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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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
• 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 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