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Become A Computer Systems Engineer

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Working As A Computer Systems Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Systems Engineer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Computer Systems Engineer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Computer Systems Engineer jobs

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Computer Systems Engineer Career Paths

Computer Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Technologist Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior Network Engineer Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Systems Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Business Analyst Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Programmer 5.2 years
Customer Engineer 4.8 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
LAN Administrator 3.3 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
LAN Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Computer Engineer 3.0 years
Computer Networker 2.9 years
Lan/Wan Engineer 2.7 years
Solutions Engineer 2.7 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Server Engineer 2.5 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
NOC Engineer 1.7 years
Migration Engineer 1.1 years
Network Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.0%
Programmer 4.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.6%
Manager 2.9%

Computer Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

81.2%

Female

16.4%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

75.4%

Asian

11.7%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

German

23.5%

Carrier

17.6%

Swedish

5.9%

Kurdish

5.9%

Dutch

5.9%

Spanish

5.9%

Japanese

5.9%

French

5.9%

Cheyenne

5.9%

Zhuang

5.9%

Polish

5.9%

Arabic

5.9%
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Computer Systems Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.7%

Community College of the Air Force

8.3%

Strayer University

6.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.6%

Western Michigan University

5.6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.6%

Troy University

4.6%

Colorado Technical University

4.6%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

Eastern Michigan University

3.7%

North Carolina State University

3.7%

Southern Methodist University

3.7%

National University

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.7%

Capella University

3.7%

Old Dominion University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

ITT Technical Institute-Strongsville

2.8%

George Washington University

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.2%

Business

13.8%

Electrical Engineering

13.8%

Computer Information Systems

8.9%

Computer Engineering

4.9%

Information Technology

4.9%

Computer Networking

4.4%

Management

4.0%

Information Systems

4.0%

Management Information Systems

3.0%

Systems Engineering

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Computer Systems Security

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

1.9%

Computer Programming

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Mathematics

1.6%

Engineering

1.4%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.7%

Masters

24.8%

Other

18.1%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

3.2%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.2%
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Real Computer Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer Systems Engineer EGEN Solutions, Inc. New Brunswick, NJ Oct 31, 2016 $197,600
Lead Computer Systems Engineer/Architect. Asia TV USA New York, NY Mar 03, 2015 $196,000
Computer Systems Engineer Agilone, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 14, 2016 $190,000
Computer Systems Engineer IV Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Merced, CA Aug 21, 2016 $167,856
Computer Systems Engineer Level Labs LP (DBA Unshackled) Palo Alto, CA Aug 31, 2016 $164,382
Computer System Engineer/Architect (Technical Architect) Brandentity, LLC Englewood, NJ Apr 10, 2015 $160,000
Computer Systems/Datapower Engineer Software Guidance & Assistance, Inc. Irving, TX Nov 14, 2016 $159,781
Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Computer Task Group, Inc. Lincolnshire, IL Jan 17, 2016 $156,525
Computer Systems Engineer Agilone, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 08, 2015 $150,000
Computer Systems Engineer Asset Inventories, Inc. New York, NY Sep 28, 2016 $150,000
Computer Systems Engineer Ngcodec Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 02, 2015 $148,803
Computer Systems Engineer Eteam Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 16, 2016 $146,090
Computer Systems Engineer/Architect Computer Task Group, Inc. Lincolnshire, IL Jan 17, 2016 $146,090
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Bakersfield, CA Aug 04, 2015 $74,964
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Hartford, CT Sep 28, 2015 $74,952
Computer Systems Engineer Hermes Microvision, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 06, 2015 $74,950
Computer Systems Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Waukesha, WI Apr 30, 2015 $74,942
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited New York, NY Sep 28, 2015 $74,880
Computer System Engineer Larsen and Toubro Infotech Limited Houston, TX Jan 09, 2016 $74,856
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Edison, NJ Jul 07, 2015 $74,844
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited San Jose, CA Oct 13, 2016 $74,844
Computer System Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Austin, TX Jan 04, 2016 $68,578
Computer System Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Austin, TX Feb 23, 2016 $68,578
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Houston, TX Apr 20, 2015 $68,556
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Glendale, WI Sep 25, 2015 $68,556
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Atlanta, GA Mar 25, 2015 $68,556
Computer System Engineer Larsen and Toubro Infotech Limited Hartford, CT Jan 09, 2016 $68,544
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Amelia, OH Aug 25, 2015 $68,532
Computer Systems Engineer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited New York, NY Sep 11, 2015 $68,532

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Top Skills for A Computer Systems Engineer

ComputerHardwareCustomerServiceComputerSystemsPCRemoteDataAnalysisNetworkInfrastructureActiveDirectoryDesktopSupportTechnicalSupportLocalAreaNetworkUnixWebSetupTroubleshootLinuxSQLServerNovellNetwareStorageWindowsNT

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Top Computer Systems Engineer Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Customer Service
  3. Computer Systems
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Identified computer hardware, or software components required to meet user needs.
  • Provided customer service and support to all levels of news infrastructure users.
  • Engineered and assembled custom computer systems for large corporate customers.
  • Authorized Autodesk Dealer Representative, Also integrated PC networks with IBM AS/400, System 36 & System 38 servers.
  • Worked Remote to Service Several District Contracts.

Top Computer Systems Engineer Employers

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Q&A - Salaries for Computer Jobs [How much $$$ can you make?]

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