No one doubts the importance of computers to modern life – especially when it comes to work life. If something goes wrong with a company’s computers or computer network, it can be devastating for productivity and the bottom line.
It is the job of computer systems analysts to avert disaster by designing an organization’s computer network to make sure it runs as efficiently as possible. Because the job of a computer systems analyst is so critical to a company’s operations, it should be no surprise that is one of the fastest growing careers. According to UC San Diego Extension’s recent “Emerging Careers for 2016” report, which detailed the most in-demand jobs with the highest growth potential for recent college grads, computer systems analysts ranked fourth on the list in San Diego and third nationally.
These jobs can go by a variety of names such applications analyst, computer systems consultant and systems engineer but all involve ensuring that an organization’s information technology, or IT, systems run – and run well. Duties can include installing a new IT system, upgrading an existing one and then training staff on how to use the system. Often computer systems analysts specialize in a particular field such as the medical or financial field. But while computer systems analysts are tech gurus, they need to be adept at working with all types of people – especially a company’s management – in order understand a company’s needs and how to design an IT system that will meet those needs.
Demand for computer system analysts is booming with an expected national growth rate of almost 21 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is far higher than most other careers. The compensation for these jobs is strong as well with the median annual salary coming in at $79,680 and with the top 90 percent making as much as $122,090. Currently, people in these jobs tend to be male – almost 66 percent – and skew younger with about 58 percent being age 44 and under.
Ryan Inman, director of network services for Scale Matrix, a local technology firm, said jobs for computer systems analysts are changing as more systems are becoming automated, necessitating new skills.
“Automation allows you to apply something once and it will change everywhere, increasing productivity and efficiency,” Inman said. “Because of automation, computer systems analysts have to do more scripting and writing code for applications, and some of it can feel like it should be a software developer’s job.”
To see the full Emerging Careers report, please visit http://extension.ucsd.edu/about/images/emergingCareers2016.pdf.