Looking for an I.T. career that provides a high earning potential and strong job growth? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analyst jobs are projected to grow 22 percent over the next seven years — a faster-than-average growth over all occupations. Systems analysts have become such a valuable asset to companies that utilize computers for business operations that the occupation ranked fourth on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2013. For systems analysts in the Dallas metropolitan area, the news is especially good. Dallas’ employment in this occupation is ranked fifth highest in the nation and average salaries are around $84K.

Choosing a career with stability, job growth and intellectual stimulation inspired Courtney Lievsay to go into the I.T. field. Lievsay has been a systems analyst with Fidelity Investments since graduating Fidelity’s Leap training program in December 2012.

Courtney Lievsay, systems analyst, Fidelity Investments (photo courtesy of Courtney Lievsay)

Courtney Lievsay, systems analyst, Fidelity Investments (photo courtesy of Courtney Lievsay)

How did you get started in the I.T. field?    

“I received my B.S. in management information systems — MIS — from the University of Texas at Dallas. The MIS degree program gave me an opportunity to explore different functional areas of I.T. and understand which kinds of I.T. jobs I should apply for. Additionally, UTD gave me a base of I.T. knowledge that helped prepare me for Fidelity’s Leap training program for recent I.T. graduates. The six-month Leap program consisted of a three-month project phase with real software deliverables, as well as classroom training that was broken down into job ‘tracks,’ i.e. system analysis, software development, quality assurance, mainframe development, and technology infrastructure and engineering.”

What do you find most rewarding about working in I.T.?

“One of the most rewarding aspects of working in I.T. is feeling absolutely vital to the success of a company. Fidelity places a huge emphasis on providing best-in-industry technical offerings, so it’s exciting to be part of the technology team and help Fidelity keep a competitive edge.”

Do you have any advice for people interested in starting a career in I.T.?

“Go for it! I.T. is a field that will always need talented people, and at the present, there are not enough qualified applicants for this rapidly growing field. For anyone interested in becoming a systems analyst, having a degree that focuses on both business and I.T. helps immensely. Understanding the business drivers behind technology has given me the tools to better address business problems and provide technical solutions. Any person that has a desire to work in a challenging field and has no problem with constantly learning and developing should definitely consider a career in I.T. The jobs are out there, the compensation is very high and the growth will only continue.”

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.

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