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Scope of Industrial Engineering?

System FailureSystem Failure Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2010 in Engineering Majors
Hey.

Could someone please elaborate on the scope and cirrculum of Industrial Engg/Engg Management/Management Science & Engg? I don't think it's as rigorous as Mech/Electrical right? Going by the name it seems to be closely related to management/economics besides regular engg.

Also, if you had to choose b/w Industrial Engg and Computer Science Engg, which one would you choose? I know, it entirely depends upon a person's interest but give me your take on each.

Thanks :)
Post edited by System Failure on
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Replies to: Scope of Industrial Engineering?

  • winbackerwinbacker Posts: 87Registered User Junior Member
    Industrial engineering is a combination of basic/fundamental engineering courses coupled with lots of applied maths courses, statistical quality control, modeling and, depending on where you go, sometimes a bit of finance/accounting.

    The applied maths courses are heavily focused on optimization problems; specifically for logistics, transportation, routing, inventory control, supply/demand forcasting, etc etc. It's very much related to management science, but very quantitative in nature.

    As to your decision between industrial vs computer eng. it depends on your interests. If you like lots of applied maths, Industrial could be for you. If you prefer computers and programming, comp. eng might be better.
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    "Also, if you had to choose b/w Industrial Engg and Computer Science Engg,"

    Hey, I'm making the same decision here too. Planning on either Industrial or Computer Science, but don't know which. I think I would prefer Industrial Engineering, but Computer Science pays enough to potentially make that more worth my while and there's a greater demand for it. (Though based on the subjects as well, I think my next favorite would be Computer Science, so it's not a huge stretch.)

    I don't know what reasoning you've applied to it yet, but if you haven't, check out the starting salaries, job placements, job postings at your career center, etc to gauge how much you think you think you could make with each of those majors, and what sorts of jobs you would get. Also try to take a look at the student body at your school and how the average person in Industrial Engineering compares to the average person in Computer Science (so you can better gauge where around the average you should expect to be). At my school Industrial is considered the easiest, and according to someone here, is the thing that all the people who fail at other engineering fields do, where as if Computer Science isn't the hardest, it's close.

    If you have looked at that, well, you're in the same situation I'm in I guess.
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Posts: 2,853Registered User Senior Member
    An I.E. degree with some CS electives (grad school) is an excellent degree...especially if the I.E. degree has a systems engineering slant to it. Keep in mind that software engineering is basically applying systems engineering principles to the development of software. The usual courses for an graduate I.E. program with a systems slant are:

    - Systems Engineering (to learn the systems life-cycle)
    - Project Management (to manage the systems life-cycle and teams and budgets)
    - Operations Research (linear programming/management science)
    - Engineering Economics
    - Quality Engineering Management (how to enforce quality)
    - Computer Science or EE or other engineering specialty to apply the I.E. concepts to
  • System FailureSystem Failure Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    @QwertyKey: Yes, exactly my concern! >.<
    I'd say I'm more inclined towards Industrial Engg but Comp Science pays extremely well dude. And, Comp Science is probably my second choice only because I don't know programming. But that's something I can learn right? I'm genuinely interested in Computers. Yeah well, I know people say Industrial is the easiest and you don't have to slog day and night like Mech/Electrical Engg majors. But I don't really care what people say. I'm not taking up Industrial Engg because it's the easiest!

    Since IT is on a roll, we could do a minor in IT/Computers or something if possible?
    Alternatively, we can do some computer courses from outside. Like, I know people who are doing Math honours and all and learning programming for fun from somewhere else. But I don't really know if we'll acquire the appropriate skills that way.


    @winbacker: Hmm. From your explanation, Industrial Engg definitely seems to be my cup of tea. But I think a good amount of math is required in Comp Science too!
  • System FailureSystem Failure Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    @Globaltraveler: Thanks for the info :)
    So, IE will be a decent mix of mech engg, computer science and some business/eco stuff!
  • purduefrankpurduefrank Posts: 485Registered User Member
    You should look at some of the other threads on here about I.E.

    The kind of classes and education you'll get vary a lot depending on the school you go to. There are a number of programs that are more like an econ degree with a bunch of operations research mixed in. At Purdue, there is a strong emphasis on manufacturing - and we also take quite a few classes in ECE, ME, and Civil... Giving you more of a general engineering background with the idea that you'll be more capable of working with other engineering majors in an industrial setting - and so that you can become a P.E. The bottom line is check out the program that you would be going to and make sure that you know what you're getting into.
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    @QwertyKey: Yes, exactly my concern! >.<

    IE graduates from top schools make more than CS majors. They are also more in demand.
  • System FailureSystem Failure Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    @purduefrank: Hehe. After posting this thread I realized there were a couple of similar threads around and just finished checking all of 'em out. And yes, I agree the cirrculum depends upon each school. I don't want to take too many economics courses and say I have an Engg degree. I want a good amount of both.

    @G.P.Burdell: Wow. Really? That pretty much solves my remaining problems. Thanks! :)
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Wow. Really? That pretty much solves my remaining problems. Thanks!

    Keep in mind: that's not always the case. It will depend on the school and concentration. If you concentrate in OR, for example (a good combination of industrial engineering and computer science) from a top school (say, Stanford, Georgia Tech, MIT, or Berkeley), you will be in demand at a high salary. If you go to a low ranked school and concentrate in Ergonomics, you won't be as in demand and will make much less salary.
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Posts: 2,853Registered User Senior Member
    Let me add something here....

    There is more and more of the job opening called "multi-disciplinary engineer" popping up in the defense industry (at least here in the DC area). They want folks who can apply engineering concepts (requirements, testing, implementation, etc) to a variety of engineering specialties.

    This "multi-disciplinary engineer" may work on a signal-processing project even though their background is not EE, CS or Physics.
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    I had something longer and with lots of babble here, but I figured something shorter would be appropriate.

    GP Burdell, what's your opinion of Industrial Engineering (with taking OR classes as opposed to ergonomics classes) at UMich vs. Computer Science? There is a huge difference in median starting salaries (in 2008 ~17K) but would that be because too many people are taking ergonomics classes as opposed to operations research classes?
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    If you look at the 2009 numbers, they are almost identical (just a thousand apart):

    Michigan Engineering | 2008-2009 Salary Information

    Edit: I see the numbers you're look at. CS major salaries went like this per the salary survey:

    2006: $57k
    2007: $65k
    2008: $74k
    2009: $60k

    I'm not really sure what happened in those middle years, but that's not consistent with what CS majors made at other top tier schools. At Georgia Tech, for instance, the CS majors have a steady median right above $60k.
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Posts: 4,590Registered User Senior Member
    Okay, thanks.

    Also, is a minor in Computer Science worthwhile (with a major in Industrial Engineering) or would Math or Economics be preferred?
  • System FailureSystem Failure Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    @QwertyKey: I was thinking about that too. But like someone mentioned before, IE already consists a lot of applied math as well as some economics. Considering that, a minor in CS would be a "better" option for minor. Strong programming skills are an added advantage no matter what engg major you take up.
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell Posts: 2,294User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Strong programming skills are an added advantage no matter what engg major you take up.

    Not really. Chemical Engineers do little to no programming these days. Neither do environmental engineers.
    Considering that, a minor in CS would be a "better" option for minor.

    It depends. An OR concentration would fit well with a CS minor. Someone interested in a financial engineering master's program would probably be better served by an econ minor.
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