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Career Path: How to become an Applications Engineer

Do you have a passion and skill for software application development and customer service? Then this just might be the career for you. Applications engineers are in high demand across an array of industries and the field is predicted to see a lot of growth in the years to come. It is both exciting and profitable to start building your career as an applications engineer in the technologically driven market of today.

Getting Started

To really have the skillset required for becoming an applications engineer, you are expected to have been formally educated. Most entry...more

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Career Path: How to become an Applications Engineer

Do you have a passion and skill for software application development and customer service? Then this just might be the career for you. Applications engineers are in high demand across an array of industries and the field is predicted to see a lot of growth in the years to come. It is both exciting and profitable to start building your career as an applications engineer in the technologically driven market of today.

Getting Started

To really have the skillset required for becoming an applications engineer, you are expected to have been formally educated. Most entry-level positions require the applicant to have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program. Before you start applying to post-secondary institutions, however, you can begin building basic skills at home

Applications Engineers work in many different industries so it is important to first evaluate your interests and decide which industry you would like to be designing, developing and testing computer software applications for. Depending on the industry, there are different skill sets recommended. If you want to work for a bank, for example, you will need to have a basic understanding of finance in order to effectively meet your employer’s computing needs.

No matter what industry you choose to work in, however, an applications engineer must be skilled with computers and have a basic knowledge of coding. If you are not confident with your coding abilities, familiarize yourself with Jaza, .NET, SQL and the C programming languages. Coding is covered in any formal education required for being an applications engineer, but there are also courses and tutorials available online to get you started.

Educational Requirements

Application engineers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, though degrees in software engineering and mathematics are also common. Computer science programs are considered more advantageous because they cover a wide range of topics depending on the student’s particular interests. These four-year programs offer courses ranging from programming basics, software architecture and quality assurance, all of which would assist a student with being better equipped for a career in application engineering.

Along with completing courses, it is advantageous for students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program to complete internships. Internships allow students wishing to become applications engineers to develop their skills and gain valuable work experience in their field. They also provide great opportunities for networking. Students can also choose to participate in a research project and have access to examples of the latest technology before graduation.

Personal Qualities

The proper education and skills will get a prospective applications manager through the door, but in order to be truly successful, a candidate must have the appropriate qualities for the job. It is important to assess yourself before building your career to make sure you are the right kind of person for the job. An applications engineer is:

  • Problem Solving. Whether adjusting a new application or updating an old one, an applications engineer must be able to assess and resolve any problems that arise.
  • Analytical. Applications engineers must be able to analyze customer and computing needs and take the appropriate action.
  • Detail Oriented. Applications engineers often work on many parts of a project at once and must be able to pay close attention to detail.
  • Communicative. Applications engineers must be able to establish clear communication with others working on a project in the beginning phases and with customers thereafter.

Working as an Applications Engineer

Applications Engineers design, develop and test software applications. They coordinate with many departments such as the engineering team, sales team, customer service team and manufacturing. They are present throughout the entire development process of an application including providing technical support and expertise to customers and responding to customer feedback. Applications engineers utilize information from customers and sales to perform maintenance on or potentially redesign applications. They may also be responsible for doing demonstrations or supervising programmers. Applications engineers typically work in an office environment but some telecommute and work from home.

Advance Your Career: How to become an Applications Engineer Manager

An applications engineer manager is not as hands-on with the development process of applications and is instead responsible for oversight. An applications engineer manager monitors the implementation of applications software in a company’s computer systems and is responsible for providing upgrades. Making a move from applications engineer to applications engineer manager means becoming more involved in the business side of things and potentially product marketing.

Management Responsibilities

Applications Engineer Managers are considered experts in their field with years of experience behind them. Their job is to determine whether computer applications are sufficient for meeting their company’s business needs. An applications engineer manager must be able to perform advanced analysis to determine whether to perform system upgrades or not. They deal with local networks, all applications and computer security. Applications engineer managers act as mentors for application engineers and train all staff on the correct use of systems. They create documentation such as manuals and conduct seminars to this effect. An applications engineer manager’s essential purpose is to enhance and maintain their company’s productivity through the proper use of computer applications.

Management Qualities

Applications engineer managers must have the same qualities and skills as application engineers but to an advanced and refined degree. They must have a strong knowledge of computer networking, its installation and administration. They need to have computer troubleshooting expertise and be strong leaders who are able to communicate very effectively. Applications engineer managers must be organized and be able to prioritize, multitask and work productively in a fast-paced environment.

Getting There

Working your way from an applications engineer to an applications engineer manager requires commitment and hard work. Most applications engineer managers have spent five or more years as applications engineers before being promoted. During this time, they have demonstrated accountability and growth. You must have a lot of experience to pull from and strong leadership skills. Show initiative and stay up to date with the latest developments in your field.

Applications Engineer Job Description

We’ve done the research for you. After evaluating numerous job descriptions, we’ve written our own representative job description for a mid-level applications engineer with between 2 and 5 years of relevant experience

If you are looking for a company with which to grow as an applications engineer than look no further. We offer a full range of products and services to meet the individual needs of our diverse client base and need an application engineer who is able to deliver. The ideal candidate will be able to act as a bridge between our many interdisciplinary teams and our clients in order to provide an excellent product. They will be great communicators and skilled problem solvers with a love for computer technology.

What We Need Your Help With

  • Designing, developing and testing programs and applications
  • Perform debugging, retesting and redesigning tasks
  • Perform customer service and quality analysis evaluations for applications
  • Provide customers and colleges with ongoing technical support
  • Make recommendations to customers and handle customer feedback
  • Compile data, generate reports and conduct researches
  • Collaborate and communicate across interdisciplinary teams
  • Conduct occasional orientations, demonstrations and seminars for applications

We Look For

  • 4+ years Bachelor in Computer Science, Engineering or Mathematics
  • 3+ years experience in engineering or development
  • 3+ years of experience with software programming
  • Strong coding skills specific to the job
  • Demonstrated project management abilities
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Skilled in effective troubleshooting
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks at once
  • Advanced customer service skills

Applications Engineer and Applications Engineer Manager Career Paths: Where to Go from Here

Applications Engineers have an impressive set of skills in computer programming and customer service. As they are often required to have a formal education in computer science, there is also a lot of room for growth across different disciplines. Applications engineers can choose from an array of different industries to work in and their skill set is in high demand. We live in a technological age and employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than the average for most other occupations.

We have discussed the possibility of applications engineers moving away from the more technical side of things and becoming more involved with the business side by becoming an applications engineer manager, but what else? If you have a greater love for the customer service aspect of the job and don’t feel that you would suite a management role, there are positions available. These won’t necessarily grant you a promotion but will certainly offer a varied work environment.

Applications engineers could become field application engineers or technical sales executives and focus on handling customer affairs. In these positions, you will combine your technical knowledge with your customer service skills in order to focus on sales. You will provide advice and support to customers on a range of products and act as a key contact for them both before and after the sale. You will regularly liaise with the sales team and departments such as production, purchasing and quality.

If you enjoy management however and grow in ambition while an applications engineer manager, above managers, are senior leaders. Senior Leaders are the CEOs and get to this position by demonstrating a real knack for business and by being an exceptionally strong leader. Senior Leaders have the responsibility of hiring and firing applications engineer managers. The Senior Leader must provide guidance over management and steer the company towards its mission. They make high-level decisions and essentially run the show.

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