Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes) - College Insider (2023)

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.

  • Related article: List of the Hardest College Majors

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.

  • Related article: Is an Engineering Degree Hard?
Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes) - College Insider (1)

Table of Contents show

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.

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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.

Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes) - College Insider (2)

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.

(Video) A Major Discussion: Industrial Engineering

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.

Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes) - College Insider (3)

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.

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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.

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

Is Industrial Engineering Hard? (With Student Quotes) - College Insider (4)

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.

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

  • Is Civil Engineering Major Hard?
  • Computer Science vs Computer Engineering: What’s the Difference?
  • Is Mechanical Engineering Major Worth It?
  • Is Aerospace Engineering Major Hard?


How hard is industrial engineering in college? ›

Yes, industrial engineering is hard, but it is one of the easier engineering degrees. This is because industrial engineering is less based on pure math and more about understanding how businesses and machines function in the best way possible.

What is the hard truth about industrial engineering? ›

Industrial Engineering is definitly hard work to combine the factories output & maximum capacity while NOT causing malcontent amoungst the workforce WHO must be motivated to do an excellent job at the fastest pace possible. Never underestimate to fortitude & control of the factory worker.

What is a good GPA for industrial engineering? ›

A 3.0 GPA is considered a good GPA for engineering students. A 3.5 GPA is considered a great GPA, but only if you can maintain the same amount of extracurricular involvement. If your GPA is below a 3.0, work to get it up, and don't include in on your resume.

What is the hardest engineering major? ›

What Is the Hardest Engineering Major?
Top 3 Hardest Engineering MajorsTop 3 Easiest Engineering Majors
1. Chemical engineering (19.66 hours)1. Industrial engineering (15.68 hours)
2. Aero and astronautical engineering (19.24 hours)2. Computer engineering and technology (16.46 hours)
1 more row

What is the hardest engineering in college? ›

1. Electrical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineers are primarily focused on the physics and mathematics of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. ...
  • Students consider electrical engineering to be the toughest major mostly because of the abstract thinking involved.
Jun 2, 2020

Is industrial engineering full of math? ›

Industrial engineers may use knowledge of Maths, Physics but also Social Sciences to analyse, design, predict and evaluate the results and roadblocks of processes and devices.

Why do people choose industrial engineering? ›

You will gain a good grasp of the business side of a company. Understand big data: big data is a growing field and most companies want to make better business decisions by making use of complex chunks of data. Industrial engineering provides you with the foundations for working in this domain.

How stressful is industrial engineering? ›

Industrial engineers may feel stress because their work can have substantial impacts on companies. They may feel pressure from company leaders or stakeholders to improve operations in a short time frame. They may also feel stressed when working with limited budgets to reduce operational costs.

Is industrial engineer a difficult major? ›

Courses like linear and stochastic optimization are considered to be demanding. Further, you will take courses from all disciplines like Thermodynamics and Statics from Mechanical, Basics of Circuits from EE and so on. very engineering specialization has courses that are considered hard, and IE is no different.

Do engineers care about GPA? ›

GPA matters, however, when applying for a job in competitive fields such as law, engineering, finance, and computer science. A stellar GPA can help you get to round one of the interviews because hiring managers often use them to screen potential candidates.

Can you get an engineering job with a low GPA? ›

Employers that value students who earn perfect or nearly perfect grades use students' GPAs to determine whether they are qualified for an engineering job. Virginia Tech suggests reporting a GPA above 3.0, but, with companies that want only graduates with an exemplary student record, a GPA lower than 3.5 may hurt.

Is a 3.3 engineering GPA good? ›

Now that you know what goes into an engineering GPA, you can better understand what makes one “good.” Generally, you'll find that good engineering GPAs fall between 3.0 and 3.8.

How many people fail out of engineering? ›

A staggering 40% of students in engineering do not make it through the first year and of those who make it, 30% would fail in many of its fundamental courses.

What percentage of engineers drop out? ›

Fact: engineering programs are challenging

In fact, some studies have found that 50% of engineering majors change majors or drop out prior to graduation. The primary reason why students drop out of engineering programs is a lack of preparedness for the high level of rigor.

