What is a Computer Systems Engineer?
A computer systems engineer is an individual that evaluates a company and the work they do to recommend which technology and software is needed to run and work best with that company. They commonly work for companies and businesses that create and sell computer equipment, technology, and the like. They may create an effective program that fits with the way a particular company does payroll, monthly reports, or recordkeeping.
They may also set up internal and secure networks for the computers in a business or company. Computer systems engineers also engage in installation of such hardware, software, programs, and equipment and provide support as to how to work and manage the programs. They must have a broad knowledge of their products as well as understand the nature of the business of the company they will be working with, to be able to suggest and provide the best systems for their clients.
How to Become a Computer Systems Engineer
For those individuals interested in pursuing a career as a computer systems engineer, a bachelor’s degree or higher is commonly preferred. Most employers prefer candidates with a broad knowledge of computer systems and technologies so degrees in computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or information technology systems are generally ideal. In addition, a master or graduate degree in the field may be required for some positions and more complex jobs.
Candidates with experience or those who have interned with companies or positions related to the field, may have the best chances, while many companies are also willing to offer training to those that qualify and are just starting in the field. As technology continues to advance at quick rates, employers will be looking to hire candidates with up to date skills, training, and knowledge. They must be creative, have strong problem-solving and decision making skills, and be able to work and communicate well with others, as they often represent the companies they work for to clients.
Computer Systems Engineer Career Outlook & Salary
Those individuals who are looking forward to pursuing careers as computer systems engineers are in luck, as they are projected to be among the fastest growing careers in the 2008 to 2018 period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rapid and steady growth throughout the computer and technology industry, businesses looking to stay ahead of steep competition and stay up to date with the latest technology, and cyber security will be largely responsible for the increase in jobs. The Bureau estimates an increase of jobs by about 30%, which would add more than 120,000 jobs in the field.
Median annual salaries for computer systems engineers were $92,430 in 2008, the latest information available by the Bureau. Additionally, the middle 50% of those computer systems engineers earned annual salaries of between $67,790 and $104,870, with the highest 10% earning more than $135,780 annually.