Free Online Lectures and Courses for Systems Engineering

According to The International Council on Systems Engineering, this field of study is “an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems.” The field is attractive to students who wish to combine technical and management skills to successfully develop a product or system that meets the needs of a company or its customers. In this resource guide, you will have access to information on engineering degree programs and their courses, professional organizations and resources, and the job outlook for professional systems engineers.

Possible Specializations

Systems engineering can be considered a specialization in itself, since this field is generally not entered into without prior education and experience in one of several other engineering disciplines. However, as a professional you will have the option to work in any number of specialized departments, including software systems engineering, for example.

Degree Types

Colleges typically offer engineering courses at all levels on the education spectrum, but in order to secure an entry level job as a systems engineer you essentially need at least a bachelor’s degree.

Associate

An associate degree is typically not enough to secure a systems engineering job, but the degree itself can offer students a number of benefits, including an introduction to the field and a less expensive way to earn prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree program. Typically, community or junior colleges will offer an associate degree in science, which can then be applied to a bachelor’s program. However, there are programs that offer a targeted associate degree. University of Massachusetts Lowell, for example, offers an Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology degree.

Bachelor’s

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for entry level engineering positions. Individuals who become systems engineers typically study one of several engineering disciplines as an undergraduate. Students are also able to register for a minor in project management or communication, two subjects that may assist systems engineers in the professional realm.

Master’s

A master’s degree may help engineers acquire management positions and a higher starting salary. This degree can generally be completed in two years, and is likely to include the option to specialize. UC Berkeley, for example, lets students focus on mechanical engineering or nuclear engineering.

Ph.D.

Students pursuing a professorship will typically need a doctoral degree, and are then qualified to teach at the college level. Graduates of a Ph.D. program may also become professional researchers, leading the charge in determining the future of engineering. They may also head up the management of especially complex or far reaching systems, overseeing their long term maintenance and development.

Ideal Candidates for Systems Engineering

A successful systems engineering student will be passionate about a variety of engineering disciplines, be they computer, electronic, industrial or environmental in nature. Companies seek systems engineers who have the ability to look at a system or product and discover ways to make it better, or to avoid potential problems. Feeling at ease in a management position is another important quality, given that systems engineers will be expected to draw from other professionals and entire teams to see a project to completion. Finally, systems engineers are in charge of ensuring a product or system is safe for public use, which means they must have a strong sense of responsibility and an interest in public safety.

Career Pathways

Systems engineers are able to find employment in a wide variety of settings, from aerospace and software companies to government organizations. Companies that specialize in product development and technology will always need a systems engineer to make sure each step of the process goes smoothly, and to troubleshoot and fix any problems that arise. Engineering is a lucrative field; while the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data on systems engineering specifically, it lists similar occupations, like aerospace and chemical engineers, at an annual salary of $103,720 and $94,350 respectively.

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Systems Engineering Journals & Trade Magazines

  • Journals

    • Alexandria Engineering Journal

      Engineering and applied science students and professionals will enjoy this peer-reviewed journal. Because it's an international journal, readers gain access to theories and opinions from all over the ...

    • Chemical Engineering Journal

      This journal focuses on "chemical reaction engineering, environmental chemical engineering, and materials synthesis and processing." Three topics of interest for both professional and future ...

    • Engineering Journal

      Since 1964, this peer-reviewed journal has been "open to all who wish to report on new developments in structural steel design, research, and fabrication." Engineering Journal is published quarterly.

    • International Journal of Engineering Science

      This journal will be of special interest to professionals and students who appreciate access to a broad variety of topics in both the engineering and science industries.

    • Journal of Systems Engineering

      Released four times a year, this journal's aim is to be "a primary source of multidisciplinary information for the systems engineering and management of products and services [...]."

  • Trade Magazines

    • Civil Engineering Magazine

      CE Magazine is the flagship publication of the the Society of Civil Engineers. With a wide array of engineering concerns covered, CE has "the largest ...

    • Engineered Systems Magazine (ES)

      ES offers readers articles that cover a variety of systems engineering topics. Recent articles include "Hospital Retrofits for Energy Efficiency" and "Seattle ...

    • Engineering and Technology Magazine (E&T)

      E&T is a monthly magazine that offers those interested in engineering, science and technology a wealth of well-informed articles and industry news.

