Systems designer/builder: job description

Systems designer/builder: job description

Systems designers (also known as systems builders or architects) analyse, design and modify networks, computer systems and websites.
Computer literacy and familiarity with programming languages and relevant software is essential for this job.

What does a systems designer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

The skills of systems designers are called upon when new networks, websites or IT systems are required or when operational problems are encountered with existing systems.

Typical requirements of the job include:

  • researching current arrangements
  • consulting clients and systems analysts about required specifications
  • producing designs that utilise suitable software and hardware
  • liaising with other IT staff such as software engineers and programmers
  • producing, installing and implementing the new system
  • testing and modifying it to ensure that that it operates reliably

Typical employers of systems designers

  • Software firms
  • IT consultancies
  • Large engineering, telecommunications and computer companies
  • Major commercial and industrial organisations
  • Retailers
  • The Civil Service
  • Financial institutions

Self-employment is often possible for designers with several years' experience.

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies, in local/national newspapers and in publications such as TARGETjobs IT & Technology, Computing and Computer Weekly as well as their online equivalents.

Qualifications and training required

Computer literacy and familiarity with programming languages and relevant software is essential to the job. Few designers enter the profession immediately after graduation: the majority begin their careers as programmers or analysts.

Graduates with a computer science or software engineering degree are generally preferred, although a scientific, technical, engineering or mathematics degree and/or programming experience gained during placements and vacation work may also be helpful. For graduates without experience or a relevant qualification, a postgraduate IT qualification will be required.

Key skills for systems designers

  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Logical working
  • Capable of meeting high standards
  • Teamworking skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills