What Certifications Do You Need to Become a Computer Systems Analyst?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that computer systems analysts earn a median salary of nearly $80,000 per year, which is pretty good pay for a job that basically requires you to keep tabs on your company’s computer system and decide when it needs to be upgraded for greater efficiency or to better meet the needs of the company as a whole. Okay, that’s a rather simplistic evaluation of the complex job that a computer systems analyst performs. But you get the basic idea. Luckily, you don’t need a master’s degree from MIT to do this job. You will, of course, need a background in computer sciences, as well as a specific skillset, and targeted training will no doubt be required in order to qualify for such jobs. So if you’re interested in becoming a computer systems analyst, here are just a few educational milestones you’ll probably want to hit before you start applying for jobs.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Systems Analyst

In truth, you’re almost certainly going to want to obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information sciences, management information systems, or perhaps even business (since computer systems analysts are tasked with creating a harmonious marriage between a business and its computer system). But more likely than not, any company looking to hire a computer systems analyst will prefer a candidate who holds a degree in some kind of computer-related field. Some businesses even scout candidates that have an MBA with an emphasis in computer technology. But for most jobs, a bachelor’s degree will suffice. That said, you may face some competition for jobs, and holding certain certifications could set you apart from the pack.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this field are expected to increase by more than 20% between 2010 and 2020, but the number of people going into computer technology trades is also increasing. Whole generations of kids are now growing up with computer technology ingrained in in their lives. As a result, it is more common to see them entering college with computer-related majors and going on to computer occupations. Working with computer systems is no longer allocated to the brainy elite; it is now something that a large portion of the populace could conceivably learn to do. As a result, the competition for such jobs is likely to grow. So in addition to a bachelor’s degree, you might want to add several certifications to your resume if you plan to become a computer systems analyst.

Computer Systems Analyst Salary and Job Outlook

Because so many businesses use Microsoft products, it’s probably a good idea to become a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), as well as a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD). The first qualifies you to work with Microsoft products by endowing you with an advances set of analytical skills specific to their software, while the second infers the ability to use Microsoft development tools and technologies to come up with system solutions. You should also consider becoming a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). With this final certification you should be able to address security concerns related to business computer systems, something that could give you an edge in the hiring process.

Typical Steps to Become a Systems Analyst

Whether you’re trying to find the best fanless box PC, networking software, or other components to upgrade computer systems, you’re tracking employee requests and complaints to try to engineer a system that better meets the employees’ needs, or you’re working on solutions that will increase efficiency and profitability, being a computer systems analyst can be a challenging and exciting career. And with the right education and certifications under your belt you’ll have all the skills and qualifications needed to excel in your chosen field.

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