working in. For example, an analyst working in a hospital may need a thorough understanding of healthcare plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having industry-specific knowledge helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts may advance to become project managers and lead a team of analysts. Some eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also figure out how changes may affect the project.

Business skills. Analysts design and implement computer systems or upgrade existing systems to meet an organization’s business goals. Analysts must have a thorough understanding of their organization’s business objectives in order to meet its needs.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a liaison between management and the IT department and must explain complex issues in a way that both understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, they must be resourceful and use ingenuity in their work.

Detail oriented. Analysts study an organization’s computer systems and must pay attention to the minutiae to find areas of inefficiency or error.

Organizational skills. Analysts may coordinate work with different areas of an organization and must keep track of many tasks and deadlines to ensure that projects proceed according to plan.

Pay About this section

Computer Systems Analysts

Median annual wages, May 2023

Computer occupations

$104,420

Computer systems analysts

$103,800

Total, all occupations

$48,060

 

The median annual wage for computer systems analysts was $103,800 in May 2023. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $63,230, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $165,700.

In May 2023, the median annual wages for computer systems analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $107,820
Information 105,440
Finance and insurance 105,190
Computer systems design and related services 103,620
Government 91,510

Most computer systems analysts work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Computer Systems Analysts

Percent change in employment, projected 2022-32

Computer occupations

14%

Computer systems analysts

10%

Total, all occupations

3%

 

Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 10 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 37,600 openings for computer systems analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

As organizations across the economy continue to rely on information technology (IT), computer systems analysts will be hired to design and install new computer systems. Small firms with minimal IT requirements will find it more cost effective to contract with outside firms for these services rather than to hire computer systems analysts directly.

Employment projections data for computer systems analysts, 2022-32
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2022 Projected Employment, 2032 Change, 2022-32 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Computer systems analysts

15-1211 531,400 582,600 10 51,100 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.org. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of computer systems analysts.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2023 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Actuaries Actuaries

Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the economic costs of risk and uncertainty.

Bachelor's degree $120,000
Computer and information research scientists Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing computing technology.

Master's degree $145,080
Computer and information systems managers Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

Bachelor's degree $169,510
computer network architects image Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects design and implement data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.

Bachelor's degree $129,840
Computer programmers Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write, modify, and test code and scripts that allow computer software and applications to function properly.

Bachelor's degree $99,700
Database administrators Database Administrators and Architects

Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure data.

Bachelor's degree $117,450
Information security analysts Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Bachelor's degree $120,360
Management analysts Management Analysts

Management analysts recommend ways to improve an organization’s efficiency.

Bachelor's degree $99,410
Network and computer systems administrators Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators install, configure, and maintain organizations’ computer networks and systems.

Bachelor's degree $95,360
Operations research analysts Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts use mathematics and logic to help solve complex issues.

Bachelor's degree $83,640
Software developers Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

Software developers design computer applications or programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report defects.  

Bachelor's degree $130,160
Computer support specialists Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users.

See How to Become One $60,810
Web developers Web Developers and Digital Designers

Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability.

Bachelor's degree $92,750
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Systems Analysts,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm (visited July 07, 2024).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2023 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2023, the median annual wage for all workers was $48,060.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2022

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2022, which is the base year of the 2022-32 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2022-32

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

Employment Change, 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

2023 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2023, the median annual wage for all workers was $48,060.