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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Engineers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for computer systems engineers. There are currently 9,050 working computer systems engineers in Pennsylvania; this should grow by 23% to 11,100 working computer systems engineers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer systems engineers are expected to grow by about 30.4%. In general, computer systems engineers research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications.

A person working as a computer systems engineer can expect to earn about $41 per hour or $85,870 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $44 per hour or $92,430 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for computer systems engineers are better than in the overall category of Computer in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Computer category nationally. Computer systems engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: information architect, enterprise architect, and systems programmer.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including sixteen within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer systems engineer. Computer systems engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a computer systems engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Systems Engineer

In general, computer systems engineers research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. They also set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements.

Computer systems engineers modify existing software to fix errors, to adapt it to new hardware or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance. They also analyze data to establish, recommend and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing system. Equally important, computer systems engineers have to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They are often called upon to confer with customers or other departments on project status, proposals and technical issues such as software system layout and maintenance. They are expected to ready reports and correspondence concerning project specifications, efforts and status. Finally, computer systems engineers design and direct software system testing and validation procedures.

Every day, computer systems engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer systems engineers to direct installation of software system. They are often called upon to confer with engineering staff to review interface between hardware and software, design specifications and performance requirements and resolve customer problems. They also advise customer about, or perform, maintenance of software system. They are sometimes expected to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation. Somewhat less frequently, computer systems engineers are also expected to supervise and assign work to programmers, designers, technologists and technicians and other engineering and scientific personnel.

And finally, they sometimes have to utilize microcontrollers to design control signals, implement control algorithms and measure process variables such as temperatures, pressures and positions.

Like many other jobs, computer systems engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • Computer Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
  • Computer Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
  • Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Systems Engineer Training

Bradford School - Pittsburgh, PA

Bradford School, 125 West Station Square Drive, Suite 129, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bradford School is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 583 students and an admission rate of 95%. Bradford School has an associate's degree program in System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager which graduated seven students in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington - Upper Burrell, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, 3550 7th Street Road Rte 780, Upper Burrell, PA 15068-1765. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington is a small university located in Upper Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 912 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated eight and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny - McKeesport, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny, 4000 University Dr, McKeesport, PA 15131-7644. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny is a small university located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 783 students and an admission rate of 86%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny has a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has 2 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

Penn Commercial Inc - Washington, PA

Penn Commercial Inc, 242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, PA 15301. Penn Commercial Inc is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 382 students and an admission rate of 62%. Penn Commercial Inc has an associate's degree program in Information Technology.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree.

Bethany College - Bethany, WV

Bethany College, , Bethany, WV 26032. Bethany College is a small college located in Bethany, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 825 students and an admission rate of 96%. Bethany College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has 4 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-four and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-three, 245, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Information Science/Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifty-six and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, ten, and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Point Park University - Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University, 201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984. Point Park University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,846 students and an admission rate of 79%. Point Park University has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Information Technology.

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver - Monaca, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver, 100 University Dr, Monaca, PA 15061-2764. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver is a small university located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 793 students and an admission rate of 92%. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Computer Science, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a bachelor's degree and a doctor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated forty-four and nine students respectively in 2008.

Washington & Jefferson College - Washington, PA

Washington & Jefferson College, 60 S Lincoln St, Washington, PA 15301. Washington & Jefferson College is a small college located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,519 students and an admission rate of 38%. Washington & Jefferson College has a bachelor's degree program in Information Technology which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has 3 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty-two, one, thirty-eight, and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, eleven, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated forty-nine and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

EC Council Certified Secure Programmer: EC-Council's Certified Secure Programmer is being offered to provide the essential and fundamental skills to programmers and application developers in secure programming.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Certified Software Measurement Specialist: An industry certification for individuals working in the field of software measurement.

For more information, see the International Function Point Users Group website.

Associate of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium: Associate of (ISC) status is available to those who have gained competence in key areas of industry knowledge and information security concepts and can pass either the CISSP® or SSCP® examinations, but lack the years of practical work experience required for full accreditation.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The CAP credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the Certification and Accreditation process.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Certified Software Test Engineer: The Certified Software Tester (CSTE) certification is intended to establish standards for initial qualification and provide direction for the testing function through an aggressive educational program.

For more information, see the Quality Assurance Institute website.

Security Certified Network Professional: The SCNP program focuses on defensive security technologies, such as Firewalls and Intrusion Detection.

For more information, see the Security Certified Program website.

Certified Team Developer: GUPTA's Team Developer is a visual object-oriented RAD tool that is proven to shorten the development cycle; providing developers the tools to quickly design, develop and deploy their Windows or Linux solution.

For more information, see the Unify website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.