NEXT PROS: Landon Roberts, Computer Programmer

By Arkansas Next staff on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jacob Slaton
“I get to have a career that didn't put me thousands of dollars in debt. I also have the option to take classes while I work. I'm able to go anywhere I want in the IT field.” - Landon

Landon Roberts

High school: Portageville High School | Age: 28 | Where I trained: Arkansas Northeastern College | What I earned: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems and Microsoft Office Specialist certifications | Job title: Technical Analyst | Employer: Nucor-Yamato Steel in Blytheville

What does a computer systems analyst do?

Computer systems analysts work on the hardware and networking side of the computer industry. They analyze data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems. They analyze procedures to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow and scheduling limitations.

“We get to see a lot of new technology and test new products out. Like cell phones, computers, VR headsets and cameras — basically anything new that comes out right before Christmas that everybody wants to have. Also the pay is great and the benefits are awesome!” - Landon


• Troubleshoot and provide technical support.

• Take reports of problems from users to find and fix the underlying problem.

• Coordinate software or hardware installation.

• Test software performance.

Job Outlook

Expected growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas.

Average annual job openings in Arkansas.

Jobs in Arkansas by 2026.

What Can You Learn from My Story?

“I went to school for two years before dropping out and worked in manufacturing jobs working swing shifts. [I was] missing time with my family and friends and hoping that I would get a chance to go back to school to finish my degree and have a job I enjoyed. I worked for a few companies, doing IT unofficially, before my last job curtailed and I was left jobless.

"Competing against 900 other employees who had just been laid off too, I got the opportunity to return back to school through the state unemployment Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) program. I received unemployment, mileage checks and free education through the program.

"The initial plan was to go back to school for athletic training and finish my degree out, but that was not an option that was offered to me. The next best thing was that I loved computers and so I was able to go to school for Computer Information Systems.

"Little did I know that being laid off from my job was the best thing ever for me and my family. I was offered an internship while going to school at Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) and after a few months working in IT at Nucor-Yamato Steel as an intern, I received a job offer upon successfully graduating at ANC.”

Landon Roberts, Technical Analyst, Nucor-Yamato Steel

This option is for you if:
You’re fascinated by computers and technology.
You love solving problems.
You recognize patterns.
You enjoy working in teams.
You have an analytical mind.
You’d describe yourself as a patient person
You understand networking fundamentals (i.e. switches, routers, cabling and fiber)

High-end earners (top 10%) make

Median wages in Arkansas
$69,540 Annual
$33.44 Hourly


Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas State University–Beebe
Arkansas State University–Mid-South
Arkansas State University–Mountain Home
Black River Technical College
College of the Ouachitas
East Arkansas Community College
National Park College
North Arkansas College
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Ozarka College
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith–College of Applied Science & Technology
University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton


ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc.
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives
CalArk International
L'Oreal Maybelline Co.
Pace Industries
Simmons Foods Inc. & Affiliates
Tyson Foods

“My options for progressing my career at Nucor Yamato are unlimited. I'm able to go back to school to further my education, and I’m even able to take training courses over anything IT-related.” - Landon


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17 Hot Jobs in Skilled Trades