A communications analyst, also referred to as a data communications analyst, is in charge of analyzing, testing, designing, and evaluating communications systems. The types of systems involved with this career can include all types of computer networks. The analyst is responsible for determining future needs of the network and communicating these needs through the proper channels.
There are many varieties of networks that a communications analyst can be responsible for. Some of the simpler ones are local area networks, also known as LANs, and some of the larger networks are known as wide area networks, or WANs. The analyst is also often responsible for information on the entire Internet as well as closed intranet systems. Because of the wide arrays of systems and the multitude of ways that they can be configured, a person in this job is usually responsible for working with all of the aforementioned types of systems simultaneously.
Tasks typical of the position include creating models of networks and making plans for how they will work. This can be quite complicated because networks typically rely on many different elements of hardware and software, which the analyst must provide solutions for. He or she is also usually the person who is responsible for researching and recommending new network hardware and software for an existing system.
A communications analyst is often self-employed and works with different companies on a short-term contract. If a company is starting a new network, for example, it may hire the analyst only as a contractor until the system is up and running. A typical temporary job might last as little as a few months or as long as several years. An analyst will usually hold an MBA and will sometimes receive a professional certification in data communications analysis.