How to Become a Program Analyst

By | February 10, 2024

Program Analyst – A program analyst is a type of software engineer who has the expertise and experience to assess the functional and technical performance of a software system. They are also responsible for implementing and managing the maintenance of these systems. Program analysts typically work in computer science, information technology, or IT departments, but could also be found in any number of different jobs that require higher levels of expertise in software systems.

How to Become a Program Analyst

Learn About Being a Program Analyst


A program analyst’s job is primarily about analyzing what needs to be done to ensure that the software works as intended. This can include working with developers, users, or other program analysts during all stages of development, evaluation, and implementation. They are usually part of a team where they provide technical assistance while others take care of business level issues like budgeting and planning.

Everyone has a role to play. No matter what your role is, it’s important to know that you have the talent and skills necessary to carry out the task at hand. In this blog post, I will give you some insight into what the job of a program analyst entails.
Program analysts are responsible for designing development plans and methods that allow software engineers to build robust applications. They typically work in teams with software engineers and developers, who help create new features for a company or product. Program analysts are responsible for keeping track of all of these changes and make sure they meet deadlines. They also perform ongoing research in order to improve their working methods, along with meeting new deadlines after those changes have been implemented. Here, is how you can become a program analyst and learn more about what their job entails.

What does a program analyst do?

Determining the answer to this question is essential for anyone who’s interested in a career as a program analyst. It’s also important for those who are already in this field, too. If you wonder what a program analyst does, they gather and analyze data to help businesses improve their processes and make better decisions. They might work with marketing or advertising firms, which would present challenges including making sure their insights are relevant and up-to-date. Program analysts may also work with software companies that require constant improvements in order to stay competitive.
Becoming a program analyst is something you should seriously consider if you have an interest in business, science, statistics, or computer science. If your goal is to help others solve problems based on data analysis, then becoming a program analyst could be the perfect fit for you!


A program analyst, often known as a research analyst or program evaluator, is a professional responsible for assessing an organization’s programs to determine if they are effective and efficient. This is accomplished through research, data gathering and similar methods.

Other duties that a program analyst performs include:

  • Organizing information about a problem to be addressed or a procedure to be improved

  • Proposing recommendations to management through presentations or written reports

  • Interviewing personnel and conducting onsite observations to determine the equipment, methods and personnel needed

  • Developing solutions or alternative practices

  • Recommending new procedures, systems, procedures or organizational changes

  • Analyzing financial and other data, including expenditure, revenue and employment reports

  • Conferring with managers to make sure changes are working

Program Analyst Salary

The Program Analyst Salary is a wonderful place to work. The need for this position has been growing in the market due to the rise in the number of technology-based companies. Program Analysts review and analyze software development processes and project management, as well as oversee departmental budgets. They are responsible for introducing change, assessing risks, and providing documentation to help management improve their projects. So if you’re interested in pursuing a career with a focus on IT, then read on to learn more about what it takes to be a successful program analyst salary

Average salary

The salary of program analysts will vary depending on factors such as their geographic location and on whether the organization in which they work is a private company or a local, state or federal government division or department.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $86,286 per year

  • Some salaries range from $26,000 to $180,000 per year.

Program analyst requirements

The career path for a program analyst involves a combination of relevant education and experience. They may also benefit from


The typical entry-level education requirement for a program analyst is a bachelor’s degree. However, some organizations prefer to hire candidates who have a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Business Administration or related field. Coursework should cover statistics, research, business, evaluation, program design, marketing and psychology.

A program analyst might choose to undergo further training with additional education. For example, you might obtain a Master’s of Science in Measurement and Evaluation. This particular program can usually be completed in about two years. You may be able to complete your master’s program online, which provides a convenient option for those who want to continue working full-time while going to school.


Most program analysts will need to receive appropriate training before beginning their job. Sometimes program analysts start out in another field of studies such as nursing or social work. They may obtain on-the-job training in program analysis as they gain more experience in their roles.

A lot of organizations require additional education and experience in the industry for which the job serves. For instance, a program analyst in a tech company may have been an engineer.


Program analysts are not required to obtain a certification or license. However, employers may prefer candidates who have one, as it demonstrates a commitment to excellence. Here are some of the most common certifications for this profession:

Certified Management Consultant (CMC)

Offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, the CMC designation is given to candidates at the Basic, Experienced and Management Level. The Basic level requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of consulting experience, as well as passing both written and oral exams. Experienced and Management-level requires candidates to have at least 10 and 20 years of relevant work experience, respectively. The CMC certification is valid only for three years and requires continuing professional development for renewal.

Program Management Professional (PgMP)

Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the PgMP certification is given to senior management practitioners, especially those who handle large programs. To obtain this certification, candidates must have several years of experience and have to prove industry level program management knowledge and experience before they are allowed to take the PgMP certification exam.


Program analysts need several hard and soft skills to succeed at work. Some of these skills include:


A program analyst must be good at interpreting a wide range of information and using their findings to make recommendations.


Program analysts must be able to communicate clearly and precisely in both verbal and written communication.


Successful program analysts must also have good listening skills to understand the problems of a program and propose suitable solutions.


Program analysts must be able to build rapport with managers and other employees of the organizations where they provide services. They should work as a team to achieve the goals of the organization.

Problem solving

Program analysts must be good at finding appropriate solutions to the issues of a particular program. While some aspects of different programs’ problems may be the same, each situation is likely to present unique challenges for the program analyst to solve.

Time management

Because program analysts often work under tight deadlines, they must be able to use their time efficiently to complete projects on time.

Program analyst work environment

Program analysts work in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, business and government agencies. They work primarily in an office environment, but they may sometimes be required to travel to gather information. They typically work regular business hours, but they might sometimes work early mornings or late at night. A portion of the job also usually involves sitting at a desk for many hours at a time and using a computer.

How to become a program analyst

Here are the most common steps to follow in becoming a qualified program analyst for an organization:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

Most program analysts will need to first obtain a bachelor’s degree to begin a job in this field. This education will help them learn the necessary skills and many aspects of a career in program analysis.

2. Gain work experience

After completing a bachelor’s degree, candidates may start building their resumes by looking for entry-level employment in the field. They may start off at private organizations as associates or junior members of consulting teams before progressing to program analyst positions. To advance to more senior positions, program analysts will need to gain a few years of on-the-job experience.

3. Considering pursuing a master’s degree

Many private companies and some governmental agencies prefer candidates who have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) or a related field. MBA programs are offered by many colleges and universities and usually take about two years to complete.

4. Obtain a certification

While certification is not required to become a program analyst, obtaining it may provide you with a competitive advantage while searching for a job. A certification may also help you obtain benefits that will help you perform better in your career.

5. Consider a specialization

Program analysts specializing in a specific program related to an industry such as healthcare or information technology may fare better when searching for a job.

Program analyst job description example

EQUF corporation is looking for an experienced and detail-oriented Program Analyst. The Program Analyst will be responsible for using advanced quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze the effectiveness of our programs and implementing study methods to assess the efficiency of complex program operations. You will also be responsible for developing solutions to make improvements or address performance issues. The ideal candidate has at least two years of experience as a Program Analyst, Management Analyst or a similar role.

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