At the interface between engineering and economics, Industrial Engineering combines contents of both disciplines. Industrial Engineers are all-rounders: Their knowledge of both Economics and Engineering Sciences as well as their skills in argumentation and decision-making enables them to build bridges between these disciplines. Their interdisciplinary expertise qualifies graduates for executive positions.
What qualities are required?
Besides possessing good mathematical skills and logical thinking you should be able to reason and to present your thoughts clearly. Advanced English language skills can be helpful during your course of studies and could be beneficial to finding good career opportunities later on. An interest in technical and economic relations is of paramount importance.
- Foto: RWTH Aachen/ Peter Winandy
What does the degree course look like?
The degree can vary at each university. In general, there are compulsory courses in Economics and in Engineering with specialisation option. The most common Engineering specialisations are:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Process Engineering
Some universities offer Engineering Management as a general field of study without a specific Engineering specialisation.
Apart from the wide variety in the courses, the foundation courses are often similar: In the first three or four semesters the emphasis is on Business and Economics. Typical courses might focus on Bookkeeping and Accounting, Production Management or Cost and Performance Accounting. Foundation courses in natural sciences and technical subjects are also on the curriculum in the first semesters. These include Physics, Electrical Engineering, IT, Materials Science and Design Theory.
In the higher semesters, students have the opportunity to focus on their chosen specialisation.
During the sixth semester, students work on their bachelor’s thesis.
Duration of Studies, Language of Instruction
Lectures and seminars are usually held in German. Some elective courses might be held in English.
A bachelor’s degree programme usually takes six semesters. The TU9 universities recommend you to continue your studies after the bachelor’s degree and to study for a research-oriented master’s degree. The master’s degree allows you to enter many interesting professions or to embark on a doctorate.
The master’s stage also presents a good opportunity to change universities. Degree programmes in Industrial Engineering are offered at all TU9-universities. Bachelor’s degrees are mutually recognised by all TU9 universities. Nevertheless, there could be special admission requirements for the individual master’s courses.
At some universities, an internship before or during the degree course is a compulsory part of the curriculum or might even be an admission requirement. The internship aims at providing students with knowledge and experience of a company’s daily business.
Industrial engineers often work at the interface of technology and management, as their knowledge of the “languages” of both sides enables them to “interpret” between technology and business administration. This qualification means that graduates can be found in almost all areas of corporate management. Logistics, marketing, sales, consulting or controlling are also typical fields for industrial engineers.
Not all industrial engineers spend their entire working life in interdisciplinary activities. Many graduates choose to work in either a technical or a managerial position, ranging from sales and logistics to quality management, or research and development.
Visit the websites of the individual TU9-universities for further information on the specific study programmes: