Becky Reed & Bill LaMarsh, Ph.D.
In 2009, Money Magazine® listed Systems Engineer (SE) as the #1 job in America. SE was not in the top 10 Best Jobs for the next 3 years on the same list. Why is this? Two key areas have contributed to the SE competency being removed from this list. First, SE has not been defined and promoted as a complete, holistic view of a system. This system of interest does not have to be a multi-year complex solution. It can be something simple where functional requirements and an architectural approach is needed. Too often, SEs have become associated with Information Technology (IT) solutions exclusively – the assumption is this arena is the only domain where “architectural” solutions are needed.
Second and more importantly is the complexity of technical team integration where technology, people, and solutions converge. Historically, the promotion of SE focused on the hard sciences. This is demonstrated clearly by the SE programs at colleges and universities. Research has shown the hard sciences of Engineering are easier than the softer sciences associated with team members. This presentation will focus on combining the knowledge and experience of seasoned engineers with the need for understanding human behavior to accomplish the SE’s job.