Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Information systems analysts and consultants assess an organization's information systems requirements.

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Information systems professional

People in this occupation:

  • develop and implement information systems development plans, policies and procedures
  • provide advice on a wide range of information systems issues
  • work for information technology consulting firms, telecommunications firms, financial institutions, public service organizations and other information technology units throughout the private and public sectors
  • may be self-employed
  • have an interest in computer hardware and software, networking and business administration
  • have exceptional communication, research and planning skills
  • have experience in computer programming, as well as knowledge of Internet and web applications, structured analysis, data modeling, information engineering, mathematical model building and sampling
Common job titles
  • account manager, IT (info. technology)
  • analyst, applications - computer systems
  • analyst, applications - informatics
  • analyst, artificial intelligence
  • analyst, business - continuity
  • analyst, business - informatics


There are a wide variety of functions in the field of systems analysis. All information systems analysts and consultants take part in planning, setting up or managing information systems for organizations. The following duties are broken down by special area of focus.

Special duties

Information systems business analysts and consultants:

  • speak with clients to identify requirements, and conduct business and technical studies
  • design, develop and set up information systems business solutions
  • provide advice on information systems strategy, policy, management, security and service delivery

Systems security analysts:

  • talk with clients to identify requirements
  • assess physical and technical security risks to data, software and hardware
  • develop policies, procedures and back up plans to minimize the effects of security breaches.

Information systems quality assurance analysts:

  • develop and put into place policies and procedures throughout the software development life cycle to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness and overall quality of software products and information systems

Systems auditors:

  • do independent third-party reviews to assess quality assurance practices, software products and information systems

Work environment

While work usually takes place in a computer laboratory setting, many workers telecommute from home offices or combine telecommuting with work in a traditional office setting.

Workers must be able to work flexible hours since some maintenance and upgrades can only be performed when staff are not using the system. There may be added pressure during system rollouts or when solving critical system problems in a tight timeframe.

Insights from industry

Information systems analysts and consultants with business administration training or experience will be in higher demand, as these skills can help an organization get the most value from its information technology, personnel, and business processes.

Organizations will continue to adopt more complex technologies that will require information systems analysis. Each new generation of computer technology and operating system requires existing business applications to be adapted or upgraded. Specialized systems analysts are required to create new networks with different platforms.

More than ever, organizations rely on the expertise of the specialized position of security analyst to keep their valuable resources protected from security breaches. Therefore, analysis of security requirements will continue to be in high demand.

Opportunities will be available to work with systems in business, accounting, financial organizations or scientific and engineering organizations. The strongest demand will likely come from organizations needing to build or maintain communications systems.

Opportunity for international contracts may be available to consultants who market their skills internationally. Common international certification standards are expected to develop to support international trade agreements for information technology services.

Some information systems analysts' duties are becoming more technology focused, while others are becoming more business focused. However, information systems analysts and consultants must generally be equally equipped to analyze the business needs and the information technology needs of the organization during the entire systems development life cycle.

Rapidly changing information technology requires these professionals to continually upgrade their skills to remain competitive. The current technology trends include databases, object-oriented programming languages, client–server applications development and multimedia and internet technology.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

After acquiring experience in computer programming, individuals typically begin in a junior role in the area of information systems development, systems security, quality assurance planning or systems auditing.

With further education and experience, those who work on analysis projects with a technology focus may take more of development role, specializing in particular kinds of systems or programming techniques.

Workers may also obtain positions as senior systems analysts, business analysts, IS managers or IT directors. Systems analysts and consultants may consult with a variety of companies, while others may become team leaders or managers of projects, sometimes holding multiple roles on the same project.

Additional resources