What is Industrial Engineering?
So what is industrial engineering anyway? It’s simple. Industrial engineering is about figuring out how to do things better. It combines the physical and social sciences together with engineering principles to improve processes and systems. As a result, industrial engineering is the “people person’s” engineering. Industrial engineers improve quality and productivity while at the same time cutting waste like time, materials, money, and energy.
This is why many industrial engineers often get promoted to management positions. For the same reason, industrial engineering is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to run their own business.
“At NC State ISE, in simple terms, we help society figure out how to do things better. We focus on the ‘how’ in order to improve productivity and quality. With industrial engineer functions required in every sector, our NC State ISE students match their personal interest to their career path.”
Dr. Anita Vila-Parrish
Former Director of Undergraduate Programs and current Adjunct Professor
The CEO of the Future is an Industrial Engineer
Studies show that 3x as many S&P 500 CEOs hold undergraduate degrees in engineering rather than business administration. Industrial engineers are leading that trend among the next generation of engineers. They are tomorrow’s business leaders.
The Best Part of Industrial Engineering is its Flexibility
Industrial engineers are pushing the boundaries into new fields every day. These include:
Industrial engineers also work in:
- Service Industries
- Entertainment Industries
- Shipping and Logistics Businesses
- Consulting Firms
The World Needs more Industrial Engineers
As companies battle in the competitive world market, the need for industrial engineers grows. Why? They are the only engineers trained to be productivity and quality improvement specialists. They share the common goal of saving companies money and increasing performance.
Industrial Engineering Offers Workplace Freedom
Industrial engineers have offices as well as work in the settings they are trying to improve. When collecting data, they may observe the staff working in a restaurant or watch workers assembling parts in a factory. When solving problems, they are in an office analyzing the data that they or others have collected.
Industrial Engineering is all about Options
Industrial engineers work in almost any industry, anywhere in the world. They can work in and out of the office while they interact with people and processes they want to improve. It’s this flexibility that gives them a career advantage over other types of engineering. Industrial engineers have the luxury not to specialize. They can keep their options open. This makes them immune to the ups and downs of any individual industry.
Careers in Industrial Engineering
When considering a career in industrial engineering, it’s logical to ask, “Will I be able to get a job?”Answer: “YES”
Industrial Engineering Continues to Grow
Experts predict that industrial engineering employment will continue to grow over the next decade. This is faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, over 93 percent of our students have a job at graduation. Many of them have found one BEFORE the start of their final semester. At our College of Engineering Career Fairs, over one-third of the 300+ companies are looking for industrial engineers.
Companies look for new ways to reduce costs and raise productivity every day. They will turn to industrial engineers to develop more efficient processes and reduce costs, delays, and waste. This leads to job growth for these engineers, even in manufacturing industries with slow-growing or declining employment. Because their work is like that done in management, many industrial engineers leave the occupation to become managers.
It is a great time to be an industrial engineer. They solve problems and there’s never a shortage of those!
For information about the industrial engineering profession, consult these links:
- U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook: Industrial Engineers
- Top Universities: 5 Reasons to Study Industrial Engineering
- Collegeboard.org: Major – industrial Engineer