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Career Path: How to become a Business Systems Engineer

If you love engineering and are interested in big-picture concepts, a career in systems engineering may be just the right fit. Once considered a niche job, business systems engineers are now in high demand. Even better, the job outlook for a system engineer is also bright. CNN ranks Systems Engineering as one of the top 50 jobs in the U.S (in terms of pay and quality of life), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster-than-average 10-percent growth rate in employment opportunities for Industrial engineers, including System Engineers, by 2026.

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Career Path: How to become a Business Systems Engineer

If you love engineering and are interested in big-picture concepts, a career in systems engineering may be just the right fit. Once considered a niche job, business systems engineers are now in high demand. Even better, the job outlook for a system engineer is also bright. CNN ranks Systems Engineering as one of the top 50 jobs in the U.S (in terms of pay and quality of life), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster-than-average 10-percent growth rate in employment opportunities for Industrial engineers, including System Engineers, by 2026.

Getting Started

To become a systems engineer, you’ll need a solid foundation in the fundamentals of engineering. You’ll also need to have a good grasp of core areas like engineering economics, project management, statistics and mechanics and engineering quality and management. While most companies request for a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering, you can significantly improve your job prospects by completing a graduate program in systems engineering or a related field. You can also boost your work profile by taking systems engineering courses at colleges or online sites.

In addition, experience plays a critical role in most hiring decisions. Recruiters prefer candidates who have hands-on experience. And if you wish to get certified, you’ll need a minimum of four years on the job to meet the work requirements for some of the major professional licenses. For instance, the Professional Engineer certification awarded by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) requires a minimum of 4 years working experience, while the Society of Manufacturing Engineers requires a minimum of 8 years. That said, a PE certification is not often required for most entry-level positions.

Finally, you’ll need to have important qualities and soft skills to excel at your job, particularly if you’re looking to work towards management. Some of these include:

  • Good math skills: trigonometry, calculus and advanced math topics
  • Effective communication: written and oral, for presentations, communicating with team members and documentation
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills: needed for identifying problems and developing systems to solve them

Working as a Business Systems Engineer

Most professionals start as associate system engineers and then work their way up from there. Depending on the size of the company, your duties as an associate systems engineer may include conducting background studies and developing plans on how to validate and verify system requirement. It may also involve designing system architectures, using simulations, tests, prototype and more. In addition, you may be required to create drawings for systems parts, conduct dynamic analysis, perform component tests using vibration analysis or any other method.

Larger companies typically organize additional training and seminars for recruited engineers. As your skill and experience improve, you may rise to a mid-level position where your duties can include roles related to project management such as tracking the progress of projects, setting deliverables, monitoring schedules and more.

Advance Your Career - How to become a Senior Business Systems Engineer

Becoming a senior business system engineer will require several years of on-the-job experience as well as advanced technical skills. Rising through the rank will result in increased independence as well as responsibilities such as managing engineers and other technicians. Senior system engineers typically review production schedules and process flow. They may also enact quality control procedures and confer with clients or vendors about management capabilities. You can increase the speed at which you rise to senior-level positions by taking proactive steps.

Identify your Interests Early

Choosing an area of focus early on in your career will make it easier for you to forge a successful path. For instance, if you love software development then working as a systems engineer in communication will be a good fit and will require a good grasp of coding, software development and algorithm. On the other hand, your focus will need to be on different fields if you want to be a business systems engineering in defense or transportation.

Expand your Education

One of the surest paths to boosting your job and earning potential is expanding your education. If you currently have a Bachelor’s degree, consider pursuing a graduate degree in System Engineering. Choose programs that offer coursework in important areas like systems architecture, systems design, digital simulation techniques and computer programming. You could also pursue a doctorate degree, especially if you plan to specialize in research and development.

Grow your Network

Networking not only exposes you to potential job opportunities, but it also gives you an effective way of staying updated on emerging trends and technologies across different industries. Focus on building a good reputation with your peers, because your promotion may hinge on recommendations or reviews of some of the people you’ve worked with. You can also position yourself for a promotion by taking the lead or initiative on different programs. Volunteer on different tasks or make suggestions that can help improve existing systems.

