Systems analysts analyse how well software, hardware and the wider IT system 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 responsibilities of the job include:
- examining current systems
- talking to users (requirements gathering)
- producing specifications for new or modified systems
- liaising with other IT staff such as programmers to produce new systems
- implementing new systems
They are also responsible for user training and feedback. Travel is a key feature of the job as the majority of work is undertaken at clients' premises.
- IT or software consultancy firms
- Commercial and industrial organisations
- The Civil Service
- Service industries
- Financial institutions
Self-employment is possible for individuals with several years' relevant experience.
Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by specialist recruitment agencies.
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.
Arts and humanities graduates (with 2.1 degrees) should be able to demonstrate their interest in computers and IT; a postgraduate IT conversion course can be useful. 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. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, see the IT section of TARGETcareers, our website for school leavers.
- Strong analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Teamwork skills
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Interpersonal skills