I am an undergraduate student in my second year of a computer science degree and want to become a systems analyst. Should I carry on with my course and do something linked to systems analysis at postgraduate level?
The solution: Yes, but get experience and comms skills too
With the rapidity of technology change, most systems analyst roles require a high level of skill and education. Many employers look for a degree in computer science, information science or management information systems (MIS).
Universities usually develop their own MIS programmes within a degree course and these can differ considerably, although they mostly emphasise business and management-oriented coursework and business computing.
The level of education and type of training that employers require depends on their needs. Firms look for people with broad knowledge and experience related to computer systems and technologies, strong problem-solving and analytical skills, and good interpersonal skills.
You may want to consider electives in e-commerce and security, where the demand for entry-level staff is growing to keep pace with Wi-Fi applications and cybersecurity issues.
Any practical experience you can gain will be viewed very favourably and remember: all work and no play makes systems analysts dull boys and girls. More and more employers want staff to be client-facing, so good communication and team skills are essential.
Solution by Tracey Abbott, divisional director, Zarak Group and Atsco board member
The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp
Need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This was first published in July 2006