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Computer Systems Analysis - Overview


Programs in computer systems analysis prepare people to analyze procedures, methods, and use of computer systems. Students learn to troubleshoot problems and find solutions. They learn to design software or make changes to hardware to improve routine tasks. They also design and implement network systems.

Our world is so dependent on computers and technology that it's hardly worth pointing out. Even our grandmothers have their own e-mail addresses these days! Yet at the same time, the way the world uses technology, especially for businesses, is an important matter. Organizations change, and so do their technology needs. How do you make those changes?

Computer systems analysts are people who not only know computer science, but also have management and communications skills. They analyze the current computer system, how it needs to change, and how to make those changes. This can mean replacing the system with a new one, or it can mean installing new software and training users how to use it.

In computer systems analysis programs, you might be surprised to learn that you take math and business courses, including advanced algebra, statistics, communications, and management. This is because math is the basis for most computing languages. In addition, communications and management courses teach you how to develop and oversee projects and work with clients. Your computer science courses include programming languages, such as Java and C++. You also take courses about computer networks, database management, and operating systems (think Mac OS X or Windows 2000). You learn how computers are built and how to develop new computer technology. Overall, you learn how to design a computer system from the initial concept to the end product.

Over 40 four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in computer systems analysis. Most community colleges offer certificate and associate's degree programs that can be transferred to a four-year school.

Graduate study in this field is possible through programs in computer science, management information systems, and information science departments. Check out those programs of study for more information. In general, these programs take from two to five years after you finish your bachelor's degree. Most people who get graduate degrees in computer systems analysis become high-level computer scientists or professors.

With a degree in computer systems analysis, you can work for all types of organizations. After all, businesses large and small use computers for specific purposes. The same goes for government agencies and nonprofit groups. Depending on the type of organization you work for, you'll work with different kinds of software and computer systems. For example, you might become an expert in financial systems, engineering software, or even medical equipment.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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