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Explore the Wide Range of IT Analyst Career Paths

May 26, 2022
Team of IT analysts looks over and discusses data.

If you're a tech-savvy person with an interest in solving big-picture business challenges, a role as an IT analyst could deliver a lot of opportunities. Information technology empowers the entire global market, so your range of career paths as an IT analyst is incredibly diverse, covering every sector from private to public and across all industries and fields. Generally speaking, the role of an IT analyst combines expertise in both commerce and computer systems for optimizing an organization's operations. However, you should explore the wide range of career paths open to IT analysts to discover the role most interesting and best suited for you.1

Keep reading to dig into IT analyst career path options, including typical job titles, responsibilities and current salaries for top-paying specializations in high demand within this fast-growing field of information technology.

The Wide Range of IT Analyst Career Paths

Many IT analysts hold leading roles in top-paying specializations. Successfully collaborating with C-suite teams, governing boards and other top-level executives requires a strategic focus on big-picture solutions as well as analytical attention to detail. While each specialization requires additional unique knowledge, skills and abilities, some common skills needed for any IT analyst in their day-to-day job performance include:2

• Formulating, implementing and evaluating standards for IT management and practices

• Appraising relationships between IT practices and technologies

• Identifying and examining and communicating IT-based problems and solutions

• Designing/Developing/Implementing detailed solutions for IT-based problems

Specialized IT analyst roles can include:

IT business analyst - $107,853/yr

An IT business analyst is a natural problem solver, relying on data capture and analytics to identify strategic ways of expanding business opportunities, optimizing customer value, increasing revenue and reducing costs. IT departments rely on business analysts to implement technology solutions in the most cost-effective ways. Other responsibilities of an IT business analyst may include:3

• Conducting market, customer and/or user research

• Data collection and analysis of business processes and projects

• Implementing measures and protocols for improving an organization's logistics

• Inventory control

• Reorganization efforts

IT cyber security analyst - $130,893/yr

An IT cyber security analyst, also known as an IT security analyst, is responsible for developing organization-wide policies, protocols and best practices to ensure IT security. The primary focus of an IT security analyst is to protect an organization's computer networks and other vulnerable assets from cyber-attacks by designing, implementing and testing IT security systems. Other duties and responsibilities of an IT cyber security analyst include:4

• Monitoring computer networks

• Installing and upgrading antivirus software

• Documenting and resolving breaches, vulnerabilities, and all other security issues

• Continuously upgrading and performing penetration testing and techniques

• Testing and evaluating new technology

IT Service Desk Analyst - $67,532/yr

The IT service desk analyst provides technical support to users and helps resolve their issues with computer software and/or hardware. IT service desk analysts investigate and evaluate problems associated with information technologies, equipment and applications. Users rely on them to assess problems and issues and determine the most efficient and effective resolution. They may escalate issues to other appropriate teams as necessary. Additional responsibilities of an IT service desk analyst may include:5

• Generating daily network status reports for distribution to other teams

• Generating monthly metrics and other reports of service desk activities

• Disseminating relevant information regarding technical issues and concerns to appropriate personnel

• Developing and implementing standard operating procedures and processes for promoting efficiency and consistency

IT Support Analyst - $82,616/yr

IT support analysts are responsible for configuring, installing and maintaining IT hardware and software applications. They also assist with hardware and software upgrades and integrations, providing troubleshooting, issue resolution and assistance with privacy safeguards. Some work performed by an IT support analyst is accomplished remotely through the use of a virtual technical support platform. Other responsibilities of IT support analysts may include:6

• Providing technical training, guidance and advice to clients and other system users

• Developing and maintaining positive partnerships with clients and other system users

• Performing IT production support according to documentation for the assigned areas

• Serving as point-of-sale system administrators, providing user access, training, reports and documentation

• Generating and disseminating operational statistics and status reports on a timely schedule

IT Systems Analyst - $107,868/yr

IT systems analysts provide the broadest range of support for their organization's entire computing infrastructure. The focus of an IT systems analyst is to design, configure and implement technology solutions to optimize all aspects of business operations. Understanding the needs and limitations of both business and information technology allows systems analysts to prepare cost-benefit analyses. C-suite execs rely on this expertise for evaluating IT infrastructure upgrades and associated financial investment decisions. Responsibilities and duties of an IT systems analyst often also include:7

• Collaborating with business execs/clients to identify needs, project specifications and cost sheet analyses for IT solutions

• Partnering with vendors and technical teams regarding work and delivery of new solutions

• Developing, configuring, implementing, testing and documenting new systems

• Writing and maintaining instruction manuals and providing training for system users

• Performing system testing and coordinating User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as needed

• Disseminating relevant reports and information with appropriate personnel on a timely basis

Specialize Your Role With Marquette

Whichever IT analyst specialization you may choose, obtaining the right educational foundation is essential for developing and evolving your skills into specialized expertise and preparing you for success at the highest professional level. Achieving an advanced degree in information technology will place you at the front of the line, prepared to lead in an exciting and cutting-edge field. A top-ranking program like the Online M.S. in Computer and Information Science from Marquette University will help you specialize in your role, fine-tune your skills, and become a leader who can make a difference.

Operating at the highest standards of excellence, Marquette University's Online M.S. in Computer and Information Science ranks #3 in student engagement for online IT degrees, #5 in best services and technologies in an online program, and #14 in overall best online IT master's degrees. Our 100% Online IT master’s program offers four distinct program pathways, designed to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to tech-savvy professionals.8

For example, if you're interested in jumpstarting your career as a world-class IT cyber security analyst, check out our Information Assurance and Cyber Defense (ICAD) specialization. The ICAD program is recognized as an Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).9

So, If you're ready for an exciting future as a specialized IT analyst and leader, Marquette offers the perfect choice for developing your innovative IT mindset, evolving your leading-edge skillsets and setting you up for long-term professional success. Talk to an Admissions Advisor to learn more.