Destined to Design! How to Start Your Career in Systems Design
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Interested in a career in systems design? Then check out this guide to systems design.

The number of system design and related jobs in the U.S. economy has been rising from 2009 to 2018. The estimated number of system design jobs in 2018 was 2.21 million. It looks like a continuing upward trend so there's never been a better time to be a systems designer.

Interested in a career in systems design? Then check out this guide to getting started as a system designer.

What is a System?

System theory is a way of understanding things in terms of the relationship between parts or components. These parts are interdependent. It can be a natural system such as a plant or a man-made one such as a production line.

A system sits within boundaries within an environment. A plant's boundaries may be its cells and its environment include the air, water, sunlight and soil that it grows in.

A man-made environment such as a production line may include various processes. For example, assembly and packing and its environment may include a factory or market that it operates within.

What is a Systems Designer?

Systems designer typically works on systems in the field of information technology. The system designer may design the architecture of an information technology system. This could extend to defining modules of the system and interfaces with other systems.

A systems designer may also be responsible for identifying data requirements. Data capture, processing, storage, display, and reporting are all aspect of the system designer's data systems design. It's sometimes helpful to think of inputs, flows, and outputs of data.

These are abstract representations of a system. They are sometimes modeled or graphically represented by a system designer with symbols for inputs, outputs, processes, and flows.

Personal Qualities of a Systems Design Professional

There are certain qualities or characteristics that are prerequisites for a systems designer to be successful.

A systems designer may be working with large and complex systems. The ability to understand and analyze these systems is a key skill. Having a logical approach to describing how things work is an indication that you may be able to understand and design systems.

A key aspect of the role is the ability to solve problems. Complex and difficult problems take concentration, ingenuity, and creativity to solve. Do you have a track record of successful problem-solving?

A systems designer rarely works alone. The design process involves learning about problems and expectations from clients and systems users. It also involves working with analysts, project managers, and other technical roles so team working and good communication are highly desirable requirements. 

Education and Training

A career in systems design starts with getting the right education and training. Information technology, computer engineering or computer science degrees are all useful educational routes. A system designer is not an entry-level job so some other experience may be useful.

As well as academic qualifications, it's useful to have industry experience in other aspects of IT. Bringing a breadth of experience helps make your solutions practical, relevant, and effective. It also helps establish rapport and credibility when building a relationship with clients or users.

First Steps

Check out specific university course pre-requisites. Make sure you meet their requirements and research suitable courses. A career in systems design awaits you.

Learn more about careers in IT here.


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