A career in systems engineering is a highly skilled profession that specializes in designing, developing, and managing complex systems. They play a critical role in translating stakeholder needs into detailed system requirements and then creating comprehensive designs to meet those requirements. Systems engineers are responsible for overseeing the integration of various components or subsystems, ensuring they work seamlessly together.


A system is basically a complex interconnected devices/machines, software, telecommunication networks or critical data


They also manage risks, document system designs and processes, and often serve as technical leaders within multidisciplinary project teams. Overall, systems engineers are essential in orchestrating the entire lifecycle of complex systems, from conception to maintenance, with a focus on efficiency, quality, and effective communication. It is also important to note that,  System engineers are experts in the adaptation of innovative systems to current structures, procedures, programs, devices and operations, they are also in high demand in various industries such as healthcare, defence, aerospace and transportation.


Therefore, pursuing a career in systems engineering has a lot of present and future promising opportunities. However, this career is a critical discipline that demands a strong education and skills to thrive.


In the following sections, I will guide you through the steps needed to pursue a career in systems engineering.


Steps to Start a Career in Systems Engineering

  1. Obtain an O’level Certificate

    Firstly, you need to have a strong foundation in science. This will enable you to cope with your studies in the university when you begin your studies. Additionally, it can give you a high chance of getting admission into the university. Therefore, you should have a minimum of credits in your O’level results.

  2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    You must obtain a bachelor’s degree before you can start a career in systems engineering. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as systems engineering, computer science, electrical engineering or a related field. These courses will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to become a skilled systems engineer.

  3. Gain Experience

    You can gain professional experience through an internship or an entry-level role. This experience can enable you to build experience in the industry and develop your skills. Additionally, this experience is important as it can enable you to have access to professionals in the field that can guide you on your career journey.

  4. Develop Relevant Skills

    You need to build key skills that will enable you to improve and become a competent systems engineer. These skills include soft skills and hard skills. They will enhance your knowledge and contribute greatly to your success in this field.

  5. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    You can pursue a master’s degree after your bachelor’s degree. This will give you a greater opportunity for growth and career advancement. Additionally, this can help you develop specialised skills and pursue an area of specialisation of your interest.

  6. Obtain Certifications

    This is another way to demonstrate your skills and expertise to hiring companies. You can get certifications such as Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) and CompTia Network+. Additionally, you can get certifications related to the field you wish to specialise in.

  7. Join Professional Organisations

    You must join professional organisations and network with systems engineering professionals. Additionally, you should attend conferences and seminars which can increase your understanding and give you access to career opportunities.

  8. Stay Updated

    Staying updated with knowledge is crucial as a systems engineer because technology is continuously changing. You should stay updated with new approaches, strategies and practices by engaging in continuous learning.


Certifications to Obtain as a Systems Engineer

  1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  2. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  3. CompTIA Network+
  4. Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP)
  5. Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
  6. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)


Skills to Possess as a Systems Engineer

  1. Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  2. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  3. Proficiency in programming languages and system design tools.
  4. Knowledge of network protocols and security systems.


Areas of Specialisation in Systems Engineering

  1. Industrial Systems Engineering

    These engineers in the industrial sector improve quality and productivity within an organization. They are responsible for tasks such as reviewing manufacturing procedures, building fresh areas for industrial businesses and pitching their concepts to senior management.

  2. Biosystems Engineering

    Biosystems engineers develop intricate structures that are related to biological functions. Additionally, they are concerned with developing sustainable engineering methods to address the problems they face.

  3. Software Systems Engineering

    Software systems engineers create software applications for the businesses with which they work. Additionally, they consider the entire process while developing software products such as how to maximise productivity, increase efficiency, and build higher-quality products.

  4. Logistics Systems Engineering

    These engineers concentrate on intricate networks of shipping and transportation. Generally, they develop approaches that solve the challenges of transportation.

  5. Information Technology Systems Engineering

    IT systems engineers guarantee that every part of an IT system is efficient and operates efficiently. They could also guarantee that the network is secure on many levels.

  6. Product Development Systems Engineering

    These engineers develop improved methods to produce a company’s goods. Additionally, they create procedures that are more effective and of greater quality to produce superior products.


Universities in Africa that Offer Systems Engineering

  1. Cairo University, Egypt
  2. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  3. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  4. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  5. Alexandria University, Egypt
  6. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  7. Mansoura University, Egypt
  8. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Assiut University, Egypt
  10. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  11. Benha University, Egypt
  12. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  13. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  14. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  15. Tanta University, Egypt
  16. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  17. University of Carthage, Tunisia
  18. Durban University of Technology, South Africa
  19. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  20. Covenant University, Nigeria
  21. University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  22. Jimma University, Ethiopia
  23. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
  24. University of Annaba, Algeria
  25. Hawassa University, Ethiopia
  26. University of Uyo, Nigeria
  27. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology


In Conclusion, pursuing a career in systems engineering can be satisfying and fulfilling. You just need to follow the outlined steps needed to pursue this career. Additionally, this field requires one to be dedicated to acquiring the essential degrees and certifications. Also, you needed to be highly skilled to be able to add value to companies.


Good luck!


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