Systems analyst: job description

Systems analyst: job description

Systems analysts are responsible for the complete life-cycle of a new/modified IT system, from analysing existing arrangements to implementing systems and providing training.
Employers often require candidates to meet high standards in programming aptitude tests.

What does a systems analyst do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Systems analysts analyse how well software, hardware and the wider IT system fits the business needs of their employer or of a client. They make recommendations for improvements, contribute to specifications for new systems, 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.

Typical employers of systems analysts

  • IT or software consultancy firms
  • Commercial and industrial organisations
  • The Civil Service
  • Retailers
  • 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.

Qualifications and training required

To get a job as a systems analyst you usually require 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, and a postgraduate IT conversion course can be useful. Employers often require candidates to meet high standards in programming aptitude tests.

Key skills for systems analysts

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamworking skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative