Qualifications and training
Systems analysts analyse how well software, hardware and the wider IT systems fit the business needs of their employer or of a client. They write requirements for new systems and may also help implement them and monitor their effectiveness.
Typical duties include:
- examining current systems and carrying out regular reviews of how well they are supporting the organisation.
- establishing the needs of the organisation and the goals of each project.
- talking to users and establishing their needs from the system.
- solving problems with existing systems.
- designing, testing and implementing new systems.
- liaising with stakeholders to keep them informed of progress and to seek feedback.
- liaising with other IT staff such as programmers to produce new systems.
- managing projects to ensure IT changes do not disrupt the organisation.
- producing specifications and providing training for new or modified systems.
- continuously building your skills and knowledge.
In the past, being on site at clients’ premises was an important part of this role. However, it is now possible for systems analysts to work from home or flexibly. Working hours are generally standard (eg 9.00 am to 5.00 pm) but you could find yourself working long hours when project deadlines are due.
Salary review websites place starting salaries for graduate systems analyst in the region of £22,000 to £25,000.
Typical employers of systems analysts
- IT or software consultancy firms.
- Commercial and industrial organisations.
- The Civil Service.
- Service industries.
- Financial institutions
- Local government organisations.
You could become self-employed once you have sufficient experience.
Jobs are advertised
, by careers services and by specialist recruitment agencies.
Qualifications and training required
To get a job as a systems analyst you usually need a degree in a technical or IT subject, or experience from a related role.
If you’re an arts and humanities graduate (with a 2.1 degree or higher) you could take an IT postgraduate conversion course or be able to demonstrate skills and industry awareness acquired from another source. Employers often require candidates to meet high standards in programming aptitude tests.
There are a handful of systems analyst apprenticeships out there but there are more in software development or other IT roles.
Key skills for systems analysts
- Strong analytical skills.
- Excellent technical skills and enthusiasm to continue to develop them.
- Attention to detail.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Project management skills.
- Teamwork skills.
- Written and verbal communication skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Negotiation skills.
Now head to our
guide to graduate IT assessment centres
to clue yourself in to what to expect.