Friday 30 November is Systems Engineer Day!

A systems engineer's job is to create and manage complex systems. They ensure that the system has a good life cycle and that all systems are running efficiently.

This celebration debuted in 2012, lauding the engineers who, through design and implementation of digital solutions, make a difference in the many workplaces globally. On the day, everyone is encouraged to high five their systems engineer and show their appreciation.

Systems engineers are becoming increasingly valuable to companies as the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings about complex networks to facilitate the Internet of Things. These system engineers are vital and essentially — at least in the interconnected technological industry— make the world go round.

Systems engineers have to work tirelessly to understand user experience. They need to tailor their systems to what they think other people will enjoy and consider efficient.

Dice Insights, an institution which provides advice for tech professionals, reports that systems engineers with an extensive understanding of Linux systems specifically, could be looking at a bigger salary per month.


How to become a systems engineer

According to Dice Insights, the best path to becoming a systems engineer starts with a  degree in computer science, information systems, or engineering. They write:

“As systems engineers gain experience, they’ll learn the tools and techniques necessary to manage systems at scale--for example, a senior systems engineer (i.e., systems engineer III) will not only need experience in designing and implementing the overall architecture of a software system, but must have tactical knowledge of virtualization, containers, systems design tools and languages, and analytics.”

Systems engineers need to be fully aware of what networking technologies are available. They should also anticipate the release of new ones that they can implement.

System engineers can go by many names, according to SystemsEngineerDay.com. They can be called systems engineers, infrastructure engineers, system integrators, architects, system analysts, and more.

It’s therefore clear that systems engineer can be present across most of the disciplines of engineering. With engineering becoming more and more interdisciplinary, education institutions are creating new qualifications to formalize the domain expertise moniker of ‘systems engineer.' Boston University has a minor qualification, MEng, MS, and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering.

They say that their graduates can work in a plethora of industries that include but are not limited to:

  • Developing computer simulation packages for software providers
  • Building and evaluating models for communication, computer and sensor networks
  • Developing effective air traffic management systems
  • Analyzing the feasibility of relying on teams of autonomous vehicles for military and civilian applications
  • Developing, enhancing and maintaining quantitative stock selection models that are used to pick high-performing stocks for clients
  • Developing and supporting software that optimizes a company’s global supply chain operations and provides multiple-year production plans based on various supply, demand and capacity scenarios.
  • Inventing new scheduling and production control algorithms for manufacturing enterprises.
  • Developing a pairing optimizer and crew controller, to provide crew pairing and rostering for more than 30 airline companies all over the world.
  • Designing innovative algorithms and software to direct user traffic across the internet, optimizing the end-user experience.

The Engineering Institute of Technology’s Dean of Engineering, Steve Mackay, says that adding systems engineering into the career mix is a wise decision. Systems engineering, in his opinion, represents the function of teaching the old engineering ‘dog’ new tricks. He writes:

“Systems engineering would appear to be mainly in the aerospace and military sphere but it is across all fields of engineering ranging from car manufacturing, building plants & infrastructure, oil and gas, mining and transport and in many newer areas. A great example of a growing field of systems engineering is the smart grid - dynamic, complex with many different disciplines involved in its creation coupled with a high degree of uncertainty and a great opportunity to optimize. Or smart self-driving cars - the number of different disciplines here are mind boggling.”

Consequently, if you know someone working towards becoming a systems engineer, who can grapple with all of the technological development that the convergence of engineering disciplines has produced, celebrate them this Systems Engineer Day. 


Works Cited

KolakowskiNovember, Nick. “Systems Engineer Salary Rises Even Higher with Linux Experience.” Dice Insights, Dice, 16 Nov. 2018, insights.dice.com/2018/11/13/systems-engineer-salary-rises-even-higher-with-linux-experience/.

“What Is Systems Engineering?” Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) | Human Resources, www.bu.edu/eng/departments/se/prospective-students/what-is-systems-engineering/.

“What Is Systems Engineering?” Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) | Human Resources, www.bu.edu/eng/departments/se/prospective-students/what-is-systems-engineering/.

“Systemsengineerday.com.” Systemsengineerday.com, www.systemsengineerday.com/.

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