Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Analysts in Birmingham, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for computer systems analysts in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 7,820 working computer systems analysts in Alabama; this should grow 31% to about 10,270 working computer systems analysts in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for computer systems analysts, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.3% over the next eight years. Computer systems analysts generally analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems.

Income for computer systems analysts is about $33 hourly or $69,720 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $36 hourly or $75,500 per year. Incomes for computer systems analysts are not quite as good as in the overall category of Computer in Alabama, and better than the overall Computer category nationally. Computer systems analysts work in a variety of jobs, including: engineering systems analyst, software quality engineer, and computer methods analyst.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a computer systems analyst. Given that the most common education level for computer systems analysts is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years training to become a computer systems analyst if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Systems Analyst

Computer Systems Analyst video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer systems analysts analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. They also analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations.

Computer systems analysts develop, document and revise system layout procedures and quality standards. They also furnish staff and users with assistance solving computer related problems. Equally important, computer systems analysts have to test and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems. They are often called upon to confer with management to insure agreement on system principles. They are expected to expand or modify systems to serve new purposes or improve work flow. Finally, computer systems analysts assess the usefulness of pre-developed application packages and adapt them to a user environment.

Every day, computer systems analysts are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for computer systems analysts to recommend new equipment or software packages. They are often called upon to talk with clients regarding the nature of the data processing or computation needs a computer program is to address. They also read manuals and technical reports to learn how to design programs that meet staff and user requirements. They are sometimes expected to train staff and users to make use of computer systems and programs. Somewhat less frequently, computer systems analysts are also expected to recommend new equipment or software packages.

Computer systems analysts sometimes are asked to assess the usefulness of pre-developed application packages and adapt them to a user environment. They also have to be able to decide on computer software or hardware needed to prepare or alter system and analyze data processing or computation needs and plan and layout computer systems, using techniques such as structured analysis, data modeling and data engineering. And finally, they sometimes have to train staff and users to make use of computer systems and programs.

Like many other jobs, computer systems analysts must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • Computer Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
  • Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
  • Data Base Design Analyst. Coordinate changes to computer databases, test and implement the database applying knowledge of database management systems. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Systems Analyst Training

Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson State Community College, 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215-3098. Jefferson State Community College is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,718 students. Jefferson State Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated twenty-five and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated zero, two, and ten students respectively in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has an associate's degree program in Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster which graduated one student in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Systems Analyst. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated six and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated two, nineteen, and six students respectively in 2008.

Bevill State Community College - Sumiton, AL

Bevill State Community College, 101 State St, Sumiton, AL 35148. Bevill State Community College is a small college located in Sumiton, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,860 students. Bevill State Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated three, zero, and four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Certified Technical Trainer: CompTIA CTT+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both a classroom and virtual classroom environment.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Certified Network Systems Technician: Certified Network Systems Technician is a network professional who is expected to obtain knowledge of computer.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Network Computer Technician: Certified Network Computer Technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of computer electronics basic concepts, Internet and networking technology applicable to various areas of the computer industry.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Wireless Communications: Technicians seeking the ETA Certified Electronics Technician specialty are required to have a basic education in fundamental electronics.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator: Computer hacking forensic investigation is the process of detecting hacking attacks and properly extracting evidence to report the crime and conduct audits to prevent future attacks.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Network Security Administrator: The EC-Council's NSA certification looks at the network security in defensive mode.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

EC Council Certified Secure Programmer: EC-Council's Certified Secure Programmer is being offered to provide the essential and fundamental skills to programmers and application developers in secure programming.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Security 5 Certification: The Security5 Certification is the entry level for anyone interested in learning computer networking and security basics.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Associate of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium: Associate of (ISC) status is available to those who have gained competence in key areas of industry knowledge and information security concepts and can pass either the CISSP® or SSCP® examinations, but lack the years of practical work experience required for full accreditation.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The CAP credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the Certification and Accreditation process.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certified Web Professional - E-Commerce Specialist: A CWP E-Commerce Specialist is an expert in standards, technologies and practices in electronic commerce.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Server Administrator: A CWP Server Administrator manages and tunes E-Commerce infrastructure including Web servers, FTP, news, and mail servers for mid-size to large businesses.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator: The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) credential validates your ability to manage and troubleshoot network environments in the Windows operating system.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Certified Associate in Software Quality: Acquiring the designation of Certified Associate in Software Quality (CASQ) indicates a professional level of competence in the principles and practices of quality assurance in the IT profession.

For more information, see the Quality Assurance Institute website.

Security Certified Network Professional: The SCNP program focuses on defensive security technologies, such as Firewalls and Intrusion Detection.

For more information, see the Security Certified Program website.

WOW Certified E-Commerce Manager: E-Commerce Managers are masters at developing and executing web marketing and e-commerce strategies and operations.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Designer: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Developer: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Designer Apprentice: Web Designer Apprentices are familiar with the visual arts and are learning to create images and designs that capture and keep visitors' interest.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Developer Apprentice: Web Developer Apprentices are familiar with the fundamentals of creating web site structure and interactivity.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.