Systems Engineer Career Overview & Outlook

Large businesses have many departments, and for the individual parts to closely link together to create the optimal product, system engineers will need help.

Systems engineers will be the ones to solve problems in the operation of the organization. They are responsible for implementing automation based on the company’s existing infrastructure platforms. It is a position with high job prospects and an attractive salary from employers.

This article will provide helpful information about working as a system engineer. The information below helps you have a comprehensive view of this profession.

Job Description

What is a Systems Engineer?

Systems engineering is a broad field that includes information technology and resource management. Systems engineers need technical and management expertise. They focus on ensuring the technology system infrastructure and company management processes. So, they can work in many fields and interact with different departments.

Systems engineers are the people who play a significant role in today’s modern technology world. They generate ideas about engineering processes, identify problems, and find possible solutions.

Besides, they coordinate and organize the personnel and facilities needed to operate the project. Their work will contribute to keeping the company running smoothly and efficiently. As a result, they will bring benefits to employers.

Systems Engineer

Duties and Responsibilities

Systems engineers manage engineering projects with a primary focus on their physical aspects. They’re responsible for the implementing and operating computer and electrical engineering systems within the enterprise.

They will also be the ones to detect and fix possible problems and work with stakeholders to come up with a suitable solution.

In different units, the tasks that employers ask these professionals to perform:

  • Perform management
  • Risk quantification
  • Monitor system activity
  • Analyze system performance
  • Know the parts of the whole
  • System management model design
  • Set up the work plan for the system
  • Maintenance of technical equipment
  • Identify and repair possible technical errors
  • Tailor the approach to the job requirements
  • Expand and upgrade the system if necessary
  • Consulting on appropriate hardware and software
  • Determine system requirements for proper work estimation

Where Do Systems Engineers Work?

Systems engineers can work in different industries. Food manufacturing companies, healthcare units, software production facilities, and other business enterprises are all hiring for this position.

Systems engineers will also need to deal with many experts in other fields to complete the task. They cooperate with competent personnel in related fields to find the optimal operating direction and solve the system’s problems. Connecting with other departments is an essential task for this job.

If you become a systems engineer, you will have to work in offices in the company. This job requires you to sit for many hours with a computer, so working time will often correspond to office hours. Some businesses can adjust the operating hours and shifts according to work needs and conditions.

In short, system engineers will work around 8 hours per day. You may work overtime on new projects to finish the job on time. Companies will pay more hourly wages to employees for each day of their overtime.

Education Requirements

You will need relevant degrees and certifications to become a proficient systems engineer. I will introduce you to some of the documents many employers ask for in their candidates so that you can prepare them in advance.

Education & Training

When discussing educational degrees, the first thing that comes to mind is a Bachelor’s degree. Many companies rely on a candidate’s education to determine if they’re a good candidate.

Employers will notice you if you have a college degree in computer science, business administration, data science, and software engineering.

Some systems engineers have a master’s degree or a Ph. These professionals have extensive professional knowledge. They can solve job requirements in a highly technical and scientific direction.

Their tasks will be heavier, and their work efficiency will be higher than other candidates. Therefore, their income will also be higher than others.

Work Experience

In addition to educational qualifications, practical experience is what employers look for in their candidates. They have the necessary skills to complete the assigned task with the highest efficiency.

Depending on the job requirements, businesses have different requirements for candidates’ years of experience. Some companies can require applicants to have at least three years of industry experience for crucial positions.

Today, many companies put more emphasis on the experience factor. In all cases, an experienced candidate still receives a higher rating from employers.

If you have just graduated from school and have yet to gain work experience, you should apply to small establishments to gain more practical knowledge.

Actual working conditions will give you many valuable lessons that the educational environment cannot teach you. From there, your ability to handle problems and work performance will also improve.

For students still studying at universities and colleges, I recommend spending time with interns in fields related to systems engineering. The experience in this process will be a big plus for your CV later.


Some courses offer prestigious certifications that increase your competitiveness with other workers. These certificates demonstrate the professionalism of the candidate. Employers can rely on that to determine the job performance and profit the candidate can bring to the company.

You can refer to valuable certificates that many businesses appreciate below:

  • Network+
  • CompTIA A+
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • Certified Systems Engineering Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Essential Skills


Employers will not only judge you by degrees and certificates. They will also be interested in the skills that are useful for the system engineer job you have.

