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Systems Engineering

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Systems Engineering Major

2,920 yearly degrees
#165 in popularity
$114,000 median salary

Systems engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 0 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in systems engineering, 24 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 77 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 30 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Systems Engineering Degree?

Systems engineering is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #165 in popularity. About 1,000 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major tends to be male dominated. About 70.2% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 10.1%
  • Black or African American: 3.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 14%
  • White: 58.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.1%
  • Other Races: 6.9%

Systems Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in systems engineering. About 7.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending systems engineering majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as a Systems Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to systems engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Systems Engineering Majors

A major in systems engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Systems Engineering Majors

Skills for Systems Engineering Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to systems engineering:

Important Skills for Systems Engineering Majors

Abilities for Systems Engineering Majors

Systems engineering majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for systems engineering Majors

What Can You Do With a Systems Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with systems engineering:

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

Systems Engineering Major Salary

Average salaries range from $99,000 to $149,000 for careers related to systems engineering. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Systems Engineering Major  ( 99000 to 149000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Systems Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with systems engineering may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Systems Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0.5%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 1.9%
Some College Courses 2.7%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 3.7%
Bachelor's Degree 62.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 5.9%
Master's Degree 11.9%
Post-Master's Certificate 1.5%
First Professional Degree 1.6%
Doctoral Degree 6.3%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.5%

Online Systems Engineering Programs

There are 24 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Systems Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for a systems engineering grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 192% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,495,600 after 20 years!

systems engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Luis gomes via License

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