industrial engineering?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by GQgeek, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Anyone in the field? I'm not asking for myself... Someone I know was talking about doing a degree in it, and I'd never really heard of it before. The wikipedia article on it is pretty vague and makes it sound like a lot of different things. What is the reality of the field and is it a worthwhile career? How hard is the program compared to other engineering programs?
     


  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I know a lot of industrial engineers. it seems to be a very good field to get work in, even today. basically, you can work in a factory, you can design things that are manufactured, or you can consult for factories. the way I understand it, you deal with the manufacturing process, and things that are used in the manufacturing process.
     


  3. justsayno

    justsayno Senior member

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    My impression was that manufacturing in the US is a dying industry, and It'll be competitive to land a job after graduation in manufacturing. However, the quant skills learnt in IE may be transferable to other professions.
     


  4. ken

    ken Banned by Request

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    It is a lot of different things, much in the same way that EE and ME are lots of different things. Any good engineering college will have IE included in the "big three" (EE, ME, and IE).

    Industrial engineers are usually involved with designing the flow of production, which could include input on materials, material-sourcing, manufacturing, environment, human resources, outsourcing, automation, etc.

    And just because a company manufactures in China doesn't mean its engineers are Chinese. It's safe, like most engineering degrees (and, really, any degree; labor is outsourced, not talent).
     


  5. Arthur PE

    Arthur PE Senior member

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    imo the big 3 or core engineering disciplines are civil, elec, mech
    my school has a well ranked IE program

    imo you would be better off doing a general mech degree and taking electives in IE
    ME's and EE's are routinely trained to do IE work, for example an EE in a power equip mfg facility or a ME in automotive production
    but an IE can't do ME or EE work and may not understand the product/process well enough to make improvements
    the better you understand the product and process the better you can manage it
    for example a civil with some mining education should do a better job than an IE in mining/minerals

    IE's who specialize in safety are in good demand
     


  6. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    ^^ useful post, thanks.
     


  7. jordache jeans

    jordache jeans Senior member

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    I was an IE major in school. Your friend is not confined to just the manufacturing/engineering world. Since IE is based a lot on statistics and operations research, you can basically go into any business field and directly use a lot of concepts into any sort of operations improvement or into the consulting world. The majority of my graduating class actually went into consulting, followed by engineering firms and then tech companies (non engineering related).

    It's also a lot easier than the other engineering majors since there's basically no science involved, just math.
     


  8. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    Traditionally it covered design and optimization of production and product flow, i.e. how should the warehouse be set-up (warehousing), how should the production workflow look like (manufacturing systems) and how should products be distributed (logistics).

    Hence, traditional areas of employment were manufacturers of goods, but also those companies responsible for moving products around, i.e. trucking and shipping companies, airlines, etc. Management of workflow obviously becomes increasingly important in other areas as well. One area would be hospitals - a bunch of IE graduates I know started working in the healthcare industry.

    The most important tools for industrial engineers are statistics, stochastics and optimization techniques. Therefore, it is no surprise that industrial engineers can be found in financial industries, where these methods are used as well. Obviously the degree builds heavily on mathematics - so stay away if you are not comfortable with mathematical methods. Another way to describe it is: IE builds the bridge between business administration and classical engineering disciplines (aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, etc.).
     


  9. Arthur PE

    Arthur PE Senior member

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    Porsche has a consulting group of IE's (and other disciplines) that do operational studies of healthcare facilities
     


  10. hoozah

    hoozah Senior member

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    do power engineering then move to alberta. if you get your class 2 you can make 200k a year and you don't have to do all that school bs. it's hands on.
     


  11. Arthur PE

    Arthur PE Senior member

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    what is that?
    a power plant operators license?
    what type of plant? coal, gas, etc.?

    do you have a link to the requirements/quals?

    thanks

    edit: found it
    http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/regulations/regs/tspower.htm#TOC2_40
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012


  12. hoozah

    hoozah Senior member

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    http://keyano.ca/ has a great program and you get to work on one of the big oil sand companies (suncor, syncrude, cnrl, shell).

    http://keyano.ca/programs/trades heavy industrial/power engineering - coop

    and when you get your class 2, you can work world wide.
     


  13. Arthur PE

    Arthur PE Senior member

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    sounds like a great career
    there are many like that which do not require college
    in the States water and wastewater operators are in short supply, they aren't making 200k, but make 60-80k + benefits, which ain't bad for a HS education

    in the US there is a stigma with blue collar work, it's 'lessor' or 'menial' or 'lower class'
    everybody wants college for their kid, ending up with huge debt, a worthless degree, and working in the service industry anyways
    not that that is bad, but why not take a trade school program and get to work sooner...
     


  14. hoozah

    hoozah Senior member

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    there's gold mines all over, just have to know where and what to look for.
     


  15. Big Pun

    Big Pun Senior member

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    I've seen this posted before, and I think it is an attitude mainly found in larger cities. In small towns, there is a pride to working with your hands and not being an "office boy". YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012


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