Is system engineering hard? (solved)

System engineering is hard. It is not a major for anyone. For this reason, we made this post to talk about the hardest things in system engineering.

And also gives some tips students should do studying this major. So keep reading if you want more information.

Is system engineering hard?

System engineering is one of the hardest engineering topics in the industry simply because it combines 3 critical skills: building, managing, and analyzing, so it is not a job that anyone can do, especially for people who have poor leadership skills.

In other words, System engineering is a branch where not students study only engineering. They always study business and some economics to learn how to manage businesses and scale them.

So you need to have multiple skills in different sectors like:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Chemistry engineering
  • Software engineering

It doesn’t mean that system Engineers have to know deeply all about these engineering subjects. But they have to learn the basics to manage and make decisions in this term.

Usually, system engineers managers in big companies with multiple engineering areas, as mentioned above. So this occupation required having a good experience and knowledge about these fields.

So it is so weird to find a job as a system engineer for graduated students simply because the job needs to have some experience in the workforce before taking this leadership occupation.

The 4 hardest subjects that systems engineering study

We will list the 5 subjects that system engineers focus on in their studies which are:

1 – Math

System engineers study math because it is important in their field. Math can help engineers design and analyze systems. For example, figure out how much space a system will need or how much force a system will exert. Engineers also predict how a system will behave under different conditions.

Students focus on calculus a lot to understand these subjects, which is the most difficult subject in all engineering classes, including system engineering. As a result, it requires good foundations in algebra.

So we recommend taking precalculus classes or taking some Ap exams because they will be a lot helpful in this case.

Firstly to accommodate with a program, and secondly, to lightning the load of this engineering class.

2 – Physics

The second significant subject matter in system engineering is physics. Or, in other words, you’ll be asked to focus on a number of subjects. But the most challenging courses students should put a lot of effort into studying system engineering are thermodynamics and other topics like kinematics.

During system engineering, you primarily have the two programs in the system engineering curriculum, a general phsyics 1 and physics 2.

One of the things students study in physics is how things move, which is kinematics. For example, they might learn how an object falls to the ground or how a car moves when driving.

In addition, learning topics about energy, including momentum and energy. This is what makes things move or work. For example, how cars burn gasoline to move and people need food to keep them strong or a life.

Moreover, students learn about the fundamental principles governing the natural world. These principles include the laws of motion, energy, and thermodynamics. Students also learn about some topics like:

  • structure and behavior of matter,
  •  the nature of light and 
  • electromagnetic radiation,

3 – Business

In business, you will study a lot of subjects and money management of companies such as:

  • wealth creation,
  • cash flow diagrams,
  • internal rate of return
  • net present value
  • breakeven analysis
  • companies and corporations,
  • profits and prices
  • balance sheets,
  • income statements, and the basics of business plan writing.

4 – Chemistry

Typically system engineers have 3 chemistry models to complete

  • chemistry 1
  • chemistry 2
  • organic chemistry

In general, students in chemistry classes are introduced to the major concepts that make up the field of chemistry. This often includes learning about the structure and behavior of atoms and molecules, how chemical reactions occur, and how to apply these concepts to solve problems.

 In addition, they focus on some interesting subjects like matter and energy and the structure of atoms. But the first barrier you should be breaking is if you want to validate a chemistry module is to understand this table, called a periodic table if you haven’t heard about it before.


How to know if system engineering is for you or not?

We’re going to list the 3 important factors that determine if system engineering is for you or not:

1 – have strong mathematics foundations

System engineering is a complex field that requires a strong foundation in mathematics. To be successful in system engineering, you must understand and analyze complex mathematical models. Additionally, you must enjoy working with numbers and have a passion for problem-solving. 

System engineering Students should focus on high school calculus or take precalculus courses before college to finally be adaptable to heavy math college subjects. Calculus is almost applicable to all system engineers.

The principal reason is you will need calculus to study 80% of the engineering subject courses. So if you arent good at calculus, you should take a specific course.

2 – Be sociable

People who are good at working with other people and who enjoy collaborating can succeed as system engineers. They may be able to work well in teams and communicate effectively with other people on their team.

Because system engineering is not like a computer science job, it is not a cubical job. It is a job that requires you to deal with a lot of other engineering occupations, including manufacturing, mechanical, and electrical engineering.

 So if you are an introverted person, you might be suffering in this domain.

3 – having a good leadership quality

You have to remember that system engineering requires a person who has a tough personality to manage people and business. In other words, you are responsible for making crucial decisions and must have these personality characteristics.

  • accept critics
  • Work under pressure
  • Controlling people By forcing your respect
  • Showing empathy and kindness by listening to the people

So if you want to become a system engineer, you have to prepare for that and work on your personality. If you have some problems, invest in principal leadership skills.


system engineering is a new occupation, so it is still rare.

Unfortunately, system engineering is still a new occupation, so it doesn’t have the bigger potential in the market.

There are only 191,100 jobs in engineering management that belong to the section of system engineering, with only a 3% of growth rate. As a result, slower two times than traditional engineering like mechanical or electrical engineering.

So, for this reason, we don’t recommend choosing this major, not only for the low growth rate but also because companies cannot hire system engineers who don’t have any previous experience.

So, in general, you need to take a specific engineering field and then apply to this position.

You could watch this video for further information about system engineering.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.