Certificate Recommendations for IE Majors

Forums Academic discussion Quality, Statistics and reliability Certificate Recommendations for IE Majors

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  • #4286 Reply
    Kylie Hellenbrand

    As my time at UW-Madison progresses, I have been thinking more about life after college and how I can stand out to employers. Does anyone have any recommendations for certificates at UW-Madison that line up well with the required IE curriculum? I have three semesters left and was wondering if there are any interesting certificates that could be fulfilled without pushing back my graduation date (Dec. 2020).

    #4288 Reply
    Adam Mitchell


    In this day and age, very few engineers have international experience. That being said, a certificate in international engineering could be a great way to make yourself stand out. This, however, requires abroad experience and a couple of extra area studies courses. If you cannot make the certificate a possibility, I would recommend still studying abroad and skipping the certificate as it can still make you stand out.

    #4289 Reply
    Nick Lawrence

    Hi Kylie,

    You should check out the Entrepreneurship Certificate for non-business majors. 6 out of the 15 credits we take in out core curriculum (Accounting 300 and ISyE 313), and another 6 count as ISyE or engineering science electives (ex. ISyE 513, 662, 671, ME 549).

    The one class that cannot count toward our ISyE curriculum is MHR 322, Intro to Entrepreneurship for non-majors. I took it and it was an easy A, and a pretty interesting course too.

    If you use your electives wisely it’s a very easy certificate to get!


    #4292 Reply

    Reply to Kylie Hellenbrand of #4286:

    Hey! I looked into many certificates at UW Madison so I know a lot about them and the requirements. I will actually be graduating with 4 certificates and my IE degree in 4 years. I have done 2 online Winterim courses (at another UW School) and transferred the credit, as well as 2 online Summer courses at UW Madison. The rest of the courses I was able to fit into my schedule! From my experience, it IS possible to get more than one if you are interested! Like you mentioned, it is a great way to differentiate yourself to employers.

    The certificates I’m earing actually complement the IE coursework so I only had to take 6 extra classes! First is International Engineering. I came in with the language course requirement fulfilled. The rest is to spend 5 weeks abroad and do a 1 credit seminar when you come back! You can work or study- I did an internship in London for a drone company. Next is Six Sigma, you just need to take the right courses, no extra required. My third is the Business Certificate. This has been such an excellent certificate to earn because you will have a background on Business and Engineering which is a great combo. I had to take 5 extra classes but it was so worth it. My last is the Leadership certificate. No extra classes required! If you have a position in a student organization, this is an easy one to get!

    Each of these certificates have been so valuable to achieve and it didn’t take too much extra work. They each provided me with a unique experience and new knowledge about a specific topic. I hope this helps!

    #4295 Reply

    Hi! I would definitely recommend the Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate at UW-Madison. You don’t have to take any additional IE classes and just have to get a grade of B or above in the required classes. Best of luck!

    #4312 Reply
    Kylie Hellenbrand

    Reply to Nick Lawrence of #4289:

    Hi Nick!

    Thanks for the great insight. The Entrepreneurship certificate seems like a great option for me. Out of curiosity, what courses did you take to fulfill those 6 extra credits (ISyE and/or engineering science electives)? If you could give me any additional information on which classes were interesting, fairly easy/doable, etc., that would be wonderful.

    Thank you!

    #4328 Reply
    Nick Lawrence

    Reply to Kylie Hellenbrand of #4312:

    Hey Kylie,

    Unfortunately I haven’t taken any of the electives yet, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I was planning on taking ISyE 662 and ISyE 513. Professor Hannah Silber is teaching 662 this semester– I had her for ISyE 549 and she was wonderful, so if you can take it with her I bet that’d be a great class!

    #4436 Reply

    Reply to Kylie Hellenbrand of #4286:

    Hi Kylie!

