Computer Systems Software Engineer: Job Duties, Outlook and Salary

Sep 24, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a computer systems software engineer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Computer system software engineers require a bachelor's degree in a related field, and may require a master's degree for some positions. These professionals must possess skills in mathematics, programming, and software development tools. They increasingly need to be knowledgable about mobile software development and system security.

Essential Information

Computer systems software engineers make sure that the computer systems within an organization are functional and meet all the needs of users. These professionals may work either directly for these organizations or for a company that manages computer systems for other organizations. They usually obtain the needed computer programming skills as part of a bachelor's degree program, and some may continue their studies with a master's degree. Depending on where these engineers are employed, additional industry-specific knowledge may be required.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, software engineering or similar area for entry-level; master's degree preferred
Other Requirements Industry-specific knowledge
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10% from 2018-2028 for software developers, systems software
Median Salary (2018)* $110,000 annually for software developers, systems software

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of a Computer Systems Software Engineer

Computer systems software engineers conceptualize, design, construct, install, maintain and repair computer systems. They advise users regarding the technical direction of their computer systems based on their needs. They may recommend making changes to an existing system or installing an entirely new system. In addition, computer systems software engineers may be responsible for system security and data assurance, as well as the installation of intranets.

During the development of new systems, computer systems software engineers keep documentation, such as flowcharts, diagrams and reports. They may also develop performance requirements and specifications, conduct evaluations, observe usability studies and direct programming. These engineers occasionally refer to stored data in order to analyze system limitations, capabilities and requirements.

Job Outlook for Computer Systems Software Engineers

The employment outlook for computer software developers working with systems software is expected to increase much faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); between 2018 and 2028, employment is expected to increase by 10%. The BLS also states that demand for this type of job is expected to increase as computer systems, mobile technology and the Internet becomes more widely used, and more software is demanded. In addition, computer software engineers will be expected to develop secure systems as technology expands.

Salary Information for Computer Systems Software Engineers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that systems software developers earned a median annual salary of $110,000 in May 2018. Those in the top-paid ten percent earned $166,960 or more a year, while those in the bottom-paid ten percent earned $66,740 or less annually. BLS data also shows that salary varied slightly by industry and location. Computer systems software developers who worked in advertising, public relations, and related services industry earned the most, with an average salary of $131,410.

Computer systems software engineers develop the software that runs a computer. They require computer skills and a degree related to computer programming. These professionals have a median annual salary around $110,000.

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