Summary Report for:
15-1199.02 - Computer Systems Engineers/Architects
Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.
Sample of reported job titles: Electronic Data Interchange System Developer (EDI System Developer), System Architect, Systems Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Communicate with staff or clients to understand specific system requirements.
- Provide advice on project costs, design concepts, or design changes.
- Document design specifications, installation instructions, and other system-related information.
- Verify stability, interoperability, portability, security, or scalability of system architecture.
- Collaborate with engineers or software developers to select appropriate design solutions or ensure the compatibility of system components.
- Evaluate current or emerging technologies to consider factors such as cost, portability, compatibility, or usability.
- Provide technical guidance or support for the development or troubleshooting of systems.
- Identify system data, hardware, or software components required to meet user needs.
- Provide guidelines for implementing secure systems to customers or installation teams.
- Monitor system operation to detect potential problems.
- Direct the analysis, development, and operation of complete computer systems.
- Investigate system component suitability for specified purposes and make recommendations regarding component use.
- Perform ongoing hardware and software maintenance operations, including installing or upgrading hardware or software.
- Configure servers to meet functional specifications.
- Develop or approve project plans, schedules, or budgets.
- Define and analyze objectives, scope, issues, or organizational impact of information systems.
- Develop system engineering, software engineering, system integration, or distributed system architectures.
- Design and conduct hardware or software tests.
- Establish functional or system standards to ensure operational requirements, quality requirements, and design constraints are addressed.
- Evaluate existing systems to determine effectiveness and suggest changes to meet organizational requirements.
- Research, test, or verify proper functioning of software patches and fixes.
- Communicate project information through presentations, technical reports or white papers.
- Complete models and simulations, using manual or automated tools, to analyze or predict system performance under different operating conditions.
- Direct the installation of operating systems, network or application software, or computer or network hardware.
- Train system users in system operation or maintenance.
- Perform security analyses of developed or packaged software components.
- Develop application-specific software.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Access servers — Lightweight directory access protocol LDAP servers
- Computer servers — Blade servers; Web servers
- Desktop computers
- Graphics or video accelerator cards — Graphics display cards
- High capacity removable media drives — Mass storage devices
- Mainframe computers
- Mobile phones — Smartphones
- Network routers — Computer network routers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Radio frequency RF cable — Radio frequency cables
- Signal cable — Multi-conductor cables
- Tablet computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Access software — Citrix software; Symark PowerBroker
- Application server software — BEA WebLogic Server; VMWare ESX Server
- Backup or archival software — VERITAS NetBackup
- Configuration management software — IBM Rational Build Forge; IBM Rational ClearCase
- Data base management system software — IBM Infosphere Information Server; IBM InfoSphere software; Microsoft SQL Server; MySQL software (see all 6 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — IBM DB2; Structured query language SQL; xQuery
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker
- Development environment software — C; IONA Orbix; Microsoft Visual Basic; ToadSoft Toad (see all 15 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Exchange
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere; IBM WebSphere MQ
- Graphical user interface development software — Altia software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet directory services software — Microsoft Active Directory
- LAN software — Local area network LAN software
- Network conferencing software — IBM Lotus SameTime; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software; Intrusion detection system IDS software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; ILOG Rules software; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Spring (see all 5 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Linux; Microsoft Windows; Sun Microsystem Solaris Security Toolkit; Sun Microsystem ZFS (see all 7 examples)
- Project management software — 37signals Basecamp; Clarity Systems IBM Clarity; Microsoft Project
- Storage networking software — Storage area network SAN software
- Transaction server software — BEA Tuxedo; Microsoft Internet Information Service IIS
- WAN switching software and firmware — Wide area network WAN software
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- 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).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Manage information technology projects or system activities.
- Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
- Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
- Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
- Prepare analytical reports.
- Develop detailed project plans.
- Develop organizational goals or objectives.
- Monitor computer system performance to ensure proper operation.
- Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Test software performance.
- Communicate project information to others.
- Design software applications.
- Install computer hardware.
- Analyze security of systems, network, or data.
- Install computer software.
- Maintain computer hardware.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Design computer modeling or simulation programs.
- Develop models of information or communications systems.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
- Configure computer networks.
- Coordinate software or hardware installation.
- Develop guidelines for system implementation.
- Document technical specifications or requirements.
- Design integrated computer systems.
- Train others in computer interface or software use.
- Test computer hardware performance.
- Identify information technology project resource requirements.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 77% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Contact With Others — 39% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Moderate results.”
- Level of Competition — 39% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 48% responded “High responsibility.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 26% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 30% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Physical Proximity — 52% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|9||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: IRC
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$40.10 hourly, $83,410 annual|
|Employment (2012)||206,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||40,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.