How Long Does Computer Systems Analyst School Take?

Computer systems analysts play a very vital role in meeting the technology needs of companies and organizations. Through the work they do, they are able to make an organization’s computer infrastructure more efficient and effective. They also provide a cost-benefit analysis of planned upgrades to the company’s information technology systems and inform management accordingly. It’s a challenging but fulfilling profession for those who are keenly interested about computers and whose inclinations run along the lines of computer technology.

The most popular entry point towards a career as a computer systems analyst is a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, computer science, information technology or related course. These undergraduate courses generally take four years to complete. For example, the BA computer science program at UC San Diego teaches students core topics on math, physics and methodology and skills in programming, among others. As students progress in their studies, they are taught lessons in algorithms, software and hardware. Elective courses also allow students to deepen their understanding about the field.

DeVry University also offers a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems with specialization in systems analysis and integration. Courses covered include system integration, advanced topics in enterprise analysis, organizational process analysis and business continuity, among others. At DeVry, a bachelor’s degree may be completed in as fast as three years.

It would be erroneous to believe that only those with a background in computer technology are able to work as computer systems analysts. Companies also accept those with a liberal arts degree for as long as they have computer programming or information technology knowledge, experience and skills. Depending on the industry where the systems analyst is going to be working in, particular courses may also enhance people’s chances for employment. For example, if a computer systems analyst wants to work in the healthcare industry then courses in health information management would be an advantage. Those who have bachelor’s degrees in finance and related courses and have in-depth knowledge about information technology and computer programming may also be hired by banks or other financial institutions as computer systems analysts.

Although a bachelor’s degree is generally sufficient in most industries, some employers prefer those who have a master’s in business administration (MBA) with a focus on information systems. A postsecondary degree may be required since the job of computer systems analysts also has to do with the business side of the company. They may also get an advanced degree in computer science. MBAs and other postgraduate degree programs generally take one-and-a-half to two years to complete.

It would be erroneous to believe that a bachelor’s and master’s degrees are the only educational programs needed by aspiring computer systems analysts. In fact, systems analysts must continue to take courses in order to remain knowledgeable about the advances in the field of technology. Developments in software and hardware are very rapid these days that anyone working in the field of computers has to be constantly updated on the latest developments if they are to make the computer systems of their companies efficient and updated. Continuing education, then, is a must for as long as they work in the computer industry.

Career Spotlight: Computer Systems Analyst

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