Atlas Career Path Guidebook: Patterns and Common Practices in Systems Engineers’ Development
Human Capital Development
Report Number: SERC-2018-TR-101-C
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
Project: Helix – Developing Effective Systems Engineers
Dr. Nicole Hutchison
Dr. Dinesh Verma
Of the 363 individuals interviewed for Helix, 100% agreed that experiences were the most critical Force for growing systems engineers. Experiences, combined with the additional Forces of Mentoring and Education & Training, make up the career paths of systems engineers.
From 2013 through 2017, the Helix team collected and analyzed detailed information on the careers of 178 systems engineers. The team has conducted a number of analyses on this data, which is reported here.
In particular, this Guidebook provides information on:
- The detailed approaches developed to analyze and assess systems engineering career paths. Instructions for individuals or organizations to assess career paths can be found in the companion Atlas 1.1 Implementation Guide.
- Patterns in career paths, including findings in terms of education, experiences, and organizations.
- Patterns in the career paths of chief systems engineers (CSEs) in both the Helix dataset and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) certification application dataset.
- Frequently asked questions about career paths, which synthetizes statistical findings reported elsewhere in this report. This section interprets preliminary results for the benefit of systems engineering practitioners as well as for systems engineering leaders.
- Insights on relating career paths to proficiency and project performance. This section relates career paths to proficiency in systems engineering. It also describes the relationship between proficiency and project performance.
This Guidebook is intended to provide individuals and organizations with critical insights on the patterns of and approaches around systems engineers’ career paths.