Businesses in all sectors of industry employ Systems Engineers. These highly skilled and extremely important individuals develop, install, operate and monitor systems based on the needs of the consumer, in the process helping the company to enhance customer experiences and increase revenue streams. This is an interdisciplinary role that provides a great deal of variety for the relevant professional.

Duties and responsibilities - What does a Systems Engineer do?

There are many responsibilities for a Systems Engineer, including:

  • Evaluation of current systems and the identification of potential improvements regarding increases in efficiency and effectiveness
  • Installation, configuration, improvement and monitoring of new systems and the implications that their usage have on the business
  • Coordination of affected departments and other interested parties, including the potential need for training
  • Identification of potential issues for users and implementers
  • Collaboration with team members, end users, clients, suppliers, and stakeholders with a focus on continuous improvement
  • Integration of new systems within existing infrastructures, emphasising advantages, and minimising disruption
  • Communication of performance levels to senior management, often via presentations or reports

Qualities needed for a successful Systems Engineer

The best Systems Engineers tend to be adaptable and can perform to the highest levels when working on even the most complex of operations. They will be skilled at problem-solving, will possess confidence in their own abilities and will revel in the challenges that come their way. Identifying problems and fixing them quickly will be always a major advantage.

Being a good communicator, especially when passing on highly technical information to non-technical individuals, will be a must. There is also a need to be good when working as part of a team, and to understand the value of input from those looking at issues from a slightly different angle. Those offering a differing perspective can include Software Engineers, Systems Administrators, Directors of IT and Network Engineers.

Formal qualifications are often a pre-requisite when applying for Systems Engineer vacancies. They should ideally be in relevant disciplines such as software development, systems engineering, project management, systems analysis, and the like. There are several specialisations in this field, including biosystems, logistics, software, and transportation.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become a Systems Engineer?

Experience in any of several relevant fields will help in applications. Prospects can also be improved if the candidate has certifications such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Red Hat, Citrix, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Oracle Java.

A thorough understanding of relevant tools will be expected. These tools can include the likes of Teamcenter, MagicDraw, Enterprise Architect, Rational Rhapsody for Systems Engineers and Innoslate. Systems Engineers work in a wide variety of industry sectors, so there could be sector-specific applications that need to be researched and understood.

Career development - What is the next step after Systems Engineer?

This role is fast paced, highly skilled and quick to change. The career path of a Systems Engineer often begins with general engineering and software development, and of course many start their career with an internship. Later roles for those with the skills and experience can include Senior Systems Engineer, Lead Development Engineers and Head of IT.

Salary and remuneration - How much does a Systems Engineer make?

In all corporations, the role of Systems Engineer is a highly important one, and as such the financial rewards can be excellent. Mitigating factors include experience, knowledge, and specific value of the individual to the business.

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