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Systems Designer (Information Technology)

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Systems Engineer and Solutions Architect.

Systems designers (IT) create detailed design documentation for the development and integration of computer systems to meet the needs of businesses.


    Systems designers (IT) may perform the following tasks:

  • work with analysts on the feasibility of a conceptual design by taking technical specifications prepared by the analyst and designing system components to meet the set requirements
  • draw up detailed design documentation including charts and diagrams that indicate the various components involved
  • prepare instructions for programmer implementation
  • talk with other team members (analysts and programmers) to ensure functionality according to systems specifications, and develop solutions as problems or issues arise
  • design monitoring and performance measurement processes


  • able to understand and solve complex problems
  • logical and analytical approach to solving problems
  • good communication skills S
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to direct the work of others
  • willing to actively maintain personal skills and knowledge of IT

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Figures/Computational Technical/Engineering


Applications System Designer - undertakes design tasks for business computer systems such as payroll or stock control.

Database Design Specialist - plays an important role in devising databases to suit large data acquisition, storage and retrieval requirements. Designers develop database solutions that satisfy clients' needs for high-speed access, multiple views of the same information, accuracy and security, and the sharing of information between systems.

Network Designer - is generally involved in design functions in contexts that include in-house networks or larger, distributed mainframe systems. Design work in this context can be very complex, with large numbers of protocols, platforms and software solutions that need to communicate with each other.

Operations Systems Designer - is involved in the design and implementation of operational systems, with the objective of optimising systems performance. The focus is on operational systems such as mainframes, desktop and mid-range solutions.

Software Designer - works in the area of design and modification of the operating environment software that links computer software and hardware. The role is sometimes also described as Software Engineer, implying some knowledge of the associated hardware on which the software runs.

Systems Architect - examines the hardware requirements that support systems implementation across personal computers, mainframes or networks.

Systems Designer (Research) - specialises in systems investigation and research for the ongoing development of hardware and software.


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a systems designer you usually need to study information technology, computer science or computer engineering at university, specialising in computing systems, and have substantial systems engineering industry experience. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required.

Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    Membership of the Australian Computer Society is available to those who hold, or are working towards, suitable qualifications. There is a range of membership types available, allowing progression through the various levels as a member's career develops.


Systems designers work in a range of occupational environments. They may work in IT-specific industries, which can be large or small, as well as other industries requiring their expertise. With experience and sufficient start-up money, there are opportunities for self-employment.

In some organisations, the systems design role may be combined with the analyst and/or programmer role. Career progression is generally from programmer/engineer to analyst, to designer.

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