What Are Typical Systems Analyst Qualifications And Skills?
Updated 11 April 2023
A systems analyst reviews, analyses and designs information technology (IT) systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation. By employing soft and hard skills such as communication, time management, programming languages and database management, these analysts fulfil their routine responsibilities productively. Learning about typical systems analyst qualifications can help you select appropriate educational credentials to pursue and develop a relevant skill set. In this article, we explain what a systems analyst does, list common qualifications for the role, provide information about their responsibilities and outline steps to become one.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
What Are Systems Analyst Qualifications?
Systems analyst qualifications are the strengths, abilities and subject-matter expertise a person has that help them secure a rewarding system analyst job. These qualifications often focus on educational background and skills, but some employers may require work experience to offer candidates the position in their company. Companies frequently prefer candidates who have pursued a bachelor's degree in computer science, IT or a related field along with other capabilities, such as proficiency working with network architectures, system architectures and operating systems. Systems analysts who think analytically and possess strong interpersonal skills are more likely to qualify for the position.
Possessing certifications and specialisations also adds to your qualifications, as these credentials help convey to hiring managers your commitment towards your career goals. Systems thinking, domain designs and system administration are some examples of courses that are available for systems analysts, helping them gain advanced knowledge of the domain. Qualifications also differ according to the type of systems analyst. For instance, it is typically necessary for a systems administrator to be adept at installing and maintaining software, whereas a common requirement for a computer network architect is to work with information correspondence within a company.
What Does A Systems Analyst Do?
Systems analysts (also referred to as IT analysts, systems architects and systems administrators) evaluate the efficiency of the technology infrastructure that exists in companies. Their primary responsibility is to maintain the integrity of critical systems and implement measures to improve overall efficiency. This is a diverse field with many possible specialisations and roles with differing responsibilities. In general, systems analysts perform a range of tasks, including:
Troubleshooting and maintaining data storage systems
Evaluating and researching technology used in the infrastructure
Determining user requirements to deliver system improvements
Creating cost analysis reports to identify areas for efficiency
Communicating with stakeholders and providing training to users
Helping the IT team implement newly developed and approved systems
Reviewing existing IT systems, such as hardware and software, to identify errors
Collaborating with employees and department heads to identify system requirements
Developing new systems that address and resolve problems associated with current systems
Preparing analytical reports that illustrate the cost-effectiveness of suggested upgrades
Key Qualifications Required To Become A Systems Analyst
Here are some key qualifications frequently required to become a systems analyst:
Most systems analyst positions require a bachelor's degree in computer science and IT. Some companies prefer candidates with a master's degree in these fields. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems also gives candidates a competitive advantage in the job market, as companies may also expect systems analysts to understand their business requirements. Some popular undergraduate courses include a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) in computer science and BTech in IT. Employers often require candidates clear an entrance examination, such as the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), to secure admission to these courses.
You can obtain most of the training required for systems analysts through coursework in bachelor's programmes, certification programmes and on-the-job training in different positions. Candidates typically require substantial experience in an IT role before qualifying for a systems analyst position, although entry-level roles may only require relevant educational background and skill set. These individuals usually begin their careers as programmers or developers and progress to become systems analysts after gaining the necessary experience working with multiple teams and systems.
While not mandatory, certifications can demonstrate a systems analyst's subject-matter expertise and commitment to their career goals. Several online certificate courses in operating systems, programming languages and other IT-related subjects can offer alternative ways to advance your career. CompTIA certifications are also beneficial for systems analysts. Examples of useful CompTIA certifications include:
A+ certification: This entry-level certification verifies IT skills and knowledge in networking, operating systems, mobile devices and security.
Security+ certification: This sets a benchmark for best practices in online security and focuses on skills in forensics, enterprise networks and risk assessment and management.
CySA+ certification: This intermediate-level credential is for those working in cybersecurity and performing data analysis, identifying vulnerabilities and threats and protecting systems from cyberattacks, allowing them to improve their software and systems security and incident response skills.
CASP+ certification: This advanced certification validates critical thinking and decision-making skills across various security disciplines and allows systems analysts to enhance their security architecture, security operations and security engineering skills.
How To Become A Systems Analyst?
Here are some steps you may follow to become a systems analyst:
1. Complete education
Pursuing education in the science stream can help you develop the fundamental knowledge of this field, as the position often includes mathematics and computer programming. After completing your senior secondary education, consider a graduate programme in computer science or a related field. You may also wish to earn industry-specific certifications to gain robust subject knowledge. For instance, if you wish to become a systems analyst and work in finance, consider pursuing a master's degree in accounting and finance or a related diploma after you have received a computer science education.
2. Pursue internships
As an intern, you are likely to work under the supervision of a senior systems analyst or IT manager. This helps you learn about the organisation's IT systems. You may be responsible for performing basic systems analysis tasks, such as troubleshooting problems and providing support to users. This can be an excellent way to create an interesting resume and gain hands-on experience that may lead to a full-time job in the field. It may also offer you an opportunity to network with people in the industry and build valuable relationships.
3. Apply for jobs
Before applying for systems analyst jobs, it is necessary to prepare an appealing resume and cover letter that highlight your varied soft and hard skills along with your work experience, certifications, specialisations and various other career growth initiatives that you have taken. After you have created the resume, visit job boards to find suitable positions. If you wish to apply to a specific organisation, visit their website to view any open systems analyst positions. You can often apply to these positions directly through the company's website.
Key Skills Required To Become A Systems Analyst
A systems analyst is likely to possess familiarity with cloud computing platforms to manage a company's IT infrastructure in the cloud. These analysts also possess in-depth knowledge of security concepts such as access control, firewalls, encryption and intrusion detection to keep an organisation's cybersecurity strong. Here are some other key skills that may be necessary to become a systems analyst and work proficiently in this role:
Programming languages: Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, Python, PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), C++ and Structured Query Language (SQL) is essential for writing and maintaining software programs.
Database management: These individuals are familiar with database management systems such as MySQL, which allow them to write complex SQL queries.
Network architecture: These analysts possess a firm knowledge of network architecture concepts such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), virtual proxy network (VPN), routers, modems, switches and firewalls.
Data analysis: Knowledge of data analysis techniques, including data mining and statistical analysis, is also an important skill they possess to understand and analyse complex data sets and implement statistical approaches when solving problems.
Systems development life cycle: It is necessary for a systems analyst to possess a thorough understanding of the systems development life cycle (SDLC), which includes requirements gathering, design, development, testing, implementation and maintenance.
Analytical thinking: Systems analysts possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as they are responsible for identifying and addressing issues in complex systems.
Communication: These individuals realise the significance of working in a team and communicating effectively with both technical and non-technical stakeholders to help them understand system analysis operations easily.
Project management: Systems analysts are also familiar with project management methodologies, such as project planning, scheduling and risk management, as they often oversee the implementation of new systems or upgrades to the existing ones.
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