Writing for the Real World
November 30, 1999
Computer Systems Analyst
I push the button, I hear a noise, and the screen comes alive. My computer loads up and starts to process. I see the start screen for Windows 95, and I type in my password. Even though this takes time, I know that I will be able to do whatever I want to do without any trouble, without any glitches, without any questions. My computer is now easier to use and more user friendly because computer systems analysts have worked out the problems that many computer systems still have.
It appears to me that a career choice needs to contain a number of different features: One, Will this area of interest mentally stimulate me as well as challenge me; Two, Is there a way of making a living in these areas of interest; Three, Do I enjoy the different activities within this area of interest? From the first day that I started my first computer, I have grasped the concepts quickly and with ease, but the computer as well as I, will never stop growing. I have introduced myself to all topics of word processing to surfing the web. After reviewing a number of resources, I have noticed a relatively high demand for technologically integrated hardware and software positions available with companies that wish to compete with the demand for “networking”. (“Computer Scientists” 95) This leads me to believe that future
employment prospects will be high and of high quality pay within the next eight to ten years. The past, present, and future have and will see the computer. Since I have seen the computer, I have enjoyed the challenges and countless opportunities to gain in life from this machine. From school projects to games; from the Internet to programming languages; I have and always will feel like that little kid in the candy store.
A Computer Systems Analyst decides how data are collected, prepared for computers, processed, stored, and made available for users. (“Computer Systems” COIN 1) The main achievement as a systems analyst is to improve the efficiency or create a whole new computer system that proves to be more efficient for a contracting company. When on an assignment, the analyst must meet a deadline. While striving for a deadline, he must create and comprehend
many sources of information for the presentation. He must review the systems capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations (“Systems Analyst” 44), to determine if certain parts of the system must be modified for a new program. First, a computer programmer writes a program that he thinks will be beneficial for a certain system. He incorporates all of what he thinks is
necessary. But the hard part is when the programmer runs the program. 99% of the time the program will not work, thus not creating a profit for the company. Then the analyst looks at the program. It is now his job to get rid of all of the glitches that are present. He must go over every strand of the program until the program is perfect.
When the analyst is finished “chopping up” the program, he must then follow a technical procedure of data collecting, much like that of a science lab. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles says he must plan and prepare technical reports, memoranda, and instructional manuals as documentation of program development. (44)
When the presentation day is near, the analyst submits the proof. He must organize and relate the data to a workflow chart and many diagrams. More often than not, an idea is always to good to be true unless the proof is there. For this new program that will go into the system, detailed operations must be laid out for the presentation. Yet, when the system hits the market, the program must be as simple as possible. A computer systems analyst must always look for the
most minute points whenever a program is be reviewed.
Education and Training Many people think that this is the type of a job where you must really like the concept. This is true. Many people think that you need a great prior experience to ever make it somewhere. This is true. Many people think that you need a Bachelors degree to at least star out somewhere. This is not true. Through research it a known fact that you don’t really have to go to college to ever make it. In this particular field, a college education would be helpful to impress the employer, but for a basic analyst job, the only proof really needed to go somewhere is the Quality Assurance Institute. This awards the designation Certified Quality Analyst (CQA) to those who meet education and experience requirements, pass an exam, and endorse a code of ethics. (“Computer Scientists” 95) Linda Williams found a technical analyst at the Toledo Hospital, who went to the Total Technical Institute near Cleveland and earned his CQA. (11 -13)
However, college is the best bet, and a Bachelor is the best reward to have after achieving the CQA. Employers almost always seek college graduates for analyst positions. Many however, have some prior experience. Many rookies are found in the small temporary agencies that need small help. The one who has really made it is in the business for at least 15 years. When in a secure professional position, an analyst will always need an upgrading just a quickly as the systems themselves do. Continuous study is necessary to keep the skills up to date. Employers in the form of paid time in night classes usually offer continuing education. Hardware and software vendors might also sponsor a seminar where analysts will go to gather ideas and
new products. Even colleges and universities will sponsor some of these types of events. (“Computer Systems” America’s 36)
Systems analysts work in offices in comfortable surroundings. They usually work about 40 hours a week – the same as other professionals and office workers. Occasionally, however, evening or weekend work may be necessary to meet deadlines according to America’s 50 fastest Growing Jobs. (36) Most of the time, an analyst will live a quite lifestyle, unlike that of a lawyer or doctor. Even he has the freedoms that those occupations don’t offer. The pay might decrease, but the family time increases. Although this may sound pretty basic, it is coming to the point where the common analyst will work from the everyday setting. In bed, at home, in the car and at the diner might all be places where an analyst might perform his work thanks to the technology available today. Even technical support can be done from a remote location largely in part to modems, laptops, electronic mail and even the Internet. (“Computer Scientists” 94) So as the hours per week is starting to vary because of where the work can be done, so are the earnings. The industry is growing and according to the Occupational Outlook Quarterly Chart, the industry will be the fastest growing from now until 2005. This occupation will grow so rapidly in fact, that in 2005, the number of systems analysts will have increased by 92%.
Programmers write the detailed instructions for a computer to follow. A computer programmer carefully studies the program that best suits the employer needs. They may also work for a large computer corporation developing new software and/or improving older versions of these programs. Programmers write specific programs by breaking down each step into a logical series of hours of writing programs, the programmer must follow. After long hours of writing programs, the programmer must thoroughly testing and revising it.
In 1994, the median earning for a full time computer systems analyst was about $44,000. The middle 50% earned between $34,100 and $55,000. The highest tenth of all analysts earned $69,400 where those with degrees generally earn more. (“Computer Scientists” 95) It is also stated in America’s 50 Fastest Growing Jobs that systems analysts working in the Northeast had the highest earnings and those working in the Midwest had the lowest earnings. (37) To imagine that this is the only job that will practically double by the year 2005 is to think that the earnings would go up too. According to the same chart, the average weekly earning is $845. This is third only to the two obvious occupations of Lawyers, and Physicians. (48)
The employment outlook of the computer programming field is very good and growing fast through the year 2000. Most of the job openings for programmers will probably result from replacement needs. The need for computer programmers will increase as business, government, schools, and scientific organizations seek new applications for computer software and improvements already in use. The computer programming field is not an easy line of work to be successful in or is it an easy one to
In conclusion this job requires a lot of demands as a person such as: working late hours,
writing complex programs that sometimes don’t always work properly, the patience, and the
time needing to be a successful computer programmer. You need to work at it never give up and you will succeed.
“America’s Fastest Growing Job Opportunities.” Hispanic Times. 1996
“Computer Scientists and Systems Analysts.” Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Indianapolis: JIST Works Inc. pp. 93-95.
“Computer Systems Analyst.” COIN Educational Products. CD-ROM, 1995-96:
Farr, J. Michael. (1994). America’s 50 Fasted Growing Jobs. Indianapolis: JIST
Works Inc. Emch, Brian. Job Shadowing. Dana Corporation. 1996.
Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1996.
“Systems Analyst.” Dictionary of Occupational Titles. US Department of Labor.
Williams, Linda. Careers Without College: Computers. Princeton: Peterson’s
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