As engineering branches diversify into specialised disciplines, systems engineering is becoming more and more relevant. Smart infrastructure, fast…
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As engineering branches diversify into specialised disciplines, systems engineering is becoming more and more relevant. Smart infrastructure, fast and reliable transportation, real-time communication, and intelligent business processes are only a few of the areas where it is being intensively practised. Parallelly, as there has been a surge in demand amongst international students, it is slowly being recognised as one of the best engineering courses for the future. Furthermore, a growing number of individuals are also venturing into a career in research, for instance, as a research assistant in a scientific discipline at a university. Read on to know what else is in store.
Systems engineering is finding applications not just in STEM-related fields but in a variety of disciplines. These range from bio-systems, businesses and energy systems to logistics engineering, web applications Information Science Engineering and aerospace systems. Companies across sectors are making use of it to integrate themselves with efficient technology and equipment along with easing the burden on costs. Some career profiles about these specializations have been given a rundown below. A degree in systems engineering can help pave your way to work in the sectors of:
Systems engineer certifications
Earning a certification in systems engineering is another way to show a potential employer that you have the necessary skills and knowledge. Here are a few examples of common options in the industry:
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
- Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP)
- Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- CompTIA Network+
Understanding the Job of A Systems Engineer
While the nature of actual work requirements can vary to quite some degree, it can safely be said that the position of a systems engineer in any organisation holds great accountability and importance. Whether it is a government department or a research organisation, a university or a corporate firm, they are de facto in charge of procurement and maintenance of different types of systems, be it network-based, hardware, software and so forth. In particular, the responsibilities which system engineers are expected to fulfil are as follows:
- Resolve technical issues
- Continuously experiment with new, better and cost-effective equipment
- Conduct procurement equipment
- Regularly scrutinise security features, audit and apply appropriate solutions
- Conduct standard operating procedures
- Advise management on protocol adherence and upgrade
- Work on the development of new and better systems
- Ensure proper functioning of network-related devices like LAN, WAN, etc
- Ensure proper data storage for timely destruction or retrieval
- Deal with external vendors
A bachelor’s level degree in computer science with a specialization in systems engineering is set as the minimum requirement by most employers. Furthermore, if you are interested in senior-level positions, pursuing an advanced degree like a Master’s in Systems Engineering is highly recommended. This also helps in rapid career progression. Later, you can complement your experience by pursuing a System Design Course or even a Master of Engineering Management.
There can be varied career profiles in the specialised domain of Systems Engineering and some of them have been elaborated on below:
Energy Systems Engineer
Energy conversion, storage and distribution systems around the world are based on complex structures and equipment that need to be kept in the best shape and regularly updated to ensure smooth utilisation of intensive sectors of building, manufacturing, production or day-to-day use. Further, research in this space has been given another dimension with the need for sustainable systems for energy generation and distribution as well as energy management. As an energy systems engineer, you can expect to perform responsibilities of analysing the efficiency of turbine-based, hydro-based, nuclear-based systems, etc, assessing the cost-benefit relations, and minimising energy loss as well as the impact on the environment. An MBA in Energy Management is also a worthy option for those considering courses after engineering.
Considered a senior-level position in any organisation, the job of a project manager is tasked with the successful and timely completion of projects. Usually, he/she leads a team of systems engineers and takes up large-scale projects of assembling, testing and maintenance of relevant systems. It requires not only an in-depth grasp of the specifics of systems engineering but also skills in management, leadership and teamwork. After a few years of industry experience, you can also choose to go for an MBA in Project Management.
Working at the operations level can be a challenging learning experience. From making use of modelling software to applying advanced-level mathematical tools, as an operations analyst, your priority will be to maintain efficiency in operational activities. Typical responsibilities may include the creation of operational manuals, improvements, change and replacement of existing systems, review and resolve issues, etc.
Computer Systems Engineer
This area of employment relates closely to the core concepts of computer science engineering as well as mathematical analysis. Along with possessing anon-tips knowledge of computer hardware, software, networks, computer technology, circuits, etc, it also requires an overall sense of how devices and technology can be better integrated into the current business operations. Designing backend system infrastructure, ensuring the proper functioning of current systems and suggesting improvements are only some of the tasks involved. Further, as computer systems engineering is quite vast, the ensuing opportunities are also diverse.
Health Systems Engineer
This is an emerging opportunity and carries immense potential as a specialised career field. It is a unique combination of management-level consulting and systems engineering and healthcare systems and processes. As a health systems engineer, you will be tasked with the assessment, application and streamlining of health systems. Moreover, it also involves continuous evaluation of relevant risks, factors, dependencies, threats and opportunities between existing and prospective systems. At a more senior level, designing and developing novel systems, and assistance in planning may also form part of the job description.
Whether you choose to work in the corporate sector, government organisations or in core research, it is important to note that getting a degree is not the end of the road. Possessing the right combination of technical, interpersonal and communication skills is paramount for building a solid career. Additionally, as industries and job scales vary, the nature and accountabilities of the job also vary and being able to work in a challenging environment is a must. Here are a few skills you need to polish to build a career in systems engineering.
- Quantitative as well as qualitative analysis
- Critical analysis
- Ability to multitask
- Leadership abilities and potential
- Inclination to learn and experiment
- Ability to work in a challenging environment knowing that a lot is riding on you the knack for resolving difficult situations
- Problem analysis and resolution
- Project Management
A career in Systems Engineering: Universities
As you may already be aware, a specialized systems engineering degree from a top-level university provides you with industry-appreciated expertise along with much-needed practical exposure. While the ivy league colleges have been leading the way in this sphere for quite some time, there is no dearth of emerging and recognised options across the Americas and Europe. Given below is a list of renowned institutions you must consider.
Eligibility, Admission & Application
To study abroad in systems engineering courses at the bachelor’s level, you will need to have a background in science [physics, chemistry, biology], mathematics or computer science. Possessing at least one or two of the above-mentioned subjects at the 12th or senior secondary level is a requirement at most universities. Coming to eligibility for the master’s level, a bachelor’s in a quantitative discipline such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, etc is recommended. However, as foreign universities also operate with a high degree of flexibility, institutions will consider your complete candidature, i.e, extracurricular activities, experience, projects, etc. To apply, you may also be required to submit official SAT/GRE/GMAT or IELTS/TOEFL scores, official transcripts, CV, Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LOR), amongst others. Refer to our blog scholarships for engineering students for information on funding.
Simply put, systems engineers examine organisational systems in order to discover more efficient ways of doing things. Analyzing system challenges and determining the best solution to meet project needs are typical activities. Seeing a project through from start to finish.
In complex projects, systems engineering techniques are used, such as spacecraft design, computer chip design, robotics, software integration, and bridge construction.
Yes, systems engineers can directly apply the skills they learned in school. Higher education, manufacturing, software, pharmaceuticals, and other industries all have a high demand for systems engineers.
Systems engineering is enjoying its appeal across sectors, both amongst students and in industries striving towards building much more robust business processes. If you have an interest in this field, take the assistance of quality guidance from industry experts and mentors at Leverage Edu in a free 30 minutes career counselling session so that you can make your decision for higher studies in the right way. Click Here for a Free Consultation Session.