If you want to become a systems analyst in the United States, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree in an information technology field. In some employment situations, you might also be a good candidate if you have a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or accounting. For the most part, however, employers tend to prefer to hire candidates who have an information technology type of degree. If you plan to apply for some higher level positions, you may need to have a master's degree.
The majority of positions require applicants to have a minimum of three or four years of practical work experience. The kind of experience that you typically need to have includes the ability to conduct investigations into computer application issues, and the ability to design practical solutions concerning design problems. In some jobs, you might also have to write specifications for certain systems. If you have the ability to perform well in all of these different areas, you should do well if you become a systems analyst.
You should also be familiar with several different types of desktop technologies. In addition, you might be responsible for troubleshooting a variety of technical problems that your colleagues or other coworkers might encounter on a regular basis. If you have some knowledge of computer programming languages, you may have an advantage once you start interviewing for positions.
In order to become a systems analyst, and be successful in this field, you need to have excellent oral and written communication skills. This is important because you could have to work with people who have a wide range of technical abilities. In some cases, many of them are likely to have minimal technical experience, which could place you in the position of having to try to explain or teach how to do something that they do not understand.
To do well in this type of job, you should have a great deal of patience. People who excel in these jobs usually have the ability to handle some degree of work-related stress. At times, the demands of your job might become overwhelming, so it can be helpful if you are able to work methodically when under pressure or when facing a tight deadline.
Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have some project management experience or training. This can be particularly helpful if you want to work in a supervisory capacity at some point during your career. If you want to become a systems analyst, you could choose to minor in project management while in college, so you will have the training that is necessary for finding a higher level management position in this field.