Is supply chain a cop-out for IEs?

Forums Academic discussion Supply chain and logistics Is supply chain a cop-out for IEs?

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  • #4085 Reply

    Do you think a job in Supply Chain is a cop-out for IEs? We are extremely qualified for so many things and I see finance/marketing etc. majors going into this field so it feels like a cop-out. Let me know what you think!

    #4087 Reply
    Nawang Singhe

    What do you mean by cop-out?


    If you mean that supply chain is something industrial engineers shouldn’t do or look down upon, I disagree. I think industrial engineering is a very versatile degree that can do a lot of different things well and in a way that other fields of study cannot do. The fact that finance majors get hired to do the same thing doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a cop-out.

    #4116 Reply

    I agree with Nawang. Supply chain management is a topic that can become conceptually and computationally intensive, and I think IE 323 and IE 315 has demonstrated that. Also, real-world problems are messy and have a lot of uncertainty, so industrial engineer’s versatile skillset becomes quite useful.

    But honestly, the real cop-out for us is HSE (Health and Safety engineering).

    #4155 Reply

    I do not believe that a degree in Industrial Engineering is a cop-out. The degree offers student exposure to both engineering and business side of things. Many courses offered by IE programs will assign many projects that could simulate a project that your employer may give to you, and it’s evident that these projects are useful. Having a versatile degree like IE doesn’t just limit a post-grad to a supply chain position either. In a world where there is a growing demand for engineers, not engineering degree is really a cop-out.

    #4158 Reply
    Joe Tadych

    I also do not believe that a job in Supply Chain is a cop-out for Industrial Engineers. As Alex mentioned, some of our courses prepare Industrial Engineers well for jobs in Supply Chain due to the complexity from uncertainty calculations in Supply Chain problems. Also, some people are just naturally better at topics such as Supply Chain compared to other topics in Industrial Engineering. Therefore, I do not find a job in Supply Chain to be a cop-out for Industrial Engineers.

    #4559 Reply
    Emily Vesper

    Reply to Colin Dowda of #4085:

    After completing a supply chain internship with SC Johnson, I can testify to the fact that I learned a lot of valuable optimization skills that aren’t taught in the classroom. Real world business problems revolve around cheap, high quality, and optimized sourcing relationships, and it was great to see the impact of waste in a supply chain first hand. I look forward to completing another supply chain internship this summer to learn of the different sourcing strategies companies utilize. One reason so many IE’s go into supply chain positions is that it is closely tied to the skills we are taught in classes – project management, optimization, waste identification, and waste elimination.

    #4589 Reply
    Rebecca Graven

    After taking the course ISyE 645 which is Engineering Models for Supply Chain, I would highly disagree. My dad works in supply chain and got a BBA degree and I always thought it was strange that I (getting an IE degree) could have the same job as him, knowing that my education was much more technical than his. Many disciplines of engineering can lead people in vastly different directions for career choices from supply chain to manufacturing engineering. I think that, as engineers, we have experience for the problem solving and complicated math problems (there were many of these in ISyE 645) that can go along with supply chain, which can make us more qualified for these jobs than business majors. So overall, I don’t think supply chain is a cop-out for IE’s. I’ve never worked in supply chain, but I believe that we are well qualified for the many complications that can arise in a company’s supply chain network and that it would be a good place to apply our education.


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