Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes)

Systems and procedures are designed in the discipline of industrial engineering to satisfy customer needs. Strong knowledge of science, mathematics, and computer programming are requirements for the position.

However, is industrial engineering challenging?

Industrial engineering can be really difficult, yes. You must possess the capacity to analyze issues critically and devise workable, efficient solutions. This implies that you must be able to use your critical thinking abilities to resolve difficult challenges.

Numerous industries employ industrial engineers. They may be in charge of developing new technology like robotics, smart houses, and self-driving automobiles. They also design large-scale projects like power plants and manufacturing complexes.

You might be skeptical about how difficult industrial engineering is. The job route is actually highly competitive. You must take classes and pass tests if you wish to enter the field.

Industrial Engineering Title

What is Industrial Engineering

The study of how to create, plan, erect, run, maintain, and improve an effective and efficient system is known as industrial engineering.

It comprises using scientific ideas while planning, designing, building, running, and improving substantial physical facilities. It also entails the creation of mathematical theories and models to explain how these systems behave.

Industrial engineers are in charge of ensuring that the goods produced by businesses are risk-free, dependable, and economical. Their main objective is to reduce expenses while increasing earnings.

Science, math, economics, and technology are all combined in the area of industrial engineering. Industrial engineers create goods, procedures, frameworks, and services that satisfy consumer wants and specifications.

They also develop the rules and guidelines that control such procedures and goods. It is the duty of industrial engineers to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the goods and procedures they create.

Is Industrial Engineering Hard?

Industrial engineering is challenging and necessitates a wide range of abilities. Industrial engineering is very different from other engineering disciplines in that it has a considerably greater scope.

The field of industrial engineering focuses on all facets of manufacturing and company administration. It has to do with how things are created, constructed, used, maintained, and improved.

You’ll need a wide range of abilities for industrial engineering (IE), such as:

  • Math Skills – Industrial engineering students must have a good grasp of basic algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, probability, and linear algebra.
  • Science Skills – Students should understand the basics of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, geology, and psychology.
  • Computer Programming Skills – A student who wants to become an industrial engineer must learn how to program computers.
  • Logical Reasoning Skills – An industrial engineer must use critical thinking skills to solve problems.
  • Design Skills – Industrial engineers must be creative thinkers who can create innovative solutions to complex problems.

Due of the requirement that you take numerous lab courses and sophisticated math subjects, industrial engineering is a challenging degree. But compared to other engineering specialties like mechanical and electrical, industrial engineering is also simpler.

Because it blends science and art, IE is a fascinating degree. While you may assume that this makes it simple, learning how machines and businesses interact actually requires a lot of work.

Industrial Engineering and Supply Chain Management Effectiveness

You would need to be familiar with all the components that go into manufacturing an automobile, such as the engine, gearbox, steering wheel, tires, etc., for instance, if you were building a car. Additionally, you would have to comprehend how each of those elements functions in conjunction with the others.

When designing an airplane, you would have to take into account all the various components, such as the wings, fuselage, landing gear, etc., as well as how they work together.

Understanding something’s fundamental operation is a prerequisite for truly comprehending how it functions. Once that is done, you can consider how it might be enhanced.

To achieve a goal, everyone must cooperate, which is the purpose of industrial engineering. It calls for a blend of technical expertise, interpersonal communication, and management and workforce interaction skills.

The ability to communicate their methods and logic to a broad audience is a requirement for industrial engineers.

Is There a Lot of Math in Industrial Engineering?

Any engineering field will inevitably involve some level of math and that includes industrial engineering. But how much depends on the project you’re working on.

You’ll probably need a lot of calculus and trigonometry if you’re designing a bridge. You’ll probably need a lot of math if you’re undertaking mechanical design. Math is a tool that industrial engineers utilize to address issues.

Reasons to Study Industrial Engineering

People opt to study industrial engineering for a variety of reasons. I questioned my friend Chris Emery, an industrial engineering graduate from Stanford, about his opinions on the value of studying this field.

