Some companies treat “systems engineer” and “systems administrator” almost interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two positions. In more general terms, systems engineers are responsible for designing and implementing a company’s system (including network, servers, devices, etc.), while system administrators are largely responsible for making everything work.
In other words, system administration is a very responsive role, with system administrators constantly monitoring networks for problems. System engineers, on the other hand, can create a system that anticipates user needs (and potential problems). In some cases, they have to integrate existing technology stacks (for example, following the merger of two companies) and prototype different aspects of the network before it goes “live”.
The education path for a software-focused systems engineer typically begins with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, information systems, and / or engineering. As systems engineers gain experience, they will learn the tools and techniques necessary to manage systems at scale. For example, a senior systems engineer (i.e. systems, but should have tactical knowledge of virtualization, containers, systems design tools and languages, and analytics. (See a sample resume to get an idea how to present your experience.)
In other words, it is a complex job, with a salary to match. We analyzed the data from Dice and came up with the following salaries for System Engineers. Clearly, advancing in this role translates into a significant pay rise: System Engineers III earn nearly $ 10,000 more than their less experienced colleagues, and that’s before considering other perks and perks such as equity and increased vacation time.
If you want a really impressive salary, consider majoring in Linux systems, that will translate into a raise of $ 20,000. So get to know your Linux / UNIX servers, pass your Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam (depending on your goal), and familiarize yourself as much as possible with the open source architecture.
You potentially want to raise your salary even higher. Find out what the best Linux certifications can help you achieve the most.