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Online Colleges for Industrial Engineering

According to the Institute of Industrial Engineers, this profession boils down to one task. The IIE says on its website that industrial engineers "figure out how to do things better" and more efficiently. And who hires these engineers to do things better? Everyone from manufacturers to amusement parks to medical offices. Unlike degrees for some other engineering specialties, online industrial engineering programs generally include a business component that teaches students how to look at a problem from multiple perspectives. As a result, industrial engineers can just as easily determine how to improve a customer service experience as they can create efficiency in a manufacturing process. If you like puzzles and are always trying to find a fresh take on an old idea, an online industrial engineering degree could be right for you.

Online Industrial Engineering Programs

A bachelor's degree in engineering is sufficient for many industrial engineer positions. However, associate degree programs offer an opportunity to explore engineering careers without committing to a four-year program. Associate degrees in CAD and building information modeling are two options that can be used as a foundation for a future bachelor's degree in engineering. In addition, these degrees provide practical skills that can be put to work immediately. Online industrial engineering programs can also be combined with business and management degrees. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees in operations research, business administration and business strategy are available online and through campus-based programs. Some of the related online industrial engineering degrees that could be of interest to you include the master's of science degree in systems engineering and the master's of science degree in management with a focus on strategy and operations. Of course, there are a number of other online options available ranging from the associate to doctoral degree level.

Job Outlook for Industrial Engineering Careers

Working as an industrial engineer is the most common occupation for graduates of online industrial engineering programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports demand for these engineers should grow faster than average as employers look for ways to boost productivity. From 2008-2018, jobs for industrial engineers are predicted to increase by 14 percent; professionals working in the field earned mean annual wages of $78,450 in 2010, according to bls.gov data. Given their business background, industrial engineers may also go on to work in management positions. Bls.gov reported that those working as industrial production managers in 2010 earned mean annual wages of $95,660. Online industrial engineering degrees may also lead to employment as operations research analysts, engineering technicians or management analysts. Students who have a degree in CAD can go on to work as a drafter or, with further education, an architect. Engineering and business are both hot career fields. Online industrial engineering programs bring both those fields together to give students an education that is both versatile and practical.

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