System engineers and network engineers have similar job functions, but system engineers focus mainly on server and desktop maintenance and deployment where network engineers focus mainly on the routers, switches, wiring and protocols used for networking. System engineers work closely with other engineers to create an overall safe and fast network environment for users. They also help defend against cyber threats and ensure that business desktops are security from malware.

Job Description: What Does a System Engineer Do?

System engineers work with complex software that defines the way companies do business. They suggest the latest upgrades to business managers, and they help support users with system issues. Most system engineers create corporate policies for security, hardware and software. They coordinate upgrades for servers, and help developers deploy the latest code base to internal applications. Business analysts and project managers work with system engineers to upgrade equipment and find better solutions for better employee productivity.

System Engineer Job Responsibilities and Duties

System engineers have several responsibilities, but these duties also depend on the company and the size of the network. Some companies only have a couple of servers but others have hundreds. When the network is too large for one person, the system engineer works with several teammates who also help manage the servers and network.

Other system engineer job responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing new hardware and software deployments for desktops and servers
  • Identifying any current system performance issues and recommending the right upgrades
  • Set up corporate intranet servers and intranet software
  • Help developers design new software that works with each business department
  • Work with quality assurance to test new software deployments
  • Analyze user performance and productivity needs and make corrections to help support their requirements
  • Document and audit current systems including servers, software and desktops
  • Create manuals for corporate software to help new personnel acclimate to new positions

System engineers have a wide range of skills, so they come from several areas of IT. This helps give the corporation an IT team with several types of skills. System engineering jobs are similar to network engineering, so it can sometimes blur with other positions in an IT department. Many system engineers have a desktop support or server support background with some networking experience. Others work at help desk positions where they learn the foundation of system troubleshooting and upgrades.