Many companies, big and small, use computer technology to help run their operations. A properly built and maintained computer system can help a company work more efficiently and save money. Companies often need an information technology (IT) analyst to build these computer systems and help maintain the systems to keep the business running smoothly.
An IT analyst, also known as a systems analyst, works with different companies to determine the appropriate software and computer systems for the business. The company provides information to the analyst about what the computer systems in the company need to do for the business. The analyst takes this information and formulates a system plan, plotting out how specific pieces of information will reach each employee or department of a company. Analysts are also responsible for getting computer systems to work harmoniously, and may even help produce software. Once a new system or piece of software is installed, analysts test to ensure that they operate in a cost-effective, efficient manner.
Some employers require an IT analyst to have completed a four-year program in computer science, information science or information systems management. Internships and additional experience working with IT systems will help improve your chances of obtaining a job as an IT analyst. Analysts must have a firm grasp of computer systems, mathematics, verbal and written communication, and logical thinking. Experience relevant to the job in question may also be important. For example, if you wish to work for a bank as an IT analyst, some experience in finance may help improve your chances of getting the job.
IT analysts work in offices, laboratories or from a home office. They sometimes can telecommute to do their work. Most analysts work an average of 40 hours per week during normal work hours, but some work more than 50 hours per week to get a project finished by a set completion date. Workplace injuries are rare, but IT analysts can experience eyestrain, backache, and hand and wrist problems from sitting at a computer for prolonged periods of time.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2008, the average annual wages for IT analysts were $75,500. The bureau projects the number of jobs in IT analysis to grow much faster than average through 2018 as more companies adopt computer systems and execute software upgrades.
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