Top Companies for Systems Engineers With Partnerships at Elite Universities

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The MITRE Corporation

MITRE is a non-profit organization that manages federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and public-private partnerships. Their interests range from artificial intelligence to quantum information science to space security to cyber resilience. For ten consecutive years, Forbes Magazine has listed MITRE as one of America’s best employers.

MITRE invests more than $7 million per year in internal and external training. It also offers its employees up to $24,000 per year in tuition reimbursement, with bonuses for earning graduate-level degrees, as well as assistance in repaying student loans. MITRE’s educational offshoot, the MITRE Institute, hosts hundreds of courses per year.

MITRE’s Systems Engineering (SE) Fellowship for Federal Employees offers a 12-month program that seeks to enable the next generation of government tech leaders to design and sustain systems of critical national importance. It is provided in collaboration with the University of Virginia’s accelerated master’s program in systems engineering.

MITRE also maintains corporate and strategic partnerships with other top engineering schools, including the systems engineering program at Cornell.

Northrop Grumman

With 90,000 employees and annual revenue of over $30 billion, Northrop Grumman is a major manufacturer and provider of defense technology. Its four main business sectors include aerospace systems, mission systems, defense systems, and space systems. Northrop Grumman has historically handled massive and futuristic projects such as the development of the B-2 bomber, an overhaul of the United Kingdom’s defensive radar systems, and the construction of the Cygnus spacecraft.

Rotational assignments through Northrop Grumman’s Pathways program give entry-level employees real-world experiences across multiple areas of the company’s business. Recent graduates will receive guided career coaching and access to the Northrop Grumman Development Center.

And those looking to get their undergraduate or graduate tuition reimbursed can claim $10,000 to $15,000 per year through Northrop Grumman's Education Assistance Program.

Northrop Grumman partners with engineering programs at Johns Hopkins University, California State University - Long Beach, Purdue University, and many others.

Raytheon Technologies Corporation

Founded in 1922, Raytheon is one of the largest aerospace and defense manufacturers in the world. Following a recent merger, the company now boasts 195,000 employees and annual revenue of nearly $100 billion.

Raytheon mass-manufactured components for radar systems during WWII, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the global supply by war’s end. Today, it’s still working in radar, having earned lucrative contracts with the military leaders of the US, Saudi Arabia, and Poland to redesign their radar systems. But its reach also extends to many other domains.

Raytheon is committed to the growth of its employees, and offers internal/external trainings, mentorship programs, and leadership development programs for new hires. For those looking to give back, the company offers skills-based volunteer opportunities and programs that foster K-12 STEM education. Full-time Raytheon employees are also eligible for tuition assistance of up to $10,000 per year.

Raytheon is a corporate partner of the systems engineering programs at both the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California.

The Boeing Company

Over its 100-plus year history, The Boeing Company has grown to become an international behemoth, with over 160,000 employees and annual revenue of $76.5 billion. It is currently the largest exporter in the US, by dollar value.

The Boeing Company’s three main corporate divisions are Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defense, Space, and Security (BDS); and Boeing Global Services. An estimated 1.5 percent of Boeing employees participate in the Technical Fellowship program, a selective career path where top engineers and scientists help determine the technical direction of the company.

Boeing has an industry-leading tuition assistance program, Learning Together, that applies to hundreds of accredited colleges and universities both online and around the world. As long as you are enrolled in an eligible STEM degree or certificate program, Boeing puts no limit on the amount of financial assistance an employee can receive. The company also offers digital learning resources and a range of development programs that can help employees upskill quickly.

Boeing is a corporate partner of the systems engineering programs at both Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Southern California, which are ranked in the national top three by the US Department of Defense.

Siemens

Siemens is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe and maintains a large global presence. Over 173 years old, it employs an estimated 385,000 people and generates over €86 billion in annual revenue. Siemens offers a wide range of goods and services, most prominently in medical technology and industrial automation.

Siemens is committed to furthering quality education within the workforce. In 2019, the company trained over 10,400 apprentices and dual students worldwide with its online digital learning platform. They also invested €287 million—approximately €749 per employee—n lifelong learning opportunities. Siemens employees spend an average of 22 hours a year on upskilling through digital content provided by the company; those seeking institutional education may also receive tuition assistance or scholarships if deemed eligible.