Which engineering has the least math? ›

Mostly all the engineering streams have maths in it. But among them computer science has it the least that I can think of. Electrical, electronics, mechanical and civil requires good knowledge on maths.

What is the #1 engineering school in the US? ›

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the top engineering school in America. They have about 3,120 full-time students enrolled.

What is the top 10 hardest course in college? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects? The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

What is the hardest major? ›

Top 15 Hardest College Majors Table of Contents
  • Chemistry.
  • Environmental Economics and Policy.
  • Environmental Earth Science.
  • American Studies.
  • Nuclear Engineering.
  • Energy Engineering.
  • Astrophysics.
  • Applied Mathematics.

Do you need to be good in math in industrial engineering? ›

You will need a firm understanding of physics and advanced math subjects, including statistics, calculus, and trigonometry. You can also expect to take on several business classes and research design and data analysis classes, especially if you pursue graduate studies.

What kind of math do industrial engineers use? ›

Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Do industrial engineers make 6 figures? ›

Yes, industrial engineers can make six figures.

The average annual salary for all industrial engineers is around $92,000 a year, which is just shy of six figures. Most industrial engineers reach six figures after they have five years of work experience in their career.

How happy are industrial engineers? ›

According to the University of Chicago study, the occupation “Industrial Engineer” was in the top 10 of those with the happiest people.

How can I be good at industrial engineering? ›

According to the BLS, the following qualities are important in industrial engineering:
  1. Critical thinking skills.
  2. Problem-solving skills.
  3. Creativity.
  4. Strong oral communication skills.
  5. Excellent writing skills.
  6. An aptitude for math, engineering, and finance.

What are 3 daily duties of an industrial engineer? ›

Industrial Engineers often have the following responsibilities:
  • Evaluate current manufacturing practices and identify those needing improvement.
  • Manage production schedules and coordinate services to maximize productivity.
  • Enforce quality control to reduce waste.
  • Improve the efficiency of each production process.
Dec 10, 2022

What are some of the problems that industrial engineers face? ›

Listed below are six of the most common and biggest challenges faced by the Engineering Industry and the people working in it:
  • The Climate Change. ...
  • Improve Energy efficiency. ...
  • Skill and Staff Shortage. ...
  • The lack of Female Engineers. ...
  • Project Management. ...
  • Technological Advancements.
Nov 8, 2019

Is it normal to struggle in engineering? ›

Yes, it's completely normal to feel lost. A lot of engineering curriculums are very rigorous, tough, and just stretch you to your mental and emotional limits.

Which engineering has less stress? ›

Computer and information research scientists are related to hardware engineers, but the job is better paid and less stressful (with a score of 66).

What are the hardest classes in industrial engineering? ›

Summary. In summary, the hardest classes in Mechanical Engineering are one of the calculus or physics courses, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and controls/vibrations.

What minor is best for industrial engineering? ›

Several popular minors for industrial and systems engineering students to pursue are the Business Minor, Green Engineering Minor, and a newly created Finance Minor.

Which field is best in industrial engineering? ›

17 careers to pursue with an industrial engineering degree
  • Mechanical designer.
  • Industrial engineer.
  • Quality engineer.
  • Manufacturing engineer.
  • Energy efficiency engineer.
  • Process engineer.
  • Mechanical engineer.
  • Occupational health and safety manager.
Jan 29, 2021

What is a good grade in engineering? ›

Grading System
A75 to 79.99Excellent
B70 to 74.99Very Good
C60 to 69.99Good
D50 to 59.99Above Average
4 more rows

Do engineers need good grades in college? ›

Good grades will definitely help you but you also have to be willing to study and work hard. A 'C' average student can be just as successful in their job as an 'A' student if they take the extra time required to study and work practice problems.

Does your GPA reflect your intelligence? ›

Your grades do not define your intellectual abilities. While good grades do look impressive on paper and can yield numerous benefits, they do not accurately represent one's intellectual abilities.

What degree has lowest GPA? ›

Science majors tend to have lower GPAs on average, with chemistry being the major with the lowest average GPA.

What is the lowest GPA a college will accept? ›

Unofficially, 2.0 is the lowest GPA accepted into a standard college, so while there's a chance that college admission is possible, it's not likely at more than a few institutions.

