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Systems Engineering....need advice

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Old 02-10-2010, 01:30 AM   #1
cankel [OP] cankel is offline
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Talking Systems Engineering....need advice

Hi guys, i was just wondering if any of you are System Engineers. If so could you explain more less what you guys do. Im debating wether to be a mechanical engineer or a systems engineer with some kind mechanic specialization. Any advice, tips, or even anecdotes you might want to tell me would be truly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:34 AM   #2
cankel [OP] cankel is offline
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forgot to ask the most obvious question, what do you guys really do as system engineers?
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cankel View Post
forgot to ask the most obvious question, what do you guys really do as system engineers?
As a System Engineer I do damn near any and everything that a customer needs. Sometimes you are given a bunch of equipment and told by the customer to 'make it work'. That often involves getting Routers, Switches, Firewalls, IDS, and software based network tools hooked up and configured so they all work as the way a customer wants.

Other times you are given a particular goal by a customer and you are given the freedom to design and implement the solution.

Many system engineering projects can be "run and gun" - which often means some very long hours to get a system deployed and then you are on to the next job. I had a contract that I worked on last year that involved several 90+ hour work weeks and at one point I worked more 30 days straight without a day off...and all of this was on the other side of the country so I was living out of a hotel the whole time. Needless to say I am VERY glad that project is over and I am now back into normal work schedule on my current project.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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I'm an SE by accident, not schooling. My advice to you is to study accounting and psychology as well as anything else you do. You will have to deal with budgets and people, and that can be more complicated than any switch you install.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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I work as a systems engineer in a electro-mechanical aerospace company. My degrees are in mechanical eng and aerospace eng, so I had the option to go several routes. I chose systems becuase to be honest, if you like actual "engineering" it is the best. As a systems engineer, you almost manage programs. Mechanical engineers work on it during design phase, then when it goes to testing, test engineers take over, etc. As a systems engineer, you will be the first one to touch programs (requirment capture, flowdown etc) and will basically walk programs though all the way till the end, interfacing with customers the whole way.

Systems requires you to know a little of EVERYTHING, stress, design, test, etc. You are essentially the "jack of all trades". You do not specialize in ONE thing, liek doing strait hardcore stress hand calcs, however you learn enough, adn are competent enough to be able to handle most stress problems, adn know what needs to be done (even if its not you doing it but the othert depts).

I love systems becuase you are ALWAYS learning from EVERYONE, and to be honest, (at my company at least) systems engineers pretty much run the show..haha
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:53 AM   #6
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hi guys, sorry for the late reply im not that used to the forum.. on a further note i changed majors to control systems engineering. From what my advisors told me its a mix of Elec. and Mech engineering. Although i trust my advisor i would like to know what they really do, any of you know what they do??
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #7
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Wow. By what's written here, I think I'm actually supposed to be a "Systems Engineer" rather than a "Systems Administrator" or "Network Administrator" or just "IT Janitor-in-a-can". I wonder...
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