How to Become an IT Analyst

How to Become an Information Technology (IT) Analyst: Career Path Guide

If you want to become an information technology (IT) analyst, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills, interests, working style and future career ambitions.

 

If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as an IT analyst:

 

• You enjoy solving complex IT problems

• You can implement standard analysis and programming techniques across the development life cycle of IT systems

• You are able to match current information processing technology with specific business needs

• You are able to communicate effectively with IT and non-IT professionals

• You enjoy being part of a team but working largely independently

 

Those who become IT analysts are typically individuals with a natural aptitude and interest in computers and information technology (IT). They tend to have a patient and methodical approach to work activities, and they are able to remain calm in stressful situations, such as those wherein they must solve complex network and computer problems.

 

Becoming an IT analyst is a choice well suited for those who want a career that allows them to leverage their people, IT and problem solving skills to provide people and businesses with effective information systems management.

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as an IT analyst. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!

 

 

Education Needed to Become an IT Analyst

In order to become an IT analyst, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as information technology, computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or another closely related field. Some employer’s may prefer candidates with a master’s degree, while others may hire candidates who have minimal formal education, provided they have sufficient work experience and advanced demonstrable skills in IT.

 

 

 

Information Technology (IT) Analyst Job Description

Information technology (IT) analysts are the bridge between business needs and IT solutions. They are responsible for supporting a client’s existing IT systems, as well as performing analysis and making recommendations related to the implementation of system improvements and new technology in order to improve business efficiency and productivity.

 

Working closely with the client, IT analysts examine existing business models and flows of data and form conclusions based on their analysis. They must then discuss their findings with the client, and design an appropriate IT solution.

 

In the design of IT solutions, IT analysts are responsible for outlining the design and cost of a new system, specifying the operations the system will perform, and present their design to the client for approval. Once the project is approved, IT analysts work closely with the client’s development team to oversee the implementation of the solution.

 

The work performed by IT analysts might be for an external client or an internal client, such as a department within the same organization.

 

 

IT Analyst Job Duties

• Ensure effective and efficient methods of providing IT support

• Provide support for intranet development

• Develop processes and protocols for the IT department of an organization

• Support various units such as Help Desk, Technical Support, Information Systems and multi-media presentations

• Represent the manager of IT operations on committees and at meetings as appropriate

• Participate in or lead research projects relating to trends in new technology in the network and telecommunications industries

• Advise the IT manager as to the implementation of improvements or new technology

• Conduct user surveys and analyze findings to make recommendations to the manger of IT operations

 

 

Who Employs IT Analysts?

IT analysts are hired on a part-time, full-time and contractual basis by small, medium and large organizations in almost every industry.

 

Types of organizations that employ IT Analysts include:

 

• Colleges and universities

• Hospitals and healthcare organizations

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government departments

• Internet and telecommunication service providers

• Information technology consulting firms

• Self-employment (as consultants)

• Small, medium and large private companies and corporations

• Energy companies


 

 

Work Experience Needed to Become an IT Analyst

The level of experience needed to become an IT analyst varies depending on the candidate’s level of education and the level of responsibility of the specific job for which they are applying. Candidates with less post-secondary education will require more work experience in order to qualify for IT analyst jobs, as will those who are applying for senior-level IT Analyst positions. Below is the typical amount of work experience needed to qualify for IT Analyst jobs, sorted by level of seniority:

 

IT Analyst I:  A minimum of 0 to 3 years technical and/or professional experience information technology

 

IT Analyst II:  A minimum of 3 years experience in information technology

 

Senior IT Analyst: A minimum of 5 to 8 years technical and/or professional experience in information technology

 

 

Skills and Traits Needed to Become an IT Analyst

In order to become effective in a career as an IT analyst, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, and allow you successful negotiate your way through the challenges of this career. These skills and traits are highly valued by organizations that employ IT analysts; as a result you will see them, or variations of them, listed under the ‘skills’ section of IT analyst job postings.

 

Technical Skills

 

• Able to communicate effectively (in oral and written form) with business and IT stakeholders

• Demonstrated knowledge of relational databases, and basic software in C, C++, C#, Java, assembly language, or other selected languages

• Able to develop business systems using one or more of the following: PeopleTools, Perl, PL/SQL, SQLPlus, Shell programming

• Skills in developing process flows

• Knowledge of Internet and related emerging technologies used to effectively aggregate/analyze critical business data

• Able to effectively utilize standard office productivity tools

 

Personal Characteristics

 

• Possess and exhibit a high level of integrity

• Must have a passion regarding information technology analysis and support

• Must be able to work well in a team environment, and conduct some tasks independently

• Flexibility and willingness to work long and sometimes irregular hours

• Have a collaborative and participative working style

 

 

IT Analyst Jobs

Our job board below has "IT Analyst" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Information Technology (IT) Analyst Salary

The salary level of IT analysts can vary depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, the specific responsibilities of their job, and many other factors.

 

IT Analyst Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Information Systems Analysts and Consultants occupational group earn on average wage of $37.95 per hour.

 

IT Analyst Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Information Systems Analysts and Consultants occupational group is $63,981 per year.

 

IT Analyst Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Computer Systems Analysts occupational group is $79,680 per year.

 

 

Working Conditions for IT Analysts

Hours of Work: IT analysts usually work regular weekday business hours, although they may sometimes work long and irregular hours, which include evenings and weekends, in order to complete projects or maintain systems.

 

Work Environment: IT analysts typically work in computer rooms or offices, although they may travel to the workplace of a client, or to attend meetings, conferences and seminars. They spend some of their day consulting with clients and other IT professionals.

 

Work Hazards: IT analysts may encounter a variety of hazards during their workday, which may be physically or mentally demanding. For example, they often focus on a computer screen for several hours a day, may have to lift up to 50 pounds occasionally, and may have to bend, twist, crouch, push or reach to excess in order to move or adjust job materials. They may also have to deal with clients that are dissatisfied with the results or length of a project. 

 

 

Careers Similar to IT Analyst

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to IT Analyst, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities:

 

Business Analyst

Computer Programmer

IT Manager

Systems Administrator

Web Designer

 

 

References: How to Become an IT Analyst

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an IT Analyst.

 

Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca

National Careers Service website: nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming an IT Analyst

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming an IT Analyst can be found on our Computer Science Scholarships and Computer Engineering Scholarships pages.

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!

 

 

Becoming an IT Analyst: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an IT Analyst. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 


Popular Degree Programs in Your Area