Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Systems Engineering Major

Find Schools Near

Systems Engineering

834 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
2,020 Master's Degrees Annually
#175 in Popularity
$113,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Systems Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many systems engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,020
Bachelor’s Degree 834
Graduate Certificate 505
Doctor’s Degree 114
Basic Certificate 14
Undergraduate Certificate 4

What Systems Engineering Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, systems engineering majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Systems Engineering Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in systems engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

undefined
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Systems Engineering Majors

A major in systems engineering prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

undefined
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Systems Engineering Majors

As you progress with your systems engineering degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

undefined
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Systems Engineering Major?

People with a systems engineering degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Energy Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720
Manufacturing Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Mechatronics Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Solar Energy Systems Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Wind Energy Engineers 6.4% $96,980

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering?

834 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
28% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 834 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering in 2019, making it rank #175 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 72% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of systems engineering majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Systems Engineering Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 82
Black or African American 27
Hispanic or Latino 135
White 468
International Students 51
Other Races/Ethnicities 71

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Systems Engineering, too. About 6.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran
  • Mexico

How Much Do Systems Engineering Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering was $68,400 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $68,000 (25th percentile) and $72,100 (75th percentile).

undefined

It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in systems engineering, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Systems Engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $99,410 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Systems Engineering Major  ( 99410 to 148970 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with systems engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for systems engineering careers below.

undefined
Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.9%
Some College Courses 2.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 62.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.9%
Master’s Degree 11.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.5%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.6%
Doctoral Degree 6.3%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.5%

Online Systems Engineering Programs

In 2018-2019, 109 schools offered a systems engineering program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 5 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 35 17
Post-Baccalaureate 5 1
Master’s Degree 78 31
Post-Master’s 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 31 3
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Systems Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a systems engineering grad is $113,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 185% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,475,600 after 20 years!

undefined

You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to systems engineering.

Major Number of Grads
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406
Biomedical Engineering 12,001
General Engineering 11,739
Industrial Engineering 9,410
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 7,069
Materials Engineering 3,538
Other Engineering 2,982
Environmental Engineering 2,850
Petroleum Engineering 2,269
Operations Research 1,745
Agricultural Engineering 1,554
Engineering Science 1,515
Architectural Engineering 1,019
Nuclear Engineering 1,014
Engineering Physics 979
Robotics Engineering 943
Manufacturing Engineering 932
Construction Engineering 865
Marine Engineering 481
Geoscience Engineering 424
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 387
Biological Engineering 374
Textile Engineering 366
Ocean Engineering 346
Mining Engineering 340
Engineering Mechanics 314
Metallurgical Engineering 235
Biochemical Engineering 118
Ceramic Engineering 101
Surveying Engineering 89
Electromechanical Engineering 65
Forest Engineering 52
Paper Science & Engineering 44
Engineering Chemistry 9

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.