    • Mechanical Engineering Magazine

      This magazine, started in 1880, is released by ASME. Mechanical Engineering Magazine offers "an interdisciplinary view into engineering trends and ...

Systems Engineering Grants & Scholarships

  • Scholarships

    • Auxiliary Legacy Scholarship

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $2,000

      This $2,000 scholarship is awarded to a female student entering her junior year at an accredited and approved engineering degree program. Candidates will be ...

    • Brown and Caldwell Scholarship

      Deadline: April 15th

      Award Amount: $5,000

      This environmental engineering company offers a $5,000 scholarship to a minority student with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must be junior or senior ...

    • Intel Science Talent Search

      Deadline: November 12th

      Award Amount: Up to $100,000

      This award is offered to students who represent academic achievement through participating in the Intel Science Talent Search, the nation's leading high school ...

    • Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association

      Deadline: April 15th

      Award Amount: $1,000

      This association awards scholarships to Korean engineers. The goal of the association is to foster the academic achievement of engineering students, and to ...

    • National Science Foundation scholarship

      Deadline: N/A

      Award Amount: N/A

      The NSF provides financial assistance to students through their undergrad and grad programs. Interested students should contact their financial aid office to ...

    • Professional Engineers in Industry Scholarship

      Deadline: April 1st

      Award Amount: $2,500

      Applicants must be sponsored by a National Society of Professional Engineers member. Students must be enrolled in an undergrad or grad program, and will need ...

    • SMART scholarship (Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation)

      Deadline: Applications accepted in August 2014

      Award Amount: Full scholarship

      SMART offers qualifying undergrad and grad students full scholarships. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and commit to a summer internship and full ...

    • Steinman Scholarship

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $5,000

      Students who apply for this scholarship must be in their junior year at a 4 year institution. Students will be evaluated based on an ethics essay ...

    • The Maureen L. & Howard N. Blitman, P.E., Scholarship to Promote Diversity in Engineering

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $5,000

      This scholarship is awarded annually to a high school senior who represents a minority group and who maintains a high level of academic success and community ...

    • William R. Kimel, P.E., Engineering Scholarship

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $2,500

      This scholarship is offered to engineering students in Kansas and Missouri. Students must be entering junior year, looking at their academic achievement ...

Systems Engineering Internships

  • Aerospace

    Deadline: Varies

    This research and tech company offers students paid summer internships designed to put students on the fast track to successful engineering careers.

  • Apple

    Deadline: Varies

    Apple offers internships the company considers "hands-on learning at its best." Undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to participate in both summer internships and co-ops.

  • Applied Materials

    Deadline: Varies

    This company offers students "high-level knowledge about the electronics industry." Interns receive a 401(k), medical insurance and access to a wellness center.

  • IBM internships

    Deadline: Varies

    IBM internships are popular among engineering students because they offer real world education. If interns demonstrate the skills to succeed within IBM, they can be brought on full time ...

  • NASA

    Deadline: Varies

    Three internship sessions are offered each year. They are open to students with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Interns must "collaborate with and inspire their peers, make professional connections and ...

Systems Engineering Student & Professional Organizations

  • Professional Organizations

    • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET)

      As the leading accreditation organization for colleges, ABET is an expert resource in the quality of any engineering program.

    • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

      This organization knows the importance of getting qualified students into top engineering schools. ASEE hopes to spread the awareness of what a degree in engineering can offer.

    • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

      ASCE offers members access to publications and networking tools. Volunteering and mentoring opportunities, also make ASCE an attractive option to professionals who want to make a difference.

    • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

      This non-profit organization offers an inspiring and supportive community for undergraduates and professionals alike.

    • Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)

      IIE is the largest body of industrial engineers. In their words, IIE is the "premier organization that advances, promotes and unites the industrial and systems engineering profession worldwide."

    • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

      The NSPE, formed in 1934, is a leading professional org for engineers. NSPE "enhances the image of its members and their ability to ethically and professionally practice engineering."

    • Order of the Engineer

      This group aims to "foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol ...

    • Society of Women Engineers

      This organization offers women the ability to stand out in a male-dominated field. Membership gives women the opportunity to network with other professionals in annual conferences.