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What skill do you need to become a computer system analyst?

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Alex’s Answer

A computer system analyst's main job is usually resolving issues and incidents, and performing maintenance tasks. This narrows down the following list of skills and habits:

- An analytical mindset, obviously... :)
- Attention to detail.
- The habit of "working out loud" - i.e. documenting your work so it can be reused in the future.
- Curiosity. (One could say it's part of the "analytical mindset" above - yet it is a skill - or rather, a habit - of noticing things and an innate desire of learning how they work or behave.)
- Passion for learning.
- Teamwork.

These won't hurt in any job - yet especially useful in system analysis.

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Kevin’s Answer

I replied in one of your other questions but it is also applicable here:

I would suggest these foundational computing skills -

- Computer hardware: What are the components that make up a computer/server, physical vs virtualized environments
- Operating systems: Understand the differences between platforms, pros and cons of each
- Networking: how do computers connect to a network or the internet, connection types, protocols, firewalls
- Applications and databases: What are applications and database, how do applications and databases work together
- Cloud: Understand the what Cloud environments and services are, types of cloud services and providers, Cloud vs traditional data centers

A bonus will be:
- Information Security: Concepts overview of IT security in terms of data (confidentiality, integrity, availability), network, security architecture, identity and access management, security assurance (penetration testing), security operations (logging, monitoring, incident response, security education (user security training)

The above may appear to be great amount of things to learn but it is not, these foundations will build upon if you wish to go into the field of computer engineering, application development, etc.

Kevin, great advice! Grounding in how applications can integrate together (and common integration problems) will be very useful too. James Hohman

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Radhika’s Answer

Hey Andrei! To become a computer science analyst, first and most important thing that you need to have is a good observation and the willingness to learn new things in and outside the computer world. Then comes your correct attitude and soft skills. You should be clear with your thoughts and actions. Now let's come to the core part. You should be good with any object-oriented language, be it Java, C++, .NET, etc. Be good at algorithms and problem-solving. Be eloquent with technical computer subjects like Operating Systems, Networking, Automata. Nowadays in colleges, they are including papers on emerging technology like IoT, AI, Computer vision, etc. You should be very good at the applications taught in these subjects.
If you work on these topics, you are good to go.

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Raghunandan’s Answer

Do you have an interest on computer hardware or computer software?
Do you have an inclination on programming or solving technical problems?
Do you have an interest on creating new stuff or fixing existing systems?
Do you have an interest on data analytics or data presentation?

Computer System Analyst is a very broad field and one can pick up several opportunities to make a career. The key aspect is what field do you want to contribute; healthcare, insurance, hardware, creative, gaming etc. These would help you anchor on building domain skills, and eventually you could grow as an analyst. Cheers and All the best

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Jon’s Answer

In no particular order, would say the skills and characteristics you would need to become a computer system analyst include the following:

Soft Skills
- Passion: no matter your career path, make sure you are full of passion in the pursuit of it; you must wake up each day, excited for your career
- Confidence: at a certain point, learning new system programming languages and other technologies becomes easier, but in the early stages it can be overwhelming because every concept is new; trust yourself and be confident that you will tackle all these challenges and emerge on the other side stronger and ready for more challenge!
- Communication: I once had an intern, who was extremely smart and on multiple scholarships, say to me... the hardest part of this internship is not the different technologies that have been thrown at me... it's the talking to stakeholders and making sure they understand my messaging... and he was right! It is extremely hard to boil very complex topics into messaging that a stakeholder or client would understand and relate to.
- Find a mentor: you may be wicked smart, but still, you'll always have questions or at a minimum would like someone to confirm your thoughts. Maybe just an online board or group is all you need, but it always helpful to have someone looking out for you and your success.

Hard Skill
- Take up any programming language that you feel you can get you started with. It may be SQL or javascript or python or Java or .Net, or anything relevant in this modern computing age. Start out by just using a text editor if possible and master some initial concepts, then later on, take up a development GUI for that language.
- Install an application or web server software of some sort (or configure a free AWS environment) and a database, and make sure you research each component so you know its role in the ecosystem
- Then build something! Come up with a proof of concept (POC) that you find interesting or relevant, or better yet, game-changing. Come up with your vision and your requirements. Briefly write down some of it, maybe even draw a visual for what it looks like when you are done.
- Start coding. Test and fix your code. Test again, fix your code again. Repeat until you feel really satisfied with your creation.
- Lastly... show it off to someone! Maybe your mentor if you've established this role. Or a peer or a friend or a parent or relative. Explain what you did, the value of it, the technologies you used and how you used them. Ask for feedback. Ask for what you could have done better.

This last step is your validation that you now possess the hard skills the market is looking for and you can prove it!

Couple these hard skills with your evolving soft skills and before you know it, you'll be an in-demand techie with lots of career opportunities.