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How to Become a Computer Analyst

Are you good with computers? Do you enjoy working on complex problems within an organization? If so, you may be a good fit for a computer analyst. Computer analysts work with computers and integrate data analysis and business management. You will often examine how computer systems can resolve complex problems. You will need to collaborate with others to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement among existing computer systems within the business.

Because you will work in IT, you may also need to provide support to other employees or businesses, including having knowledge of different hardware and software. As a computer analyst, you can work in many different businesses. Nearly every organization will need a computer analyst, no matter if it’s health care, construction, finance, or tech.

Sample job description

Without skilled and successful computer analysts, we would not be able to grow, adapt, excel, and continue to scale our business as we have always strived to do. One of the most important roles our computer analysts play is developing new software and programs to help us be as efficient as possible in our daily work routines and activities. It will be important that you have strong analytical skills, interpersonal skills, good team working skills, be detail-oriented, and have exponential written and verbal communication. Our industry is constantly changing and so we have to be extremely adaptable in our technology and computer systems to remain competitive and top tier. If you are well-versed in computer and data analysis, then we might be the perfect fit for you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Collaborate with other departments to ensure IT support 
  • Determine the role of IT within the organization
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing computer hardware and software systems
  • Recommend strategies to meet organization objectives through system implementation 
  • Remain current on information technology standards and trends 
  • Maintain and ensure systems maintain proper function
  • Bring business and technology together to achieve organization goals 

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Many employers prefer job candidates who have a master’s degree. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Critical-thinking and decision-making skills
  • Expertise in communication and organization
  • Strong understanding of programming language, computer software and hardware
  • Solid grasp of internet principles
  • Knowledge of industry-specific terminology, standards, and protocols
  • Vendor-specific certification
  • Proficient in finding creative solutions to complex problems
  • Knowledge of business analysis and process mapping 

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, mathematics, or a related field
  • Master’s degree in business administration or computer science
  • Certifications applicable to this position

Typical work environment

Computer analysts typically work for an information technology business. They are usually in an office setting or laboratory at times close to other co-workers as teamwork is involved with this job. Some have the option of working remotely depending on the company. They work the typical 40 hour week, full-time with some weekends in order to meet certain deadlines. 

Typical hours

Typical hours for this position are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. 

Available certifications

Certifications can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Here are some popular certifications to consider as a computer analyst:

  • CompTIA Linux+. This certification is for those wanting to learn about the Linux operating system and how it can be applied to build reliable and quality systems for enterprises. It also teaches you how to keep the system secure and provides information on which skills can best help you. 
  • CompTIA A+. This certification is well renowned. It covers many topics that will help you when it comes to having a strong foundation as a computer analyst. 
  • Professional Business Analyst Certificate. This certification includes hands-on exercises and examines the role of a professional business analyst. With these exercises, you can ensure that your end result can meet the requirements needed to succeed. Renewal is not required for this certification.
  • Information Systems Professional (ISP). This is a valuable certification to have as a computer analyst. This not only makes you more valuable to employers but it can also help increase your hourly rate.

Career path

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree, as well as those with on-the-job experience. Computer analysts have the opportunity to advance to positions such as project manager, director of IT, chief technology officer, IT security manager, and chief information officer. Knowledge of a particular sector may be helpful. For example, a computer analyst with an understanding of health-care systems may more easily find opportunities within the health-care industry. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1211

2020 Employment607,800
Projected Employment in 2030650,600
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift42,800 increase

The field of information technology is continually growing as businesses become more innovative. Organizations across all sectors are becoming more reliant on information technology, which means computer analysts will continue to be vital to their success.

According to the industry website Computer Science Online, mobile technology, data security, and big data will be the core components of most organizations’ infrastructure, products and services. As mobile technology advances and becomes a more significant part of the economic and social landscape, mobile-focused positions should become more numerous and more essential. Organizations must adjust to meet new challenges. With data breaches becoming more common, businesses will need computer analysts with data security and firewall knowledge and skills such as encryption and authentication. Also, big data has resulted in the transformation of raw data into action to achieve business initiatives. Organizations will have an increasing demand for computer analysts who can retrieve, analyze and interpret data.