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|
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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|
|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?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of systems engineering majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||27|
|Hispanic or Latino||135|
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:
- Saudi Arabia
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).
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Systems Engineering
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.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
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|
|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!
Majors Related to Systems Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to systems engineering.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By luis gomes under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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