Why Pursue an Industrial Engineering Degree?

To survive and prosper in today's global markets, companies must constantly improve the quality of their products and services, the productivity of their organizations (how well they use their resources), and how quickly they can respond to changing customer needs/wants.  This is what Industrial Engineers do.

Industrial Engineers apply engineering design to creating (& improving) systems that deliver products or services.  For instance, an IE may be involved in designing a new production plant for a car manufacturer (a product), or in designing an effective emergency room for a hospital (a service).  In designing these systems, an Industrial Engineer integrates equipment, materials, energy, information, and people together to meet business objectives, while insuring product/service quality and reliability, the safety and satisfaction of customers  and employees, and the effective and productive use of resources.

IEs must have good people skills and enjoy working with people.  The systems that IEs work with encompass the entire organization and impact all its units.  In addition to having excellent mathematical/engineering skills, IEs must be able to converse with upper management to convince them to fund large capital projects; communicate effectively with people from many parts of the organization to identify their needs and problems, and understand how to improve their jobs; and make sure employees, management, customers, and suppliers "buy in" to the proposed solution, overcoming fear of change.  Technically-savvy students interested in engineering but also working closely with business and people are often drawn to Industrial Engineering.  IE's are a natural bridge between the technical and business worlds of many organizations, and move readily into technical management roles later in their careers.  

IEs have an incredibly diverse range of career options. Career opportunities can be found in traditional manufacturing, such as automotive and electronics manufacturing, and the aviation and ship-building industries; process industries such as chemical, steel, pharmaceuticals, and paper manufacturing; construction industries; and service-oriented industries such as financial institutions, hospitals and health care, transportation & logistics, government, and business systems consulting. Recent employers include many Fortune 500 companies such as Northrop Grumman, Cameron International, Halliburton, General Electric, Intel, Motorola, Walmart, Shaw, Exxon, Continental Airlines, and Entergy.

The future job demand for industrial engineers is very promising. The national Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of Industrial Engineers is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2010 to 2020. In Louisiana, the projected demand for IEs is even greater. The Louisiana Workforce Commission projects the number of Industrial Engineering jobs in Louisiana to increase by 840 new jobs, or 41.4% growth, and Industrial Engineering ranks in the top 20 fastest growing occupations in Louisiana (out of 700 job categories). same trend is true for the state of Louisiana. As firms facing global competition seek new ways to improve productivity, they will increasingly turn to industrial engineers to achieve these improvements.

The latest typical salary range for IE graduates from LSU is $65-90K/year for the bachelors degree, and $70-90K for the masters degree. Demand for IE graduates remains high even during the current economic downturn, and over the past three years over 90% of IE graduates had either accepted a job offer or been admitted to a graduate program at time of graduation. Many students have multiple offers at graduation.  With very few exceptions, students were placed in a job or continued on for graduate studies within 3 months of graduation.

Our IE students have many internship opportunities, and almost all students graduate with at least one internship experience.