Systems analyst

Computing and ICT

Career outlook for systems analyst

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would be employed by a company to examine their IT systems and processes, and recommend improvements.

Your work could range from integrating the phones and computers in a call centre, to making a bank’s databases safer.

You would:

  • Work out the client’s needs
  • Draw up plans for a better IT system
  • Carry out feasibility studies of proposals and make recomendations
  • Work closely with programmers to build the system
  • Oversee installation and testing
  • Correct problems before the final version is released
  • Offer staff training and instruction manuals for the new system

An important part of your job would be to make sure that your designs can adapt as the organisation or business grows.

You would use various computer assisted software engineering (CASE) tools and programming methods in your job.

Working conditions


You would normally work 37 to 40 hours a week. You may have to work overtime, including weekends, in order to meet deadlines or solve technical problems.


You would be office-based, working either at your employer's premises or at your client's site.


You would have to visit each client's premises. Some jobs may require stays away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Negotiating
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


Most entrants are graduates (SCQF level 9/10) with technical skills, although you may get in with a Higher National Diploma (HND) (SCQF level 8) and suitable experience.

To enter relevant courses such as computer science, information management systems, business information systems or maths at Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) level, you would need National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers (SCQF level 6).

To enter a degree course (SCQF level 9/10) requires national 5 qualifications and at least four Higher subjects including maths.

Applicants with degrees in other fields would be able to take a postgraduate 'conversion' course which could then lead to a Diploma or a MSc in a relevant subject.

You may start as a programmer and, after two to three years' experience, move into systems analysis.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Physics (required by most courses)
  • Technologies subjects such as computing science (required by most courses)
  • Business subjects

Helpful to have

 Work-based qualifications such as Scottish Vocational Qualification in ICT (SVQ level 2/3/4).