The computer analyst job description listed here provides a look at the work done by these professionals who are critical to many businesses. As you consider a career in this field, know that quality education and training are essential. Students often train between two and four years in a college setting and then work at entry level positions within a company. Once hired for a position, their daily job duties range widely.
Computer Analyst Job Description and Working Conditions
Computer analysts study and analyze a business's tasks. They often plan, develop and implement software and hardware to complete these tasks. Some analysts work in a scientific field. These professionals also work to maintain computer systems already in place. They can be employed in virtually any environment where computer systems are in use including in universities, businesses, government agencies, and medical settings. Some individuals work with consulting firms who work with businesses to create needed software or hardware.
The duties of a computer analyst will include a range of tasks. Each day is unique.
- Analysts may develop new software to solve a company's problem. For example, they may work with the managers of a firm to develop a software program for payroll management.
- Analysts troubleshoot and fix day-to-day software and hardware problems. An example may be aiding an associate to determine why a software program is running an error.
- They work to diagnose large-scale problems and devise methods to patching or repairing the system. If there is a companywide problem, such as an inventory error, the analyst needs to gather information and make a diagnosis of the situation, then repair it.
- They often advise management on needed system upgrades in both software and hardware. If there is more than one analyst working for the company, usually the most authoritative will make this decision.
- They plan new systems for the organization. For example, for a new inventory system, they work with those who will use the system to plan for the new technology. They will use accounting skills, mathematical modeling and the sampling of various techniques prior to installing the new inventory system.
Most computer analysts work independently, often in an office setting. They move from one location of the organization to another to watch how systems are working. They also interact with others, asking questions and inspecting systems. Often, it is necessary for them to train individuals on using new systems. They also need to work with people to discuss solutions and needs. In larger organizations, computer analysts work full time. They may be necessary on the weekend, if the organization is operating, especially for technical problems. Project deadlines often require longer hours.
Becoming a Computer Analyst
To become a computer analyst, individuals need to go to college and to earn a degree in a field related to computer technology as well as professional certification. There is also the need for continuing education especially in fields where new technology develops. Continuing education focuses on training analysts for new software and hardware development methods and styles.
A number of organizations exist to support the computer analyst. Individuals who wish to further their education or stay competitive in the field may wish to join these organizations or keep up to date on them.
- Association for Computing Machinery: The Association for Computing Machinery is a resource for computer analysts. It offers job and career training and updates, holds regular conferences and issues publications on changes in the field.
- Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals: The ICCP certifies analysts and provides updates in the field. It regularly monitors the industry.
- IEEE Computer Society: The IEEEE is a paid membership organization. It is the world's largest professional organization for computing professionals, including computer analysts.
The importance of these organizations is clear when a computer analyst job description is considered. In order to be effective and maintain a position in this career, individuals need to stay up to date in the field. These organizations help to keep individuals on track with educational requirements, news and reports on industry wide changes and standards.