Job Family: Information Technology, Computer Science, and Mathematics Computer Systems Officers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard

Photo 1: Systems officer inspects computer network cables. Photo 2:
Systems officer review new computer program.

Short Description
The military uses computers in almost every aspect of its operations. Military computers are used to process payroll and personnel information, control the targeting and firing of weapons systems, account for money, gather and analyze intelligence data, and make it easier to communicate around the world. Computer systems officers direct the operations of computer centers and are involved in the planning and development of computer systems.

What They Do
Computer systems officers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Assess information technology needs and develop plans and budgets
  • Evaluate bids and monitor contracts for information technology products and services
  • Plan and manage computer and network system security programs
  • Analyze mission requirements and translate them into computer system requirements
  • Lead the design, development, testing, and maintenance of computer software programs and data bases
  • Plan and oversee the installation of new systems and equipment
  • Direct teams of computer systems specialists
  • Oversee user training on specific systems

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Good organizational and management skills
  • Interest in planning and directing the work of others
  • Interest in technical work

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
  • Fiscal and contract management
  • Assessment of computer equipment needs
  • Computer systems development and project management

Work Environment
Computer systems officers in the military work in offices or at computer sites on military bases or aboard ships.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian computer systems officers work for a wide variety of employers, such as banks, hospitals, manufacturers, financial firms, government agencies, and firms that design computer systems. They perform duties similar to those performed by military computer systems officers. They may also be called information systems directors, computer systems engineers, software engineers, or systems analysts.

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