DOI: 10.1002/iis2.13093 ISSN:

A Systems View of Career Development for Systems Engineering Leadership

Stueti Gupta, Jonathan Keim, Grace Kennedy, Brandi Opland, Yoeri Sigterman, Brandi Wingate
  • Automotive Engineering


SE leaders' career development journeys are primarily driven by their experiences that shape their capability, qualities, and perspective; however, the pathways that individuals take are not only broad and varied, but also equally affected by personal life decisions and external factors. This paper describes a two‐fold study that aimed to: a) provide insight into commonalities in the career journeys of SE leaders, and b) ascertain how key areas affect career development. Five key areas were explored: education, technical experience, soft skills experience, job satisfaction and work‐life balance. A mixed and multi‐method approach was taken, gathering data from sixty‐one participants through interviews, surveys and facilitated workshop. The study found that although there was no ‘blueprint’ that yields successful SE leadership, there were themes/trends that were common. An influence model was developed to highlight these trends in the form of the key areas, factors affecting them, and the interrelationships between them.

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