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Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Career

Career Description

Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

What Job Titles Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Might Have

  • Electronic Data Interchange System Developer (EDI System Developer)
  • System Architect
  • Systems Engineer

What Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Do

  • Communicate with staff or clients to understand specific system requirements.
  • Provide advice on project costs, design concepts, or design changes.
  • Document design specifications, installation instructions, and other system-related information.
  • Verify stability, interoperability, portability, security, or scalability of system architecture.
  • Collaborate with engineers or software developers to select appropriate design solutions or ensure the compatibility of system components.
  • Evaluate current or emerging technologies to consider factors such as cost, portability, compatibility, or usability.
  • Provide technical guidance or support for the development or troubleshooting of systems.
  • Identify system data, hardware, or software components required to meet user needs.
  • Provide customers or installation teams guidelines for implementing secure systems.
  • Monitor system operation to detect potential problems.
  • Direct the analysis, development, and operation of complete computer systems.
  • Investigate system component suitability for specified purposes and make recommendations regarding component use.
  • Perform ongoing hardware and software maintenance operations, including installing or upgrading hardware or software.
  • Configure servers to meet functional specifications.
  • Develop or approve project plans, schedules, or budgets.
  • Define and analyze objectives, scope, issues, or organizational impact of information systems.
  • Develop system engineering, software engineering, system integration, or distributed system architectures.
  • Design and conduct hardware or software tests.
  • Establish functional or system standards to address operational requirements, quality requirements, and design constraints.
  • Evaluate existing systems to determine effectiveness and suggest changes to meet organizational requirements.
  • Research, test, or verify proper functioning of software patches and fixes.
  • Communicate project information through presentations, technical reports, or white papers.
  • Complete models and simulations, using manual or automated tools, to analyze or predict system performance under different operating conditions.
  • Direct the installation of operating systems, network or application software, or computer or network hardware.
  • Train system users in system operation or maintenance.
  • Perform security analyses of developed or packaged software components.
  • Develop application-specific software.

What Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $86,510

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.