How to Become a Systems Engineer

Being a systems engineer requires a solid foundation in various technical disciplines. Systems engineers monitor every process stage, from operations, testing, and cost to manufacture and evaluation.

Systems engineering requires a thorough understanding of both business and technical principles. It’s so hard to get started, so you won’t know where to start.

This article will explain how to become a systems engineer. We will guide the educational qualification and the abilities needed to work as a systems engineer.

Keep reading for some helpful tips to help you advance in your career!

What Is A Systems Engineer?

You may find systems engineers in practically every significant business, including health care, transportation, manufacturing, and software.

It’s a job that enables you to solve problems, research answers, and create systems to solve an issue or accomplish a goal.

Systems engineers construct and supervise all parts of a complex system to address a problem. They integrate all business disciplines and field groups for a project into a well-organized, efficient process.

A female system engineer
A female system engineer

Job Description

The day-to-day duties of a systems engineer will vary depending on the industry and firm, but some roles include:

  • System and tool design and implementation
  • Identifying and resolving problems with a company’s systems and networks
  • Task automation in production environments
  • Putting new hardware and software in place
  • Upgrades to the systems
  • Taking care of backup and recovery
  • Server monitoring and capacity planning
  • Conducting version control
  • Creating security requirements for systems
  • evaluating resources to satisfy the demands of the organization
  • Managing the support desk employees
  • Plan, develop, install, and upgrade computer systems and network services.
  • Upgrade the software and hardware that you already have.
  • Create, set up, and integrate computer systems.
  • Research and analyze complicated system designs and architectural requirements, data models, and diagrams.
  • Analyze network infrastructure and systems to ensure they run as efficiently as possible.
  • Provide continuous technical support, troubleshooting, and fault-finding services for network difficulties.
  • Improve network operations and integrated hardware, software, communications, and operating systems by giving advice.
  • System and tool development and implementation
  • Troubleshooting computer and network problems in a business
  • Upgrades to the system
  • Backup and disaster recovery management
  • For servers, there is server monitoring and capacity planning.
  • Keeping track of versions
  • Creating security guidelines for systems
  • Identifying and evaluating resources to satisfy the demands of the organization
  • Staffing the service desk and supervising it
a group of system engineers
Engineers are working together

How To Become a Systems Engineer

How exactly do you go about becoming a systems engineer? Let’s look at the education, talents, and experience you’ll need to become a systems engineer!

1. Decide What Kind Of Systems You Want To Manage

A systems engineer must have a wide technical knowledge base, but you must pick a specialty. Communications systems, civil engineering, biomedical engineering, and aerospace engineering are possible businesses.

The expertise and experience you’ll need will vary depending on the system you want to manage. So, consider your passions!

A career in communications systems management may be the most excellent option if you like coding, algorithms, and software development. You’ll need a strong background in information technology and software development.

However, if you want to design defense systems or rockets, you should concentrate on aeronautical, electrical, or mechanical engineering.

2. Earn a Degree

One of the first things to consider if you want to become a Systems Engineer is how much schooling you’ll need. According to our research, 69.9% of Systems Engineers hold a bachelor’s degree; 13.5 percent have earned a master’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree in systems, industrial, or similar engineering is a must for anybody interested in pursuing a career in systems engineering.

Though the nature of systems engineering sometimes needs a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is generally sufficient to get in.

Specializations in systems engineering include the following:

  • Engineering of transportation systems
  • Engineering of software systems
  • Engineering logistics
  • Engineering for product development systems
  • Engineering of biosystems

3. Learn Computer Programs And Languages

It will help if you take programming, computer science, or information technology classes.

You’ll need to be familiar with general-purpose programming languages like C++ and analytical and modeling applications such as Matlab, Simulink, or CAD.

A systems engineer employs these technologies to simulate and analyze the performance of an engineering solution, such as a company’s security software.

Your sector will determine the programs you’ll need to know, but you should have the capacity to learn and adapt to new applications swiftly.

4. Gain Real-World Experience

Professional engineer licensure needs at least four years of job experience. There is no way to substitute the advantages of hands-on experience in systems engineering completely.

While there are no assurances, experience improves pay and management changes, as well as one’s knowledge base and, as a result, job field marketability.

To thrive as a systems engineer, you’ll need a lot of hands-on experience. During and soon after your undergraduate education, try to get at least two to three internships.

Intern at various firms in your field to learn about different ways to develop and manufacture identical items or software.

5. Consider Professional Certification

Young engineer making systems analyses
Young engineer making systems analyses

Professional certifications are optional credentials that verify a professional’s knowledge and competence, whether they are generic or specific to a company or program.

The Certified Systems Engineering Professional from the International Council on Systems Engineering is the most in-demand systems engineering credential, according to the US Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop.

