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Industrial Engineering vs.

Engineering Management
Shawn Wasserman posted on November 15, 2013 | Comment | 2701 views
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In the academic world, Industrial Engineering (IE)
and Engineering Management (EM) are similar
enough that it can be easy to confuse the two;
especially since a number of programs seem to merge
the two disciplines.
Masters of Engineering
Management eBook
In response to this confusion, researchers from theUniversity of Missouri - Rolla (now the Missouri
University of Science and Technology) set out to determine a general usage for each of the terms. By
studying the individual departments’ course offering, they were able to produce a general comparison of
these two areas.
The following table compares the most popular terms Universities used to describe a Bachelor’s in
Engineering Management (BEM), a Master’s in Engineering Management (MEM), and a Bachelor’s in
Industrial Engineering (BIE):
Engineering Management
(BEM and MEM)
Industrial Engineering
Most Popular Term
· Management
· Project Management
· Business
· Problem Solving
· Organization
· Cost/Finance
· Communication
· Technology
· Design
· Information
· Improvement
Most Popular Terms in
· Engineering or Engineers
· Systems
· People or People/Human Factors
· Manufacturing/Production

According to these findings, it seems that EM courses focus on training middle management and
executive positions; while IE courses focus on training facilitators and team leaders. Or to put it another
way, EM works to improve the business while IE is concerned with the design and improvement of a
In the table below, a similar comparison is made of the core courses offered in each of these disciplines:
Most Popular Course
· General Management &
· Accounting
· Marketing
· Project Management
· 18 Hrs on Emphasis Area
Vs. · Ergonomics, Human Factors,
Work Design
· Production Planning, Inventory
Control, Scheduling
· System Analysis
· Automation, Simulation, or
Manufacturing Processes
· Facilities Design, Material
Handling, & Plant Layout
Most Popular Course
Total Quality Management

Vs. Statistical Process Control &
Quality Methods
Operations & Project
Vs. Operations Research
Senior Seminars & Internships
or Senior Design
Vs. Senior Design or Project
Most Popular Courses
in Common
· Economics (Micro and/or Macro and/or Engineering)
· Probability & Statistics
In general, there isn’t much overlap between the core courses for each discipline, beyond one economics
and one probability and statistics course. Additionally, while the two areas seem to have similar courses
covering quality, design, and operation, the EM courses focus more on management while the IE courses
focus more on field work.
Masters of Engineering
Management Directory
Upon closer inspection of the courses, researchers found that BEM curriculums had more overlap with
BIE curriculums than vice versa. They also noted that BIE curriculums and BEM curriculums with a focus
on IE are too similar to differentiate. Thus, while the integration of the latter is considered to be a more
valuable degree, they are similar enough to remain staunch competitors.
Given this knowledge, it seems to me that the best path would be to go with a BIE to begin one’s career
and a MEM to round it out later. As I mentioned in an earlier article, engineering teams would likely not
accept a manager right out of university. As such, the BIE seems to give you more tools for entering the
real world, while the EM course will be of most value later in your career. At which point there are plenty
of online MEM courses to choose from.
So you want to be an Engineering Manager?
Shawn Wasserman posted on November 14, 2013 | Comment | 2342 views
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The engineering profession is growing, as is the demand for capable leaders. The transition into business
administration is not easy, however, as many engineers are not taught the necessary business skills in
their traditional curriculum. For those looking to make the leap into leadership positions, a master’s in
engineering management (MEM) may be the solution for bridging this knowledge gap and building the
skills necessary for long-term success.
Masters of Engineering
Management eBook
MEM programs, like the one at Stevens University, focus on the three main skills an engineering manager
needs to support upper management: understanding the problem, assessing the data, and making a
business decision. These programs also tend to operate more like they’re for an MBA than an engineering
degree. For example, the Cockrell School at the University of Texasstresses that a successful engineering
manager requires leadership, legal, financial, and marketing training.
According to Dr. Koonce, the Associate Dean at Ohio University, the reason for the MEM’s focus on
business is that “After a couple of promotions, [an engineer’s] job doesn’t require so much technical skill
anymore… Instead, they need new skills to help them successfully lead and manage technical teams.”
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Management Directory
As shown in the table below, all the schools researched offer their MEM program online, though not
always on-campus. This makes a lot of sense, as many engineers will want to continue working as they
complete the program so they can still pay their bills and put the time in to earn further promotions. This
mentality has also created quite a boom in the online market for engineering master’s degrees, providing
students with many more options than there ever were before.
If you are considering an MEM program, keep in mind that they are generally targeted at working
professionals. In fact, many programs require you to have at least 2-5 years of experience before they’ll
even consider your application. The reason being that most engineering teams will want to know you’ve
earned your chops technically before they will be willing to trust you as a manager.
Noun 1. industrial management - the branch of engineering that deals with the creation and
management of systems that integrate people and materials and energy in productive ways

Iindustrial engineering: applied science, engineering science, technology, engineering - the
discipline dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems;
"he had trouble deciding which branch of engineering to study"