After working for a long time, I realized that there are some beneficial skills to improve work efficiency. I will present them right below for you to follow easily.

Hard Skills

Some hard skills needed for the job that you should equip yourself with are:

  • Software design and development
  • Understand how cloud computing works
  • Logical thinking and system modeling
  • Analytical and problem-solving ability
  • Adjust the performance of the system to suit actual needs
  • Programming skills and understanding of algorithms
  • Can develop software and applications in system management
  • Proficient in stacking applications such as JBoss, NGINX, Ruby, Apache, Tomcat
  • Proficient in virtualization tools such as Virtual Box or VMware

Soft Skills

In addition, you will also need soft skills to work more smoothly. You should pay attention to the following things to become a systems engineer:

  • Communication skills
  • Time management and organization skills
  • Human resource management skills
  • Have basic knowledge of data and programming fields
  • Math and computer skills
  • Information security skills
  • Ability to lead and manage a team
  • Public speaking and reporting skills

Essential Tools

  • MagicDraw
  • Rational DOORS
  • Rational System Architect
  • Rational System Architect
  • Vitech GENESYS
  • Teamcenter
  • Vitech Core
  • Enterprise Architect
  • Innoslate
  • Rational Rhapsody Architect for Systems Engineers
  • SOP (Standards Operating Procedure)

Job Outlook

In general, systems engineering is a job with good growth prospects in the future. According to the US Bureau of Labor, from 2022 to 2032, job opportunities in this industry could expand by up to 11%. It has a pretty high growth rate compared to other professions.

Globalization and the restructuring of management and organization in companies is the driving force for this industry to develop.

To develop your career skills, you can find job opportunities in all major enterprises and corporations with complex computer systems and networks.


Salaries for systems engineers can vary depending on many factors. A systems engineer with a higher education degree and more years of experience will likely receive a better salary than other candidates.

In the US, the average salary of a systems engineer is $80,000 per year, which ranges from $60,000 to $130,000. Fresh graduates can earn around $70,000 a year. This figure will increase to $88,000 after 3 to 5 years in the field.

Reputable professionals will earn more than $100,000 a year. Employers will be willing to increase your salary if you have good workability and high work efficiency. To have a high income, you must try and improve yourself every day.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Any profession will have its positives and negatives. When you become a systems engineer, you have to deal with the pros and cons that this profession offers.


  • High and stable salary
  • Good job prospects
  • Can work in a variety of different fields
  • Fixed and professional working environment
  • Can contribute to projects that bring social benefits


  • Great work pressure
  • Requires highly specialized knowledge and skills


Is it difficult to become a systems engineer?

The answer is yes. You need persistent effort and continuous learning to acquire the necessary degrees, certifications, and skills.

Are systems engineering a part-time or full-time job?

Companies will often hire systems engineers to work for them full-time.

Can I become a systems engineer without a college degree?

Businesses will require applicants to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Yet, if you have good professional knowledge and long working experience, you can get a job only after graduating from College or High School.

How do I know if I’m suitable to be a systems engineer?

You can refer to the information in this article of mine to better understand the job before deciding to pursue it. In addition, personality and psychological tests are also quite helpful for you to determine the right career for you.

How do I pass the interview and become a systems engineer?

You need to meet the requirements that the employer requires for the position you want to do. When participating in the interview, the fact that you prepare the necessary documents well and have confidence and sincerity will be a plus.

Can system engineers work from home?

No. You will need to manage the business’s system, infrastructure, and IT equipment. This job requires you to come to the office every day.

How do I increase my income as a systems engineer?

You must equip yourself with the necessary professional knowledge and skills. Your salary will be higher when you improve work efficiency and bring more profit to the business.

How much time does completing a Master’s program in systems engineering take?

It will take about 1 to 2 years to get a master’s degree in this field.

How long does it take to become a systems engineer?

To become a systems engineer, you must study at universities for 4 to 5 years. Your experience accumulation time will fall in about 1 to 3 years so that you can get enough skills to work.

It will take 5 to 7 years to be able to work in a systems engineer position.

Does a systems engineer need to write code?

Maybe. The work of a systems engineer can be done without coding skills. Yet, this skill will significantly add to the job in certain quests.

Career Advice

The systems engineer is a career with a stable high salary and good growth prospects in the future. This job also offers great career opportunities for you.

Hopefully, this article has given you helpful information about choosing a career. Remember to share your thoughts if you already have a choice.

Thank you for reading!