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Computer System Engineer/Architect  What They Do

Just the Facts


Designs and develops solutions to complex application problems, system administration issues or network concerns. Performs systems management and integration functions.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Programming and Software Engineering pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Communicates with staff or clients to understand specific system requirements.
  • Provides advice on project costs, design concepts, or design changes.
  • Documents design specifications, installation instructions, and other system-related information.
  • Verifies stability, interoperability, portability, security, or scalability of system architecture.
  • Collaborates with engineers or software developers to select appropriate design solutions or ensure the compatibility of system components.
  • Evaluates current or emerging technologies to consider factors such as cost, portability, compatibility, or usability.
  • Provides technical guidance or support for the development or troubleshooting of systems.
  • Identifies system data, hardware, or software components required to meet user needs.
  • Provides guidelines for implementing secure systems to customers or installation teams.
  • Monitors system operation to detect potential problems.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Enterprise Architect -- Takes a company's business strategy and then defines an information technology systems architecture to support that strategy.
  • Web Architect -- Designs web applications for information technology (IT) companies to help them sell their products to consumers and other companies.
  • Requirements Engineer --