They may not be a core requirement for most positions, but certifications are invaluable assets to have in your resume. They help validate your professional knowledge and give you a significant edge over other candidates. Industry certifications are also an effective way of updating your technical skill set. Some of the international organizations that offer professional certifications linked to systems engineering include:

  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)
  • North American Transportation Management Institute
  • Association for Facilities Engineering
  • International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

INCOSE certifications are an especially popular option within the industry. It’s designed with a three a tiered-system so you can begin from the associate level and work your way to the top. Each level has a minimum requirement for education and experience.

  • ASEP: Associate systems engineer
  • CSEP: Certified Systems Engineer Professional (5-year experience, 3 professional references and a degree)
  • ESEP: Expert Systems engineer professional (25-years experience, degree, references). Will require panel review

Business Systems 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 business systems engineer job description with between 2 and 5 years of relevant experience.

As a Business Systems Engineer, you’ll help develop, maintain and troubleshoot our expanding infrastructure. You’ll be responsible for resolving service issues, mentoring other engineers and implementing complex projects. You’ll oversee and interface with a team of engineers and professionals while displaying good leadership qualities. Our engineers are versatile and self-motivated, can work in a self-directed manner or in a collaborative setting as needed.

What We Need Your Help With

  • Installing, testing, configuring and maintaining operation systems
  • Maintaining security and overseeing backup strategies
  • Determining issues with VPN configuration, WAN technologies, internet connectivity and remote access
  • Working with diagnostic tools
  • Detecting and solving bottlenecks in existing systems
  • Identify possible system degradation
  • Create appropriate history logs and documentation
  • Managing installed systems, system management tools and application software
  • Liaising with team and vendors of problem resolution

We Look For

  • 3+ years of hands-on experience with monitoring systems
  • 2+ years of experience with application stacks (NGINX, JBoss, Ruby, Tomcat etc)
  • Experience with automation applications (Chef, cfengine, puppet)
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Good architecture modeling skills
  • Good knowledge of complex system development methods
  • Firm understanding of system testing practices
  • Extensive knowledge of networking and networking protocols
  • Experience with Windows, Linux or AIX virtualization
  • Extensive experience in configuring, tuning or troubleshooting Linux/UNIX environments
  • Ability to manage time and quickly diagnose issues with offered solutions
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field

These Would Be Nice

  • Experience with MCSE Server Infrastructure
  • Experience with OSX troubleshooting
  • Experience with security software such as Anti-Span, Anti-virus Anti-Spyware and more
  • Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) or Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification
  • MBA, Business Administration
  • INCOSE certification: ASEP or CSEP
  • Security clearance for working on government contracts

Senior Business Systems Engineer Career Paths: Where To Go From Here

One of the benefits of pursuing a career in systems engineering is how versatile the field is. With more than 10 years of experience, you’ll be able to apply your technical skills to different areas—anything from building systems to improve logistics to contributing to major military defense programs. Identify where your interests are and study the requirements. For instance, if you’re looking to work for the government, the position may require getting a security clearance. Be on the lookout for job opportunities, within your company and beyond. Many senior business systems engineers go on to become Chief Scientist or Chief Scientific Officer (C.S.O), tasked with overseeing the company’s research operations.

Your career may also lead to a management position where you’ll oversee teams on a variety of projects. Engineering managers coordinate the development of new designs and are closely involved in project budgets, hiring and quality assurance. If you’re interested in becoming an Engineering Manager, then a Master’s degree in technology management (MSTM), business administration (MBA) or engineering management (MEM), will come in handy, when you’re negotiating for a pay increase. You could also take classes on management to expand your knowledge.

If you’re interested in the manufacturing process, you could consider becoming a manufacturing engineer, where you’ll design systems used to optimize the delivery or use or materials, networks and even robots. A job in this field may require a certification or license depending on the company or organization. Develop your soft skills. In addition to your academic qualifications, you’ll need to have good leadership and communication skills. Effective time management skills will make it easier for you to meet deadlines while ingenuity will help you in reaching creative design solutions.

Regardless of what path you choose to pursue, your career stands the best chance of success if you stay current with the emerging trends and advancements in your preferred industry. Sign up for seminars, attend conferences and take any professional development opportunities that come your way.

Top industries hiring Business Systems Engineers

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