Industrial engineering is all about designing and managing methods and procedures to increase productivity, quality and efficiency in manufacturing process. That is, in essence what industrial engineering is. The increasing complexity of industrial operations and the expansion of automated processes in factories and offices is contributing to the demand for industrial engineers. And while it sounds hard, the actual work in this field is all the more difficult.
Now, usually people don’t have a really good idea what Industrial Engineering is actually or the type of words Industrial Engineers actually do. And you will be usually asked to follow the herd and just follow the same course of action that all the others are doing. BIG mistake. In ignorance, people may even tell you not to pick this field. What they don’t realize is this field is offering a LOT of opportunities in the world.
Industrial Engineering is in virtually every industry vertical today. Manufacturing, technology, hardware, retail, healthcare. Many universities offer business classes related to the field of Industrial Engineering in areas such as logistics, supply chain management and analytics. These courses can offer you a good grasp on the business side of a company too. While you may want to take other majors, you should also understand that Industrial Engineering and Business go well together. An Industrial Engineer would have a good advantage for an MBA degree, specializing in supply chain, marketing or finance as they all complement the technical aspects of Industrial Engineering.
An Industrial Engineer can always explore different areas or work in different roles. For example, you can work on data analysis too and just sit behind a computer all day. Many jobs exist belonging to industrial engineering which require deep data analysis and business analysis. Or if you want to work directly on the production level, there are multiple jobs in areas like logistics engineering, manufacturing engineering, production, forecasting and others too. It is also not necessary that you are working only with machines, computers, operation rooms and the like. Technology is ever evolving and you would have to keep up with all of the new advancements. Hence you will be in constant phase of growth and learning and managing updates. Industrial Engineers can fit perfectly on the back end process of a product. Whether it’s into the manufacturing side, transportation and logistics side, procurement side or any for that matter, the importance of Industrial Engineers can never be overvalued and they will always serve and improve the process. Not only do Industrial Engineers have a profound impact on society’s quality of life but also they can do so while enjoying a flexible career path allows them to advance in many types of organizations. Depending on which domain you have an affinity, you can pursue a more technical or a more management-oriented path, customizing your approach to Industrial Engineering.
Some of the duties and tasks of an industrial engineer can be;
- Design the location of machines in a factory.
- Design computer-aided process planning systems that flexibly vary the sequence of operations to produce a product.
- Design product that will ensure safety of the workers.
- Develop a hardware protection program for spacecraft.
- Design automated material handling systems for the improvement of parts in a factory
If you want a general summary of what an Industrial Engineer does, you can summarize it as;
- They use engineering, mass production and technology to help companies offer services or products better
- They strive to improve product through improved management and quality control
- They use their enhanced knowledge of product requirements, business and safety methods to increase outputs.
Industrial Engineers are virtually needed everywhere. There is a huge scope of this field all over the world. From small companies to giant corporations, industrial engineers can never go out of work.