Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Information systems analysts and consultants work with software, hardware and wiring infrastructure. They plan, manage and review information systems, and help to improve a company’s computer networks, performance and security.

People in this job work for information technology (IT) consulting firms and telecommunications businesses, financial institutions such as banks and credit unions, and IT departments in both the private and public sectors. They may also be self-employed and consult with several companies.

People with this career have skills in computer programming, internet and web applications, structured analysis, data modelling and information engineering. They also work with mathematical modelling and sampling. Information systems analysts and consultants need to have good communication skills and be able to research and plan projects.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of an information systems professional is like.

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Information systems professional


Common job titles
  • account manager, IT (info. technology)
  • analyst, applications - computer systems
  • analyst, applications - informatics
  • analyst, artificial intelligence
  • analyst, business - continuity
  • analyst, business - informatics

Duties

In general, information systems analysts and consultants:

  • Plan, set up and manage information technology systems including software, hardware and operations
  • Create and carry out the plans, policies and procedures for their company’s information systems
  • Check for and fix any problems that could come up in these systems

People in this job may work on different parts of information systems, depending on their area of focus. They might take on a specialty, which includes:

  • Business analysts: someone in this role would start with the business requirements (rather than the technology needs) of a company and then design, implement or maintain those information systems
  • Security analysts: in this position, a person would take existing or proposed systems, review them, find the security problems, and develop or put in place what is needed to stop or reduce the risk
  • Quality assurance analysts: people with this specialty make sure that the systems work and that they meet regulatory conditions

Work environment

People who work as information systems analysts and consultants work in an office. This could be at their employer’s place of work, a client’s office, from their home office, or a mix of all three. Access to technology makes working from home easier because people in this job can access systems from almost anywhere.

Information systems analysts and consultants need to be able to work a range of hours. This is because a company’s information systems must be available 24/7, and that often includes while maintenance or upgrades are in progress. This career can feel stressful, especially when putting in new systems or solving urgent problems.

Insights from industry

Currently, there is a small shortage of workers in this career, and those with experience are in higher demand. Also, people with training or experience in business administration will also be in higher demand.

As companies use new technologies, they will continue to need information systems analysis. Each time a new version of computer technology or operating system is introduced, other business applications need to be adapted or upgraded. Specialized information systems analysts make sure that the different technologies and platforms work well together.

Often, understanding a company’s security needs is a core requirement in all systems design, implementation and management. Businesses are using technology to manage more valuable and sensitive information, and they need experts to protect them from security breaches and other risks to their systems. As a result, the ability to provide analysis of security requirements will continue to be in high demand.

It is expected that information systems analysts and consultants will have many job opportunities in business, accounting, financial, scientific and engineering organizations in the future.

Information systems analysts and consultants could have more opportunity to work in other countries. Trade agreements for this role may make it easier for certifications to be recognized between different countries.

Some information systems analysts and consultants’ duties are becoming more technology-focused, while others are business-focused. However, all information systems analysts and consultants must be able to analyze a company’s business and/or information technology needs.

Since information technology changes rapidly, people in this job need to continue to learn new skills throughout their career. Current trends in this industry include machine learning, cloud computing, microservices and the “internet of things.”

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Those new to this career typically start as programmer, systems analyst, systems/network administrator, Q&A analyst, tester or software developer. 

After gaining experience in computer programming, people may be able to move into a junior role in information systems development, systems security, quality assurance planning or systems auditing. With more education and experience, people who work on analysis projects that are technology-focused may move into a developer role. In this case, they would specialize in specific systems or programming techniques. 

Others may lead teams or manage projects. Information systems analysts and consultants may move into leadership roles such as senior systems analyst, information systems manager or IT director.

Additional resources