    There are so many amazing certificates that overlap with ISyE that it can be hard to find ones that you want to pursue. I am planning to get 3 certificates with my ISyE degree and I will still be able to graduate in 4 years. Six Sigma is an easy certificate to get since you basically just have to sign up for the right courses plus they count as ISyE electives such as Quality so it’s a win-win! Another certificate that I found to be easy to obtain with a ISyE degree is the Manufacturing certificate. However, you have to be willing to take some more hands-on classes that involve mechanical engineering coursework. Basically you need to take two ME or MS&E courses and obtain a Green Shop Pass with the CNC 1 upgrade. This would be a good certificate to get if you are thinking of going into a manufacturing type of company after college. Finally, I would recommend getting a business certificate. The business certificate would be a little bit harder to obtain because you need to apply to the program and there are a lot more courses you are required to take but all of the courses for the certificate I have found to be extremely interesting and useful in my other ISyE courses! But since you still want to stay on track for graduation, I would recommend the Entrepreneurship certificate because it doesn’t require as many courses but still provides you with a background in a different area.

    I hope that helps!

    #4488 Reply
    John Silva

    I highly encourage industrial engineering students to pursue a Lean Six Sigma certification. I currently am working towards a LSS Black Belt certification through my employer. LSS Black Belt certifications and sometimes Green Belt certifications often require the completion of projects for certification.

    As a student, you may not have the opportunity to work on the projects required for certification. What you can do is pursue White Belt or Yellow Belt certification. These certifications are typically only a one day long class, and do not require any project work.

    An LSS certification makes engineers more marketable, and helps apply skills learned in their engineering curriculum. Additionally, LSS Black Belts make significantly higher wages. Glassdoor reports that LSS Black Belts make in the six figure salary range: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/lean-six-sigma-black-belt-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm


    #4571 Reply

    If you find that with the classes you still need to take you can’t fit in any certificates don’t worry. My advice is to look into the certificates you’d want and take any of those classes because you’d still learn the content and be able to speak to it during interviews. Another thing is to possibly research master’s programs that might interest you at UW-Madison and see if any of their required courses peak your interest. For instance I took ISyE 641 my last semester. It didn’t do anything in terms of certificates for me, but the class sounded really interesting and now that I’m working on my Masters of Manufacturing Engineering it was able to count to that graduation requirement.

    Good luck!

    #4587 Reply
    Amanda Bostwick

    Hi Kylie! I want to second Bella’s comment regarding the Manufacturing Certificate. If you have any interest in the manufacturing world, etc. it’s a great way to get some hands on experience and also take some cool courses that fit in well with the ISyE curriculum. I chose my Engineering Science electives a certain way and I think it only ended up adding 1 additional course to my load. I loved the Mechanical Engineering classes I took for the certificate (ME 313/314). ME 313 involves lots of hands on experience such as welding, soldering, casting, etc; whereas, 314 involved a lot of programmable logic and ended with us programming our own part and 3D printing it. A good way to learn software like SolidWorks and also understand machining in a more hands on way: something we don’t always see in our Industrial Engineering curriculum.

    #4588 Reply
    Stephen Bosak

    Reply to Kylie Hellenbrand of #4286: 

    Hi Kylie! I am a senior at UW Madison in Industrial Engineering and I am about to get the certificate in business and another one in entrepreneurship. Because we have to take Econ 101 and Accounting 100 or 300 this allows you to take most entry level business classes. The entrepreneurship certificate requires 15 credits. The main class is MHR 322 which is the entrepreneurship class which was really interesting. Next there is another 3 credit requirement in advanced entrepreneurship coursework which you can finish by taking accounting 100 or 300. Finally there are 9 credits of coursework left.  You can use ISYE 313 to cover 3 credits of this leaving you with a bunch of options to complete two more classes. If you are interested in the business certificate I’d recommend double counting these classes such as MHR 300 and MKT 300. I also took MKT 355 which was a great class. Good luck!

    #6943 Reply

    I found that the International Engineering certificate has been a great talking point in many interviews. If you have the language credits and have an international experience (such as studying or interning abroad), then you would be almost done with the certificate requirements. It is great because it is more than just a language certificate, and shows that you can work and think critically through international engineering problems.

    #7134 Reply
    Spencer Nellis

    Hi all,

    I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Industrial Systems Engineering at UW Madison. I have enjoyed the 2 coding classes I have taken (CS200) and (CS301) and was wondering if it would be worth it to get a computer science certificate. Is this something that would be worth pursuing?

    #7518 Reply
    Ryan Cody

    Hi All,

    I love the approach that a strong data analytics background provides for problem-solving throughout various industries. I hope with the introduction of the data science major next year, a data analytics certificate isn’t too far behind. Fingers crossed!

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