Earning a systems engineering certification is another way to show a prospective employer that you have the necessary abilities and knowledge.

The following are some of the standard certifications for systems engineers in the area of computer and information technology:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  • Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional – Architecture (CISSP)
  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
  • VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)

6. Get Hired As A Systems Engineer

Look for employment at the entry-level, such as associate and junior engineer vacancies. Your initial job title will most likely be an associate systems engineer.

To get access to job listings, networking, and professional development opportunities, join the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

You may also look for available opportunities in areas you’ve already interned. Your relationships at such businesses may increase your chances of finding a job.

Your CV should demonstrate how you’ve developed the abilities mentioned in the job description for a given position. It’s good to include a section that outlines your talents and software knowledge.

In the experience area of your resume, you should offer succinct instances of how you’ve developed and utilized those talents.

If you’re still in school, ask your department and the career services office for assistance with your CV. Have someone with engineering expertise, such as a past professor or supervisor, check your resume.

When you receive a call for an interview, do your research right away. Learn about the company’s history and beliefs, how they integrate into the more significant industry, and how they make products or build software.

You will need to look for particular areas where you might improve or contribute. In addition, consider how you might improve a manufacturing process or manage a team more effectively.

7. Advancing Your Career In Systems Engineering

Advance Your Career
Advance Your Career

INCOSE certification will improve your work chances and possibilities for promotion. To get certified, you must pass an exam and have the required education and experience. There are three levels of professional certification.

  • A simple test for associate systems engineers (ASEP).
  • Five years of experience, a degree, and three professional references for a certified systems engineer professional (CSEP). They must also pass an examination.
  • A skilled expert systems engineer (ESEP) must have 25 years of experience, a degree, and references and be in a leadership position. They must pass a panel review rather than an exam.

What Skills Do You Need to Learn?

Soft skills: Communication, Teamwork, Creativity, Adaptability, Problem-solving
Soft skills for a Systems Engineer

To understand what needs to happen inside a system, a systems engineer needs diverse talents. The following are some of the workplace skills you’ll need to be a successful systems engineer:

  • Communication
  • Skills in analysis
  • Organizing abilities
  • Thinking in terms of specifics
  • Possessing the ability to perceive the “big picture.”
  • Troubleshooting
  • Organize your time.
  • Development of software
  • Programming and data architecture
  • Cloud computing
  • Networking
  • Scripting
  • Information protection
  • Hardware and software
  • Management of risks

Career Path of Systems Engineer

Career Path
Career Path of Systems Engineer

Many systems engineers begin as systems administrators, network administrators, or software developers.

These positions may help you prepare for the big-picture work of a systems engineer by providing you with the necessary skills and experience.

Aside from adjusting your job search, thinking about a career path for your current position might be advantageous. What precisely is a professional path?

It’s a map that shows you how to progress from one job title to the next.

If you started as a consultant, you might eventually rise to Project Manager. Later in your career, you may be promoted to Infrastructure Project Manager.


Is system engineering a good career?

Yes, systems engineering is a rewarding profession. A career as a system engineer pays well, is in great demand, provides high job satisfaction, and allows for a healthy work-life balance.

What skills do you need to be a systems engineer?

They need exceptional communication, customer service, time management, and some skills. Given the prominent position that the systems engineer plays in significant projects that encompass many various elements of the business, project management skills may be helpful in an engineering career as well.

How hard is it to be a system engineer?

Is system engineering a difficult task? The answer to this question depends on the firm where you work.

It is challenging since you have to deal with your tasks. You also have to keep an eye on the functions that other teams are working on for the system you’re working on.

Do systems engineers do a lot of math?

Systems engineering requires more math. In Math, performance analysis is critical.

Do systems engineers code?

Because system engineers often undertake activities comparable to those performed by software engineers, they must learn to code to accomplish software-based functions in the systems.

What is the difference between a software engineer and a system engineer?

A System Engineer oversees the entire administration of engineering projects throughout their life cycle. He is a professional responsible for the design and development of high-quality software programs and solutions.

Can a system engineer be a software engineer?

In IT, a systems engineer designs software components, similar to what a software engineer does. However, systems engineering includes design, construction, maintenance, and technological infrastructure support.

Why should I study systems engineering?

Systems engineering aids in the avoidance of omissions and incorrect assumptions. It manages real-world changing difficulties and the creation of the most efficient, cost-effective, and reliable solution.

What language do system engineers use?

The most common programming languages among data engineers are Python and SQL.

How much does a system engineer make?

A systems engineer’s average pay in the United States is $122,054.


To begin any career, you must put up effort and be creative to perfect your talents. You can only succeed in your chosen route if you are sincerely enthusiastic and committed.

We hope that this post has provided you with the knowledge to become a systems engineer. Now is the time to start looking for your ideal career!

Thank you for reading!