It attracts countless international students annually. It promises the best of Engineering and Business. It is gives undergrads key notions about the design, planning and optimisation of production and manufacturing processes. That’s the core of an Industrial Engineering Bachelor’s degree.
Stay tuned as we look at the bigger picture and see why you should study it, what to expect from an Industrial Engineering degree, and what are your career prospects.
Why studying Industrial Engineering is the real deal?
There’s no one reason why a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering is the best career path you can take. So, let’s focus on the main ones:
- You’ll be part of a dynamic field - technology always evolves, and you will have to keep up with it all, always learning how to bring about innovation.
- There’s no such thing as a bad idea in Industrial Engineering - in your Bachelor’s studies, you’ll always be encouraged to come with solutions and different angles of approach.
- Studying Industrial Engineering is flexible - you can pursue a more technical or a more management-oriented path, customizing your approach to Industrial Engineering.
- Look around and you’ll only see industrial engineers - your cup, your laptop, your scarf, your notebook: everything needs someone to plan their life cycle. Yup, that's the Industrial Engineer.
What are the differences in Industrial Engineering university programmes around the world
Seeing how this study option is a combination of two systems, in Industrial Engineering there isn’t a consensus on how the subject should be taught and studied. For instance:
- Turkey has a strong technical focus, even containing physics courses;
- Denmark shifts the attention back to management, making the program less technical;
- The United Kingdom, like Finland, puts management in the foreground;
- United States is more case-study based, giving you real problems to solve in groups.
What are typical courses during an Industrial Engineering degree?
While courses like Supply Chain Management are also taught in Business programmes, Industrial Engineers try to solve the problems by using scientific management techniques along with mathematical concepts.
Here’s what you’ll learn if you choose a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering:
- Production and Operations planning: you will learn to identify your customer’s needs, product requirements, and how to engage vendors;
- International production and operation management: you will learn to take into account local production market and international customer requirements;
- Materials handling: this covers the manual handling of raw material, finished goods, rejected goods and scraps.
- Logistics and Operations scheduling: the last steps of the operation planning.
Students who studied Engineering Management in Denmark and Industrial Engineering in the USA can tell you more about each countries’ specific, being the most qualified and experienced in that particular teaching method.
What will I actually do as an Industrial Engineer?
As an Industrial Engineer, you optimize the production and manufacturing processes. But what does that mean? Let’s look at some problems Industrial Engineers deal with:
- Where, in a factory, should machines be located, so that the time it takes for each produced commodity to pass through the manufacturing process is minimized?
- How much inventory should be kept, in order to satisfy customer demand? At the same time, how can you minimize the costs of inventory holding?
- Where should production plants be opened, so that the costs of transporting finished products to customers are minimal?
- How can products be distributed worldwide in a cost-efficient manner?
- How can the quality of care in a hospital be improved by means of changing the hospitals' information system?
What career paths can go for with a degree in Industrial Engineering?
Finding a job in today’s economy can be a tough endeavour, but you can outrun the system by choosing your field of study based on the job market from the very beginning.
As it stands, Industrial Engineering is one of the most sought-after specializations out there today.
It’s not difficult to figure out why it’s so popular: with such a wide range of skills, industrial engineers can work in both technical and managerial positions. That means your job opportunities will double. Some prospective careers that await you are in:
- Service industries;
- Logistics providers;
- Manufacturing industries;
- Consulting and engineering services;
- Research and development firms;
- Wholesale trade.