Live Chat Now
Give us a call

Send us a text



What Can You Do as a Systems Analyst?

By Steve Smith

The information presented here is true and accurate as of the date of publication. DeVry’s programmatic offerings and their accreditations are subject to change. Please refer to the current academic catalog for details.

June 14, 2024

8 min read


Among the many professionals working in the information technology industry, systems analysts work tirelessly to pair an organization’s business needs with the technology solutions to support them. These problem solvers play an increasingly important role in today’s data-driven economy.


In this article, we’ll examine this essential IT role, breaking down the daily responsibilities, skills and the education required for the job. We’ll also look at the growth outlook for this occupation.


We’ll start by answering the question: What does a systems analyst do? 

What Does a Systems Analyst Do?

These highly trained professionals monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s computer systems, and design and develop solutions to resolve weaknesses in those systems. Once improvements are made, they continue to manage and monitor them and add enhancements as necessary. 

On any given day, a systems analyst can be found:

  • Reviewing current IT systems: Evaluating the network, software and hardware aspects of IT systems to measure their performance and propose improvements.

  • Building new systems: Designing and building new systems to resolve issues that have been identified.

  • Reporting: Developing reports, such as cost-benefit analyses for recommended system upgrades.

  • Testing and troubleshooting: Measuring performance and identifying any issues with newly implemented plans to be sure things are running smoothly.

  • Supporting system users: Providing training on new systems to employees.

  • Collaborating and communicating: Working with team members and department heads to manage system requirements and facilitating communication with organizational stakeholders.

Examples of Different Systems Analysts

There are several different types of systems analysts that use their knowledge, skills and experience to help organizations develop, implement and optimize system performance in different ways. 

Business Systems Analyst

If you’ve ever wondered how businesses use technology to solve problems, boost productivity or enhance efficiency, it’s the result of this professional’s specialized work. Leveraging a deep understanding of a business’ processes and needs to develop their IT systems, they coordinate with stakeholders and examine cost-benefit analyses to ensure their proposed IT solutions are aligned with the company’s objectives. 

Data Systems Analyst

Within organizations that depend on data-driven decision-making, these analysts are essential. Working with large datasets, they maintain and analyze expansive dashboards to create actionable business strategies. But they don’t always work alone; these professionals frequently collaborate with data scientists and business intelligence (BI) teams as well.

Technical Systems Analyst

Concentrating on the technical aspects, these professionals typically work on the back end of a computer system, ensuring that the hardware and software are operating in harmony. Their work with system design, troubleshooting and configuration requires a deep understanding of both IT skills and system architecture.

IT Security Systems Analyst

This role is essential in organizations that store sensitive information. Concentrating on information systems security, their responsibilities typically involve protecting against unauthorized access and associate risks, implementing security measures and ensuring compliance with regulations and standards.

Healthcare Systems Analyst

Today’s healthcare systems operate in a highly competitive and regulated environment and handle massive amounts of sensitive data in the form of electronic health records (EHR), clinical decision support systems and health information exchanges. As they work to optimize healthcare delivery, they are charged with improving the functionality of the systems that keep the data secure. They must therefore be familiar with clinical workflows, patient privacy and government regulations for handling patient information. 

Essential Systems Analyst Skills

To be effective, these IT professionals must not only be technically adept, but demonstrate the interpersonal or workplace skills (sometimes called soft skills) that allow them to collaborate effectively with team members and stakeholders alike. 

Soft skills

Effective systems analysts need to have a grasp of the following workplace skills:

  • Communication: Strong verbal and written communication skills enable them to interface effectively with internal and external colleagues and make technical information understandable to those who may not have technical backgrounds.

  • Critical thinking: To deal with complex issues or decisions, these professionals must possess sharp critical thinking skills when analyzing data or making decisions that will have significant impact.

  • Adaptability: This helps analysts make course corrections as changes in system users’ preferences or needs emerge. When unexpected changes cause systems to malfunction, the ability to be flexible and agile in the face of a complex problem is an indispensable skill.

Hard skills

The technical skills required will vary according to an analysts’ specific role, but generally a mixture of data analysis, system design, programming and cyber security capabilities are required; such as:

  • Programming languages, like Python, Java and SQL

  • System architecture and design principles

  • Data modeling, database design and big data analytics and tools

  • Cloud computing and cloud services

  • Cyber security and risk management

Education Requirements for This Role

Your journey toward this career begins with the appropriate education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer systems analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer information technology or a related field. Some business education may also be helpful, as it is important for these professionals, who straddle the IT and business worlds, to understand how business decisions are made.

The BLS further notes that some employers prefer applicants who have an MBA degree with a concentration in information systems for some roles.

Start with a bachelor’s degree

At DeVry, you can get started down this career path by earning our online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems program. Coursework in this program will expose you to skills in writing and debugging programs, creating and testing code in languages like Python, Java and C#, and implementing and testing hardware using a variety of real-world applications. 

You can enhance your education by choosing one of 7 different specializations in areas like Database Management, as well as Information Systems Security, Software Programming, Computer Forensics, Cyber Security Programming, Web Development and Administration, and Web Game Programming

Acquire graduate-level education

If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, you may be considering advancing your education to prepare to pursue higher-level, industry specific or management-focused roles. When you enroll in our Keller Graduate School of Management’s Master of Business Administration program you can choose a Specialization in Information Systems Management to further focus your education in this area, exploring topics like systems analysis, planning and control, database concepts, upgrading information systems, maintaining networks and acquiring and deploying new technologies and software.

You’ll learn these industry-relevant skills alongside a core MBA curriculum that includes courses in management theory, strategic business concepts, communication, leadership and much more. 

Earn certifications to verify your skills

As in many other IT and IS management roles, industry-recognized certifications are an important tool to have in your arsenal, and may be required by some employers. 

Examples of certifications for systems analysts include:

  • Certified Software Business Analyst (CSBA) offered by the International Software Certification Board (ISCB)

  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)

  • Certified Information Systems Analyst (CISA) offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) 

At DeVry, several of our tech programs are designed with credentials like CompTIA Network+, Linux+, A+ and Cloud+ in mind. Qualified students may receive up to a $300 reimbursement for the cost of one exam attempt. Other certifications may also be eligible for reimbursement. Speak to your Student Support Advisor for additional information.

Systems Analyst Career Outlook

The BLS projects strong overall growth for computer systems analysts, projecting the role to grow 10% from 2022 to 2032 (much faster than the average for all occupations) with about 37,600 openings each year, on average, over the decade.1 The BLS attributes this growth primarily to business organizations’ reliance on information technology across the economy, requiring the design and installation of new computer systems.

1This growth is projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level. 

Explore Computer Information Systems at DeVry

Just one of the 7 options you can choose from as part of our Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems program, our Specialization in Database Management can help you discover the principles, tools and techniques required to build and maintain database management systems and help you prepare to pursue career opportunities that are essential in today’s interconnected and data-driven economy. 

Already earned your bachelor’s? Our MBA with a Specialization in Information Systems Management can help you prepare to pursue management roles in information technology, combining essential tech skills with coursework designed to help you develop your business acumen. 

DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation.

Online learning with DeVry can help you balance your commitment to education with work, family and other aspects of your busy life. 

1This growth is projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level.

8-Week Class Sessions

Classes Start Every 8 Weeks

Filter Blog Post Category

Related Posts