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Working as an Information Systems Analyst

Job Description

An Information Systems Analyst will perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Research, develop and implement information systems meeting client needs
  • Develop plans, policies and procedures
  • Provide advice on a wide range of information systems issues
  • Some handle security issues or design off-site systems for emergencies
  • Systems auditors conduct independent third-party reviews to assess quality assurance practices, software products and information systems.

From: NOC [2171]

Industry Overview

Information Systems Analysts are in demand. There are many jobs, especially working with communication systems and security systems. Current technology knowledge and skills combined with business administration experience are especially needed.

Sources: Information and Communications Technology Council ICTC [February 2014]

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook for information systems analysts

Chart from WorkBC

The Employment Outlook for BC provides job openings projections for Information Systems Analysts and Consultants within BC regions:

Region 2010 Estimated Employment 2015
Estimated Employment
Avg Annual % Change, 5 Years,
2010 to 2015
Vancouver Island 1,080 1,190 1.9%
Lower Mainland /Southwest 11,020 12,800 3.2%
Thompson-Okanagan 530 550 1.0%
Kootenay 110 130 3.7%
Cariboo 120 120 0.4%
North Coast & Nechako 80 80 0.4%
Northeast 50 50 1.2%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions. [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about working as an Information Systems Analyst in BC at:

Types of Employers

As an Information Systems Analyst you will work in computer systems design services, telecommunications firms, financial institutions, public service organizations, insurance, real estate and leasing, and information, culture and recreation industries. Medium- to large-sized companies and public organizations are the primary employers of these individuals. Employment is concentrated in the Lower Mainland-Southwest and Vancouver Island and Coast regions.

Some Information Systems Analysts are self employed as consultants.

Salary

In BC, the average annual salary for this group is between $66,000 and $95,000. Analysts’ earnings vary depending on their employer, location, education, experience, and responsibilities. Analysts at the top of their field may earn $100,000 a year or more.

Systems analysts who are employed on a full-time basis usually receive benefits such as health and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick days, and contributions to retirement income plans. Some also receive performance bonuses.

Source:  Career Cruising database – Profile for Business Systems Analyst.

Job Bank Canada provides recent hourly wages for information systems analysts in BC regions:

Information Systems Analysts Regional Wage

Source: Job Bank Canada

Working Hours

Information systems analysts usually work a regular 40-hour week. However, during the implementation of a new computer system or software, trouble-shooting critical applications or times of problems you may be require to work long hours.

Evening and weekend work is necessary when computer/network maintenance and upgrades can only be performed after business hours. Depending on your position, you could be on call 24 hours a day to helping solve the problems of systems users.

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • exceptional communication, research and planning skills
  • problem solving and decision making
  • good with people
  • critical thinking
  • project management

Source: Work BC
Source: Career Cruising database – Profile for Business Systems Analyst

Education and Experience

A bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering, business administration or a related discipline is usually required.

Some information systems analysts and consultants may combine a college program in computer science with work experience. Those performing systems analysis under specific technical platforms may be required to have vendor certification.

Qualifications

This occupation does not require certification in British Columbia.

Experienced systems analysts and consultants can apply for the Information Systems Professional (ISP) designation through the Canadian Information Processing Society.

  • For more information on the ISP designation see: CIPS

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.
    (see categories 2020-2099, ‘Computer Professionals’)

Online Job Postings

  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards.

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For information systems analysts, look for these related job titles (from NOC):

  • Applications Analyst – Computer Systems or Information Systems
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • IT (Information Technology) Consultant
  • Computer Consultant
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Informatics Consultant
  • Informatics Security Analyst
  • Information Systems Business Analyst
  • Information Systems Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Management Information Systems (MIS) Analyst
  • Systems Auditor

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the computer programming and software industry in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring. You can photocopy from the print directories at Central Library, or use the online directories from a computer connected to the internet.

  • BC Tech, Technology Guide (special issue of BC Tech magazine)
    Includes company lists for: biggest BC tech companies, BC telecommunication companies, BC software developers and the top 100 tech companies in BC.
    Available at the Central Library, 380 EL3CBh
  • ICT Employer Directory
    The directory houses a list of ICT organizations in Canada and can be searched by city, province, sector, and keywords.
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “computer systems” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations and organizations for information technology in BC and Canada provide assistance to individuals. Some require paying a fee for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession.

  • BC Tech – A division of Business In Vancouver