How to Become a Systems Engineer

This article provides in-depth information into What is a Systems Engineer? What Systems Engineer do? Degrees for Systems Engineer, Steps to become Systems Engineer and much more.

Systems Engineer

Systems engineering takes an interdisciplinary approach to designing and building complex systems. Systems engineering's goal is to ensure the success of complex projects with multiple stakeholders, such as the building of a space shuttle. Its techniques include requirement analysis, modeling and simulation, decision and risk analysis, and design optimization.

What does Systems Engineer do ?

Systems engineers oversee each step of a technical project, or system from operations, testing and cost to manufacturing, assessment, and disposal to ensure it is as efficient as possible.

  • Coordinates and/or performs additions and changes to network hardware and operating systems and attached devices; includes investigation, analysis, recommendation, configuration, installation and testing of new network hardware and software.

  • Provides direct support in the day-to-day operations of network hardware and operating systems; duties include evaluation of system utilization, monitoring response time and primary support for detection and correction of operational problems.

  • Troubleshoots at the physical level of the network, working with network measurement hardware and software, as well as physical checking and testing of hardware devices, at the logical level working with communication protocols.

  • Participates in planning design, technical review and implementation for new network infrastructure hardware and network operating systems for voice and data communication networks.

  • Maintains network infrastructure standards.

  • Provides technical consultation, training, and support to IT, staff, as designated by the director.

Steps for becoming Systems Engineer

1EARN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Anyone considering a career in systems engineering (SE) should begin with an accredited bachelor’s degree in systems, industrial, or another engineering discipline. Though the nature of systems engineering often calls for a master’s education, a bachelor’s degree is usually enough to get graduates in the door.

2EARN A MASTER’S DEGREE

Many employers prefer to hire candidates with master’s degrees in systems engineering, especially in positions with managerial potential. There are two primary types of master’s in systems engineering programs, Master’s degrees in highly specialized concentrations, and General programs for engineers already working in specific disciplines.

3GAIN REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

A student will need lots of hands-on experience in order to succeed as a systems engineer. Job experience prepares system engineers for Professional Engineer (PE) licensing, which requires at least four years on the job.

4BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER (PE)

Earning a Professional Engineer license from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is voluntary, but highly recommended as it certifies one’s engineering savvy. Systems engineers with PE credentials can usually take on more responsibilities, pursue high-level management positions, and increase their earnings.

5CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION

Professional certifications are voluntary credentials that validate a professional’s knowledge and skillset, whether general or with respect to a certain organization or program. According to the US Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop, the most in-demand systems engineering certification is the Certified Systems Engineering Professional from the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

6CONSIDER A PHD IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

There are fewer doctorates in systems engineering than bachelors and masters degrees because, in part, only professors and researchers are usually required to have them. Some professionals seek them anyway, whether out of professional interest or to boost their earnings and job potential.

Systems Engineer Salaries

Systems Engineer

Systems Engineer Degree Levels

Bachelors

Bachelor's degrees in systems engineering teach students the skills they need to analyze various systems whether they be production systems, technology systems, or societal systems and apply engineering concepts to them.

Calculus

  • Limits and Continuity

  • Mean Value Theorem

  • Higher-order Derivatives

Objectives

  • To understand Basic functions

  • Learn Integration

  • Learn Differentiation

Fundamentals of engineering

  • Engineering Mechanics

  • Engineering Probability and Statistics

  • Engineering Economics

Objectives

  • Understand various disciplines

  • Develop proficiency in the use of computers

  • Understand the design process

Project management

  • Strategic Excellence in Project Management

  • Project Activation Management System

  • The Start-Up Process

Objectives

  • Understand project management

  • Use project management tools

  • Risk Management

Masters

Master's programs in systems engineering usually take one to two years to complete. Typically this type of degree will consist of 30 to 36 credit hours of work. Students enrolled in one of these programs will take such classes as Creativity and Problem Solving, Technical Project Management, Systems Analysis Behavior and Optimization, Principles of Project Leadership, and Software Architecture.

Systems Architecture

  • Stakeholder Expectations

  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis

  • Verification and Validation

Objectives

  • Identifying needs and requirements

  • Applying system engineering

  • Understand product development

Systems Design

  • Introduction to Models of Computation

  • Continuous-Time Modeling

  • Constructive Semantics

Objectives

  • Analyse major interface paradigms

  • Task analysis and user analysis

  • User interface evaluation

Decision Support Systems

  • Cost- benefit analyses

  • Multicriteria decision support

  • Environmental quality

Objectives

  • Apply hypothesis testing

  • Environmental analysis cycle

  • Measure feasibility

Doctorate

Master's programs in systems engineering usually take one to two years to complete. Typically this type of degree will consist of 30 to 36 credit hours of work. Students enrolled in one of these programs will take such classes as Creativity and Problem Solving, Technical Project Management, Systems Analysis Behavior and Optimization, Principles of Project Leadership, and Software Architecture.

Electrical Power Engineering

  • Thermodynamics

  • Circuit Theory & Network

  • Electrical Electronic Measurement

Objectives

  • Improve operational efficiency

  • Improve core business technologies

  • Develop new technologies

Advanced IT Project Management

  • Simulation tools

  • Project selection and scheduling

  • Schedule risk

Objectives

  • Basic knowledge of project management

  • Understand various functional areas

  • Explore managerial concepts

Systems Theory

  • Mathematical Notations

  • Numerical methods

  • Geometrical abstraction

Objectives

  • Develop unifying principles

  • Integration of various sciences

  • The arrangement of and relations

Certificate

There are also certificate programs in systems engineering available in an online format. Online certificates are designed for those who have a background in engineering and who are working in the field who want to gain experience in systems engineering.

Engineering Risk and Decision Analysis

  • Risk management

  • The multistage decision model

  • The time value of money

Objectives

  • Decision analysis

  • Reliability and probabilistic risk assessment

  • Cost-benefit analysis

Design and Manufacturing

  • Manufacturing processes

  • Equipment/control

  • Systems

Objectives

  • Internalize success of manufacturing

  • Provide exposure to current trends

  • Influence the quality and cost.

Cybersecurity

  • The Security Environment

  • Principles of Cybersecurity

  • Cybersecurity Management

Objectives

  • Prevention of Data Loss

  • Improved security of a system

  • Proactive data management