Online Colleges for Systems Engineering

Systems engineers play a special role: they are responsible for creating the systems used in many economic sectors, including business, health care, finance and manufacturing. And they can use their training to specialize in a field with specific appeal to them, such as the computer, energy or industrial sectors. Systems engineers can also seek training to become a project manager and to obtain the skills that can be transferred across many sectors -- a bonus when it comes to seeking a job. However, the role of project manager naturally falls to many systems engineers, anyway, as it often is a crucial part of their job description. This means they could end up overseeing the creation of a system from its initial conception through implementation and final evaluation. Online systems engineering programs can help students prepare for a career in the field. While the degrees available online are varied, they can be essential when it comes to obtaining the skills needed to succeed in advanced management.

Systems Engineering Online Programs

For most systems engineering positions, a bachelor's degree is necessary. This is because most systems engineering degrees are available at the master's degree level and a four-year degree, typically in some type of engineering field, is often required. Online systems engineering degrees run the gamut, but are specifically available through master's of science fields. Those with an interest in advanced systems management could pursue an online master's of science degree specifically in systems engineering or in related fields such as enterprise information systems, organizational leadership, and project management. A master's of science in management is also available online.

Job Outlook for Systems Engineering Careers

Graduates of online systems engineering programs can work in a variety of capacities. They can lead projects as industrial engineers, computer systems software engineers or environmental engineers -- all occupations that are expected to experience job growth in upcoming years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Consider that industrial engineers could see 14 percent job growth from 2008-2018 while computer systems software engineers and industrial engineers could find job growth occurring at 30 and 31 percent, respectively. In 2010, bls.gov reported that mean annual wages ran from $78,450 for industrial engineers to $97,960 for computer systems software engineers. However, online systems engineering degrees can also lead to careers outside of direct engineering occupations. Project management skills, for example, appeal to a wide variety of employers, and, according to the Project Management Institute, U.S. project managers had substantial median annualized salaries -- $105,000 in 2011. For those interested in an engaging career, the field of systems engineering can provide the opportunity for career growth as well as the challenge of playing a lead role in projects.

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