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Career profile Computer Systems Analyst

Also known as Applications Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Computer Analyst, Computer Systems Analyst, Computer Systems Consultant, Information Systems Analyst (ISA), Information Technology Analyst (IT Analyst), System Analyst, Systems Analyst

Computer Systems Analyst

Also known as Applications Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Computer Analyst

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$56,510 - $152,060 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems.
  • Troubleshoot program and system malfunctions to restore normal functioning.
  • Expand or modify system to serve new purposes or improve work flow.
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What does a Computer Systems Analyst do?

Computer Systems Analysts analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns.

In addition, Computer Systems Analysts

  • perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations,
  • may analyze or recommend commercially available software.

What kind of tasks does a Computer Systems Analyst perform regularly?

Computer Systems Analysts are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems.
  • Troubleshoot program and system malfunctions to restore normal functioning.
  • Expand or modify system to serve new purposes or improve work flow.
  • Use the computer in the analysis and solution of business problems, such as development of integrated production and inventory control and cost analysis systems.
  • Consult with management to ensure agreement on system principles.
  • Confer with clients regarding the nature of the information processing or computation needs a computer program is to address.
  • Coordinate and link the computer systems within an organization to increase compatibility so that information can be shared.
  • Develop, document, and revise system design procedures, test procedures, and quality standards.
  • Train staff and users to work with computer systems and programs.
  • Define the goals of the system and devise flow charts and diagrams describing logical operational steps of programs.
  • Assess the usefulness of pre-developed application packages and adapt them to a user environment.
  • Provide staff and users with assistance solving computer-related problems, such as malfunctions and program problems.

The above responsibilities are specific to Computer Systems Analysts. More generally, Computer Systems Analysts are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Computer Systems Analyst salary?

The median salary for a Computer Systems Analyst is $93,730, and the average salary is $99,020. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Computer Systems Analyst salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Computer Systems Analysts earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Computer Systems Analysts earn less than $56,510 per year, 25% earn less than $72,030, 75% earn less than $120,890, and 90% earn less than $152,060.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Computer Systems Analysts is expected to change by 7.0%, and there should be roughly 47,500 open positions for Computer Systems Analysts every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$56,510 - $152,060
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Computer Systems Analysts?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Computer Systems Analyst are usually higher in their Conventional, Investigative, and Realistic interests.

Computer Systems Analysts typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Computer Systems Analysts typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Computer Systems Analysts typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Computer Systems Analyst tend to value Working Conditions, Independence, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Computer Systems Analysts strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Computer Systems Analysts strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Computer Systems Analysts strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Computer Systems Analysts must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, attention to detail, and adaptability/flexibility.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Computer Systems Analysts, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Computer Systems Analysts need?

Many Computer Systems Analysts will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Computer Systems Analysts usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Computer Systems Analysts

  • 0.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 5.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 12.7% completed some college coursework
  • 8.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 47.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 23.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Computer Systems Analysts might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Computer Systems Analysts need abilities such as oral comprehension, deductive reasoning, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Computer Systems Analysts, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Computer Systems Analysts

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Computer Systems Analysts frequently use skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Computer Systems Analysts, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Systems Analysis
Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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