Included among the various types of computer analysts jobs are a computer systems analyst, a forensics computer analyst and a computer specialist. Within each of these computer jobs, other very specific analyst job titles and descriptions may exist. Computer analysts may be self-employed or may work as employees within the information technology (IT) departments of larger businesses. Some computer analysts also work for software or hardware vendors by providing supportive services to businesses using specific computer tools, equipment and products.
Computer systems analysts are routinely relied on to help select specific software programs to help a business run more efficiently. Beyond assisting in the selection process of such equipment, analysts also help train employees in using new programs, as well as help customize existing programs to streamline and simplify specific processes. Computer analysts are often required to work with other IT professionals as well as executive decision makers within a business or organization.
A forensics analyst is another highly specific type of computer career. These analysts generally work with law enforcement officers and private investigators to determine when computer systems have been compromised and when stored data has been stolen or used for illegal purposes. Other duties of a forensics computer analyst may include recovering lost data, passwords and deciphering encrypted information on behalf of law enforcement authorities. These specially trained computer analysts may work as independent investigators or may be employed by a larger organization that specializes in cyber-security.
Support specialists, also known simply as computer specialists, perform many of the same tasks as a computer analyst, but tend to work more frequently with the direct public. These specialists often provide troubleshooting assistance to remote computer users by phone, email or instant messaging programs. Computer specialists also author user manuals and other technical writings to help end users learn how to optimize a computer’s performance or the performance of a specific computer program.
Regardless of the type of position one specializes in, computer analysts are required to be extremely proficient in various computer programs and functions. As many are required to work with other professionals, as well as directly with the public, most analysts are required to have good communication abilities and be adept at working well with people of various computer skill levels. While most computer analysts specialize in a particular career niche within the IT industry, many are able to function in various other computer careers, as well.