The digitization of the business world has transformed how companies operate at every level, from C-suite decision-making to customer service. However, the growing reliance on artificial intelligence and predictive technology is forcing organizations to rethink their business processes and prioritize the hiring of tech-savvy professionals. In fact, research from the Business-Higher Education Forum found that 69% of employers have a strong preference for candidates with data analytics skills. In this new climate, roles such as business systems analysts are in high demand, with the competitive labor market driving wage increases and new job opportunities. But what is the average business systems analyst salary, career outlook and job requirements?
Business systems analyst job description
Business systems analysts are responsible for introducing and managing organizational changes that impact every facet of modern companies, nonprofits and government agencies. They use their specialized knowledge to help maximize profitability, improve services and streamline the customer experience, usually with a focus on technology. According to the International Institute of Business Analysis, professionals in this field spend their time defining strategies and building enterprise architecture that supports their company’s IT goals and processes. Of course, each business systems analyst role is highly dependent on the organization, meaning some positions may call for more computer program design experience. Some common job responsibilities include:
- Working with managers and executives to determine IT needs, limitations and improvements
- Researching emerging technologies and the business impact of new deployments
- Analyzing the costs and benefits of IT implementations and upgrades
- Adding increased functionality to existing computer systems
- Designing new business applications and IT controls
- Directing the installation and configuration of business software and hardware
To qualify for a business systems analyst role, candidates should have a functional understanding of software systems and at least some experience with coding, according to the IIBA. This requirement accounts for why many in the field pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics or other graduate degree. While job seekers may be able to secure an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree, most mid-career roles call for years of experience in business analysis and a strong grasp of computer system design.
Business systems analyst salary trends
Business systems analyst salaries tend to vary based on a candidate’s level of education, work experience and technical skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a business systems analyst was $88,740 in May 2018. The lowest 10% earned less than $54,360, while the highest took home more than $142,220. Much like other occupations, wage estimates for business systems analysts are heavily tied to the industry and employer. In 2018, the highest-paying industry was “computer systems design and related services” at a median salary of $91,520. The lowest-paying industry was “government,” which had a median wage of $80,320.
Diving a bit deeper into work history, entry-level business systems analysts with less than one year experience can expect to earn an average salary of $57,446, according to data from PayScale. Professionals who are still in their early career tend to earn slightly more, averaging $64,160 with one to four years of experience. Mid-career business systems analysts who have spent at least five years in the industry average around $76,147, while those with 10+ years of experience earn between $83,817 and $90,038. However, as more companies prioritize data analytics skills and software coding expertise, wages for business systems analysts are expected to rise.
Business systems analyst career outlook
As organizations across industry lines increase their reliance on information technology, the demand for qualified business systems analysts is expected to grow exponentially. According to the BLS, the business analysis field is projected to expand by 9% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Additionally, data from O*NET Online suggests that more than 53,400 new openings in this profession will be created between 2018 to 2028.
One reason business systems analysts are in high demand is that many companies are adopting cloud computing in place of on-premises hardware and software. To harness the full potential of cloud-based solutions, organizations must attract tech-savvy employees who have experience with IT implementation and management. Further job growth is anticipated in health care fields, where the use of electronic health records, e-prescribing and online patient portals has created a need for tech-oriented business professionals.
Pursue a business systems analyst career with an MSBA from the University of Nevada, Reno
With business systems analyst salaries on the upswing and new job opportunities on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to break into the field. The online Master of Science in Business Analytics at the University of Nevada, Reno is designed to prepare students for the future of work by offering an in-depth look at how big data, blockchain, AI and other cutting-edge technologies are changing the business world. Through the online MSBA program, you can learn how to implement data-driven decisions quickly and with greater efficiency, while also developing a solid understanding of applied data science, predictive modeling, risk management and enterprise analytics.