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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Analysts in Rockford, Illinois

Computer systems analysts can find many career and educational opportunities in the Rockford, Illinois area. There are currently 19,160 working computer systems analysts in Illinois; this should grow 40% to about 26,860 working computer systems analysts in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer systems analysts are expected to grow by about 20.3%. In general, computer systems analysts analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems.

Computer systems analysts earn approximately $36 hourly or $76,870 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $36 per hour or $75,500 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Computer, people working as computer systems analysts in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Computer nationally. People working as computer systems analysts can fill a number of jobs, such as: information systems auditor, software architect, and systems engineer.

The Rockford area is home to twelve schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Rockford 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 Rockford 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 Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Systems Analyst Training

Highland Community College - Freeport, IL

Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated three students in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated two students in 2008.

Rock Valley College - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL 61114-5699. Rock Valley College is a medium sized college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,030 students. Rock Valley College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated five students in 2008.

Rockford College - Rockford, IL

Rockford College, 5050 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108-2393. Rockford College is a small college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,390 students and an admission rate of 67%. Rockford College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences.

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: Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.