As a career option that can allow an individual to be involved in the creation and implementation of a computer system, computer systems engineers are professionals who are actively engaged in the process of matching current technology with the needs of a company. As part of this task, they engage in the evaluation and installation of software, hardware, and other types of support equipment into a workable network that supports a variety of functions within a corporation. Someone in this position may function as an employee of the company, a representative of a manufacture of computer components and hardware, or as an independent consultant.
A computer systems engineer is a representative of a company that creates and sells computer equipment. The systems engineer will work to match up the products offered by the firm with the needs of a client. In many cases, this will involve getting to know the corporate culture of the client. As part of that process, he or she will seek to meet not only the expressed needs of the client, but also look for additional ways to make the installation of the computer systems more advantageous for the customer.
For example, the computer systems engineer will address a client’s wish for a more robust sales tracking computer system, but may also be able to convince the customer that a few add-ons to the system will also enhance the relationship between the billing process and the sales department. Addressing both the current needs of the customer as well as looking for ways to make the system even more valuable now and in the future is one of the defining characteristics of a competent computer engineer.
When in the employ of a company that is wanting to install a new system, or upgrade an existing one, the computer systems engineer will look for ways to make current tasks easier to accomplish. The efforts will normally improve the flow of information from one sector of the company to another, and in general enhance the internal operations of the corporation. This approach will also allow for anticipating other needs that will come along as the company grows, so that the system can be expanded as needed. The engineer will take this comprehensive profile of the corporation’s current and anticipated needs, and work directly with suppliers to find the right mix of hardware, software, and components to create an enduring network structure.
A computer systems engineer may also choose to work as a consultant, entering into agreements to represent the products of various computer systems producers as well as take on clients who wish to outsource the process of designing and implementing a new computer system for the business. Working as a consultant allows the engineer the opportunity to work with companies in a number of different industries, and broaden his or her understanding of the way that computer systems are employed in different sectors of the business world.