What GPA do you need to get hired as an engineer? ›

This is especially true for jobs in finance, accounting, tech, and engineering since new grads often flock to these fields. Having a GPA of 3.5 or higher is always an asset here. But even if you're applying for something outside of these categories, your grades can help get you noticed.

What is the average GPA in America? ›

What is the average GPA? The average GPA across all U.S. high schools is 3.0 while the average GPA across all U.S. colleges is 3.1. These numbers will vary significantly between school districts and colleges.

What is the average engineering grade? ›

One hundred level engineering classes have an average GPA of 3.40. Two hundred level courses drop to 3.09, and 300 level courses swing back up to an average of 3.32.

What is a decent 3.5 GPA? ›

A 3.5 GPA correlates to a B+ average and indicates that you have consistently earned above-average grades.

Can a average student pass engineering? ›

Short Answer – Yes, an average student can absolutely crack IIT JEE provided he/ she is ready to work hard with consistency. There have been many average students who cleared JEE with good ranks.

Is it OK to fail a class in engineering? ›

Many of the successful engineers that you see out in the field have failed a class or two while they were in school. Yes, it sucks, but it is not the end of the world by any means. Get this notion that you are lesser or not worthy of being in engineering school out of your head!

Why do students quit engineering? ›

An overwhelming percentage of engineering drop-outs do so because they either lack academic success or can no longer see themselves being successful. Their fear of failure is enough to convince them to give up.

How do you know if engineering is for you? ›

If you like to dig deeper and understand how things work, how they're made or how to make them better, that's a good indicator that engineering may be a good fit for you.

How many engineering students pass out every year? ›

Hundreds of engineering colleges across India churn out over 15 lakh techies every year. But, just over 2 lakh land jobs. Find out more about these colleges and why employability of engineers is low.

What degree has the highest dropout rate? ›

According to the latest findings, computing science degrees have the highest number of students dropping out. The most recent research available says that 10.7% of students never graduate from computing. Advertising comes second, with 7.7% of dropouts. Then, there is agriculture, with a 7.4% dropout rate.

Can I be an engineer but not good at math? ›

Engineering is not so much being good at math but more about having a passion for understanding how things work and interact.

Can I do engineering if my maths is weak? ›

You have asked about Mechanical engineering, you need to be good in Maths. Subjects like 2D-3D geometry, calculus, trigonometry, Statistics and many other is highly essential for this. So, if you are not good in maths, engineering is not recommended for you.

Which engineering is very easy? ›

Which is an easy field of engineering to pursue? Answer- In contrast to other fields, Computer Science engineering is considered to be easier.

Is industrial engineering the easiest engineering? ›

It's probably closest / most comparable in difficulty to mechanical engineering since there is a decent amount of overlap between the two. IE is probably slightly less math intensive than the other engineering disciplines, but still no joke, especially if you get into optimization and stochastic modeling.

Is majoring in industrial engineering worth it? ›

Yes, industrial engineering is a good major for many undergraduate students. Jobs in the architecture and engineering field are projected to grow at a rate of 3% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), as fast as the average job growth for all occupations.

Is industrial engineer a good major? ›

A BS degree in industrial engineering from UB leads to fascinating careers in industries as diverse as airline operations, automotive manufacturing, and financial services. As an IE graduate, you'll have maximum flexibility to pursue your goals for advancement in management as well as systems design.

Are industrial engineers happy? ›

According to the University of Chicago study, the occupation “Industrial Engineer” was in the top 10 of those with the happiest people.

What are 5 things industrial engineers do? ›

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes.
  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants.
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants.
  • evaluating job performance.
  • paying workers.

What engineering has the least math? ›

Mostly all the engineering streams have maths in it. But among them computer science has it the least that I can think of. Electrical, electronics, mechanical and civil requires good knowledge on maths.

How can I be a successful industrial engineer? ›

The job of an industrial engineer requires a distinct set of skills.
Consider adding these industrial engineering skills to your resume:
  1. Problem solving. ...
  2. Communication. ...
  3. Project planning. ...
  4. Quality management. ...
  5. Critical thinking. ...
  6. Management.
Aug 25, 2021


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