Systems Engineering Training and Degree Program Information

Oct 10, 2019

Systems engineers are responsible for the design, development, installation and configuration of complex systems. Master's and doctorate degree programs are available and emphasize software development, linear programming and computation theories.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs explore the production, analysis and operation of technical engineering systems found in energy and aerospace fields. Doctorate programs provide further training in contemporary engineering and science related projects. Systems engineering concentrations may include robotics, systems, mechanics and artificial intelligence. Since these are graduate-level programs, they will generally require intensive research and the completion of a thesis or dissertation project prior to graduation.

Students must have first obtained a bachelor's or master's degree in any systems engineering related topic. Professional experience is taken in to consideration and appropriate scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required.

Master's Degree in Systems Engineering

Students investigate advanced theories and principles in management, development and application of systems. Students typically perform research in the field, as well as complete a thesis project. Applicants into an engineering master's program must hold a bachelor's degree, which includes coursework in calculus. The curriculum includes core coursework in systems engineering and processes. Students also complete group studies and research projects. Examples of class topics include:

  • Systems engineering
  • Software development methodology
  • Linear programming and network flows
  • Human systems engineering
  • Vehicle systems synthesis

Ph.D. in Systems Engineering

Graduates will possess the tools and skills required for work in the academic, industrial and government sectors. Several courses of study dealing with mathematics, mechanical systems engineering and computer systems make up the basis for this degree program. In addition to classroom coursework, doctoral students complete a professional dissertation paper covering original research in their field of expertise. Coursework topics may include:

  • Hybrid systems
  • Dynamic systems theory
  • Mathematical analysis
  • Theory of computation
  • Queuing systems

Popular Career Options

Ph.D. holders are qualified for senior-level systems engineering positions in a variety of industries, such as aerospace, as well as academic and research positions at universities or government facilities. Some job titles may include:

  • Professor
  • Government researcher
  • Systems engineering analyst

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Systems engineering programs prepares graduates for engineering positions in several fields including aerospace and biomedical engineering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the decade from 2018-2028 should see little or no employment growth (-1%) for electronics engineers, growth of 10% for systems software developers and 5% for network and computer systems administrators. As of May 2018, the BLS reports median annual salaries of $82,050 for network and computer systems administrators, $102,700 for electronics engineers and $110,000 for systems software developers (

Master's and doctorate degree programs in systems engineering provide a foundation and training about the production, analysis and operation technical engineering systems. Graduates go on to work in the academic, industrial and governmental sectors.

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