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How do I become a Systems Engineer?

The IT industry is making progress by leaps and bounds. With more and more inclusion of digital devices and services in our daily lives, the importance and the relevance of the IT sector has increased significantly. Companies are striving to increase their digital presence, improve their productivity, protect their data, and this is forcing them to increase their spending on IT systems. This growth has resulted in huge competition in the IT sector and to remain competitive in this environment, the quality of the service and excellent products is the only way forward. Such optimization initiatives demand for special protocols and dedicated individuals or teams. The technological sector that is making it possible is Systems Engineering, and the person who is responsible for making it happen is Systems Engineer. As the role of IT systems engineer is quite crucial, let’s find out what makes it different and so valuable, and how you can become a highly qualified systems engineer.

What is a Systems Engineer?

The role of the systems engineer in today’s fast-moving world is very crucial. To understand the role of the systems engineer, it would be better to consider engineering as that of orchestra and systems engineers being the conductors. In the highly professional and advanced field of Information Technology (IT), systems engineers have a pivotal role. They are responsible for the design and implementation of the IT infrastructure. Their primary role roams around the planning, installation, and configuration of the IT-related hardware and software. Moreover, they also provide any technical or maintenance assistance to the IT staff and users.
General key responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and management of installed systems.
  • Configuration, testing, and installation of system management tools, operating systems, and system software & hardware.
  • Evaluation and upgrade of existing systems
  • Technical assistance to the IT staff.
  • Supervising the development of customized hardware and software.
  • Planning and implementation of the systems’ automation.
  • Design and implementation of system security tools and protocols.
  • Ensuring constant availability of technical resources.
  • Timely reporting and maintenance of log sheets.

Systems engineers are known as highly skilled professionals. They have hands-on experience in the IT software, hardware, security and netwroks. Due to their excellent troubleshooting and technology-driven skills, they are high in demand by many sectors. They are mostly employed by telecommunication companies, IT consultants, Telecoms, cloud services companies, network support, service providing organizations, and many government departments.

Different areas of Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is quite wide in its scope and subject. It depends on the organization or area of application which shall undertake the scope of systems engineering. For example, it is highly possible for the systems engineer to be developing and supervising the inventory tracking system in the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, if a systems engineer is employed by any cybersecurity company, then it is highly possible that he/she is working on system security projects. So, in a nutshell, there are different areas of systems engineering, and therefore restricting it to one domain would be unjust to its versatility. Within the IT sector, the following are the different areas of systems engineering:

  •  IT Security Systems Engineering
  •  Disaster Recovery Systems Engineering
  •  Information Technology Systems Engineering
  • Cloud Systems Engineering
  • Server Systems Engineering
  • Distributed Systems Engineering

How do I become a Systems Engineer?

For anyone who is looking forward to pursuing a career in systems engineering, a bachelor’s degree is the most fundamental way forward. Generally, an undergraduate study in software engineering, computer sciences, Information Technology, computer systems engineering, or any other IT-related discipline is suitable. While a formal undergraduate degree in a closely related domain is necessary, it is also very important for aspiring students to do internships. Internships are a good way to have an introduction and hands-on experience on the number of system software as well as hardware.


Being in a highly professional and sophisticated environment, systems engineer needs several technical as well as soft skills. Following are some of the key skills that are mandatory for the systems engineer to acquire:

  • Hands-on experience in configuring Windows and Linux systems
  • Installation and configuration of IT software and hardware
  • Command over cloud computing (VMware, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure)
  • System Architecture
  • Information Security
  • Some knowledge in programming languages (C / C++ / JAVA)
  • System development and integration
  • System administration
  • IT troubleshooting
  • Server configuration and management

Since the whole of the systems’ responsibility is on the shoulders of the systems engineer, he/she needs to be well equipped with the soft skills too. The systems engineer needs to have strong communication skills, team management capabilities, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, and the capability to think analytically.


In addition to the bachelor’s or master’s degree in systems engineering, the systems engineer needs to do certain certifications for broadening their skills and proving to employers that they posses the necessary knowledge. Following are some of the prominent certifications that systems engineer should do:

  • MCSA Windows Server 2016
  • Microsoft Azure Administrator
  • VMware Install, Configure, Manage
  • VMware Optimize and Scale
  • LPI Introduction to Linux I + II
  • Redhat Certified Systems Administrator

Final Note

Systems engineering is a highly skilled profession. The blend of both technical and management skills makes it quite unique. But with this uniqueness, comes the responsibilities. Being the custodian of systems, it is the responsibility of the systems engineer to keep all systems intact. It is the responsibility of the systems engineer to have everything readily available for any disastrous situation. Since constant learning is pivotal for career growth, it is very important for the systems engineer to be well versed with the ongoing trends in the IT industry. Systems engineer should have critical thinking skills and intriguing nature about finding the relevance of ongoing trends for his/her system. All this is only possible by continuous learning through certifications and relevant graduate studies.