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Systems Software Engineer

Career Overview

Computer systems software engineers usually are responsible for adapting existing software programs to meet the needs of a particular network system. Systems software engineers must be comfortable working with the computer language that is used in the software platform. They not only write code to adapt software systems, they must also test and perfect the application or modification they have created, and must create changes as the network requires them. Growth of a network or the introduction of new functionality usually require the skills of a systems software engineer.


The job of system software engineer comes close to oversight for the network, intranet or communications system that the engineer is assigned to develop. While some system software engineers work on contract, they are often involved in maintenance problems or security issues. Generally a systems software engineer holds a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems or a networking discipline. Certification in one or more computer languages is also valuable.


The majority of systems software engineers work for computer systems service organizations. Some are employed by healthcare organizations, by financial firms such as insurance companies and investment houses, and some by the government.

Job Outlook

Designing or modifying systems software is insulated from the trend towards offshore outsourcing of computer support. Accordingly, the opportunities for systems software engineers will grow much faster than the projected rate of overall job growth. Successful employment in the field will, however, require continuing education in order to keep up with technology developments and new software programs that make inroads as computer system platforms.


Lowest 10% $59,600

Median Salary $93,470

Highest 10% $139,930

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