Careers in Systems Engineering
The field of systems engineering involves the development, design, implementation, maintenance and management of various engineering projects in addition to upgrading existing facilities and systems. A systems engineer leads a team or works along with other engineers and skilled workers to develop a particular project. From installing industrial air conditioners to maintaining space shuttles, system engineers play an important role in all sorts of industries.
What courses are offered and what are the pre-requisites?
The field of systems engineering has the distinction of being the first to combine management and business administration with engineering. The result was a field that trained students and professionals to solve complex engineering problems while at the same time effectively managing a workforce to maximize efficiency and profitability. As with other engineering disciplines, aspiring systems engineers should have graduated high school or have a GED diploma with mathematics and an additional science subject – such as physics or chemistry. Different universities around the country offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in systems engineering. The four year long Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering includes basic courses in engineering and various management courses.
What subjects will I study?
Students in a systems engineering program follow a multi-disciplinary course with subjects such as engineering design, project management, mechanical system design and automation, and quality management techniques. In many cases students choose not to enroll in a systems engineering program and instead obtain a bachelor’s degree in a field of engineering such as electrical engineering, mechatronics, civil engineering or computer engineering. Yet another route is to obtain an associate’s degree in engineering through a community college and complete a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering at a later point of time. The bachelor’s degree can be followed up by a two year long Master of Science in Systems Engineering. All of these degrees are offered on-campus and online; however online students may be required to attend practical classes at the university which they are enrolled in.
As more and more industrial and manufacturing corporations change their traditional methods of work and focus efficient management techniques to maximize profitability, the field of systems engineering grows at an unprecedented rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineers are the only professionals who have a 99 percent employment rate around the world. Five out of ten CEO’s of fortune 500 companies are engineers by training. Moreover due to the fact that systems engineering is a multi-disciplinary field, graduates holding a degree in this filed are guaranteed to find high paying jobs. The Office of Employment Statistics (OES) reports median wages for entry level systems engineers in excess of $63,000 per year, which grow to more than $300,000 per year for experienced engineers in charge of multi-billion dollar projects. The occupational outlook for systems engineers is extremely bright, with employment opportunities expected to continue growing at a rate of 16% per year till 2020.