The following are his justifications for why students ought to learn IE:

  • IE focuses on using a distinctive fusion of science, technology, and business to solve system challenges.
  • It involves planning the distribution of materials to building sites so that they are delivered with the least amount of confusion, at the lowest cost, and in the most effective way feasible.
  • It involves designing the system to gather hospital data so that administrators, physicians, and nurses may use it.
  • Anyone may put a solution together, but only a skilled industrial engineer knows how to consider iterative development, human aspects, expectation management, and resource management as a single, integrated system.

For an IE to be successful, a systematic approach is necessary. You don’t need to be as meticulous or careful as a programmer.

You might adjust designs depending on what is simple to make or less likely to fail in the field, or you might plan purchases based on assessments that go beyond simple budgeting.

Industrial Engineers Working

Is Industrial Engineering A Good Career?

Industrial engineering is an excellent field of study. You will have the opportunity to participate in exciting and interesting initiatives.

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with highly competent and talented personnel on these initiatives. Your primary duties will be project-based. You will also get the opportunity to work in a pleasant setting with like-minded folks.

Many companies need industrial engineers. Employers will compensate you handsomely if you are willing to work hard and behave courteously. Employers will provide you with adaptable working circumstances, health insurance, a gym membership, paid time off, and company stock.

BLS reports that the annual median wage for an Industrial Engineer is $95,300. The job outlook is also expanding 14% annually, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

IE is used in nearly every sector. Manufacturing, logistics, energy production, transportation, healthcare, finance, food service, and retail are among examples.

Tessa Wilhim, a friend who studied in IE at Stanford, adds, “Industrial engineering is the Swiss army knife of engineering specialties, allowing you to work anywhere from the manufacturing line to the planning office while earning an engineering income.”

She continues by saying that it is not all rosy and that there are obstacles.

One of the reasons I obtained a Six Sigma Black Belt in addition to my bachelor’s degree was to avoid being ridiculed by Six Sigma belts and MBA grads who claim they have the ability to enhance processes as well.

Create an IE Job to Match Your Interests

Due to the variety of opportunities and choices you will have with IE, you can design your own job description. Your career can be tailored to your abilities and interests.

Depending on your area of expertise and the type of organization you want to work for, industrial engineering positions might vary substantially. While some businesses concentrate on product creation and manufacturing, others concentrate on research and development.

Consider working as a consulting industrial engineer abroad if you’re seeking for an employment that will allow you to travel. Working in an international capacity frequently entails traveling to another nation.

Numerous options are available in these professions, including assisting clients with project planning, product design, and business management.

Industrial Engineers Working

IE Combines Business with Technical Skills 

Industrial engineering includes business and technology, contrary to the belief that engineering is exclusively about technical abilities.

You’ll discover how to assess issues, locate remedies, and incorporate those remedies into a project or procedure. You will therefore need to be knowledgeable about both business and technology.

If you want to pursue an MBA with a supply chain management, finance, or marketing focus, an industrial engineering degree is an excellent place to start. This supports IE’s technological side and provides students with a strong foundation for potential career pathways.

Get the Big Data Advantage

Big Data is playing a more and bigger role in our lives. With the growing amount of information at our disposal, we must all make wiser judgments.

Big data has also developed into a very valuable sector. Businesses like Google and Amazon are each making billions of dollars from their various e-commerce platforms and search engine algorithms.

You get a solid basis from IE to work with big data. You can become a data scientist, who is in high demand, by taking a few additional specialized courses in data and statistics.

As more companies use big data to forecast consumer behavior, boost sales, and create new goods, this trend is anticipated to continue.

The need for big data is growing as social media helps to connect the world. The demand for big data is also increasing as a result of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Is Industrial Engineering Hard? Final Thoughts

Although earning a degree in industrial engineering is challenging, it is not as difficult as earning one in mechanical engineering. Although it is difficult to enter IE, there are many exciting opportunities available if you do.

For more information about other fields of study, check out these articles: 

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Written by:

Chris Wood
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. I’ve been working as a Software Engineer for the past 5 years. While working in this field I’ve had the pleasure of developing software in a wide variety of industries. I look forward to using my experience in order to find a role where I can utilize my creativity and passion for solving complex software engineering problems.

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