Systems analyst: job description
Systems analysts examine existing IT systems and write requirements for new ones.
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