A corporate partner of several renowned universities across the globe, Siemens also conducts joint research activities into systems engineering with the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Cisco Systems

Cisco is a multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in Silicon Valley. Founded in 1984, it played a critical role in building out the internet through the creation of local area networks (LANs).

With over 75,000 employees and $51 billion in annual revenue, it’s one of the most prestigious purveyors of networking hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment. In 2020, Fortune ranked Cisco as the fourth-best company in the world to work for, based on employee satisfaction.

Employees at Cisco can receive tuition reimbursement of $7,500 per year for undergraduate programs and $10,000 per year for graduate programs. The company also provides numerous professional development opportunities: the chance to swap some or all of one’s time with another position, or flex into other roles and capacities. Throughout, Cisco’s People Deal Manifesto focuses on supplying employees with the resources they need to progress their capabilities and careers.

Cisco is an industrial collaborator with the Center for Information and System Engineering (CISE) at Boston University.

BAE Systems

BAE is a multinational company specializing in aerospace, security, and defense technologies. Headquartered in England but represented worldwide, it’s the largest defense contractor in Europe, with over 85,000 employees and £18 billion in annual revenue. BAE divides its business sectors into electronic systems, cyber and intelligence, platforms and services, air, maritime, and HQ.

BAE is committed to providing all levels of employees with career growth opportunities and training options. They offer multi-year rotational programs, as well as an Engineering Leadership Development Program, for recent engineering graduates. Employees can also receive up to $12,000 per year in tuition assistance for undergraduate programs and $15,000 per year for graduate programs.

Since the 1990s, BAE has partnered with the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. They’re also a corporate partner at Cornell Systems Engineering, where BAE employees receive special benefits when applying to the Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering program.

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the leading management and information technology consulting firms in the nation. Founded over 106 years ago, it’s headquartered in the Greater Washington DC area and maintains approximately 80 other offices around the globe.

Once referred to as “the world’s most profitable spy organization” by Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton consultants such as Edward Snowden have been involved in some of the most widely publicized world events of the 21st century—and likely done even more behind the scenes.

Booz Allen Hamilton offers its employees competitive benefits in healthcare, mental wellness, and flexible time off. The company’s FlexEd program also allows employees to receive between $5,000 and $10,000 per calendar year in tuition reimbursement, and its Expert’s Program delivers personalized learning experiences that can take an employee’s skills to the next level.

Booz Allen Hamilton is a corporate partner at Cornell Systems Engineering, where employees can pursue a targeted online master of engineering in systems engineering degree at a 10 percent discount.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is an American aerospace, defense, and advanced technologies company that employs 110,000 people across the globe. In 2019, they signed a $4.6 billion contract with NASA to build several Orion capsules to help send astronauts back to the Moon. The company adheres to the double helix methodology, a systems development philosophy that combines experimentation, technology, and a warfighter’s concept of operations to promote innovation. Lockheed Martin has won the Robert J. Collier Trophy, a prestigious annual aviation award, six times.

Lockheed Martin has a corporate-wide New Employee Orientation program to help recent grads transition from college into employment, along with several other resources designed to help them succeed. Buddy programs, new hire clubs, and mentorship opportunities are all available. The company also offers site-specific training and development programs to support educational advancement, as well as tuition reimbursement schemes.

Lockheed Martin has a strategic partnership with the University of Maryland’s Division of Research, and its STEM scholarship program extends to over 60 different American universities.

International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation

IBM is a multinational technology and consulting company with over 350,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries. Over its 109-year history, it’s played a significant role in shaping the world: from the invention of the hard drive to the magnetic stripe card to the Jeopardy-winning Watson. Today it’s as innovative as ever, leading the way in quantum computing and internet of things (IoT) deployments.

IBM employs Myca, a cutting-edge cognitive career coach who can guide employees through their careers. They also host a new hire orientation and an Academic Learning Assistance Program (ALAP). IBM may reimburse tuition in full for programs that directly relate to an employee’s job description, and offers competitive educational assistance packages for tangential degree programs as well. Altogether, IBM invests $750 million annually to ensure its employees have leading-edge skills.

In 2010, IBM began a strategic partnership with the University of Central Florida to help create a competitive systems engineering workforce, investing more than $2 million in software and consulting.

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