Studies & Degrees in Systems Engineering

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With engineering designs becoming increasingly complex- the need for engineers with a holistic view and thorough knowledge of complete systems is growing. System engineers are trained to approach and manage large scale projects in a structured way. The field aims at designing and developing complex engineering projects and deciding how these should be managed for optimum utilization for the maximum period of time. A systems engineer, therefore, has to have a balanced grasp over logistics, coordination process of the team involved as well as knowledge of controlling machineries.

The field of System engineering is inter-disciplinary in nature. Hence a study of it would depend on a well structured module that includes necessary intervention of multiple engineering disciplines from experts in those areas. Being trained in such a manner- a systems engineer would be able to coordinate and organize all these technical aspects into one unified whole for a holistic approach to the whole system.

Another interesting aspect of the working of a systems engineer is that he/she needs to work closely with the client. This way, the engineer somehow connects the business sector with the technical and scientific sector. Understanding client requirements, and delivering it cost effectively is also one of the responsibilities of a systems engineer.

Systems Engineering Course Structure

Systems engineering courses are often seen to be extensions of the mainstream engineering education. Employers usually look for a set background of one of the major engineering subjects along with training in systems engineering modules. Students from the following engineering fields generally go on to specialize in systems engineering studies: mechanical, automotive, electrical, computer, etc. Hence, one will rarely come across undergraduate Systems Engineering courses.
Education in this field of engineering can either be system centric or domain centric in nature. While the former approaches the study as an independent discipline, domain centric programs offer study of systems engineering as a specialization in some other major field of engineering studies. Many programs offer study of business management along with general systems engineering courses to make the students aware of the management issues involved in the system. Masters degree programs are normally designed to continue for 2-3 years, although variations do exist. As any other engineering field, Systems Engineering also requires industrial training. Most of the courses include such training as a part of the module.
Career as Systems Engineer

Systems Engineers are employed both in the public and private sectors. Their responsibility is mainly to solve large and complicated engineering problems. Systems engineers can also be engaged in interesting projects such as development of communication systems, designing rockets, improving the functioning of jet planes etc. Apart from these, large research projects undertaken by the government or universities also employ systems engineers along with experts from other fields. System analysis, which is the process engineers apply to solve problems, is also developed and researched upon by experts of Systems Engineering.