Industrial Engineering vs. Supply Chain Management

Because they’re business-oriented, the goals of supply chain managers typically revolve around streamlining processes, cutting costs and improving company profits. Ultimately, industrial engineers have similar goals, but they approach their work from a logical and mathematical perspective.

The field of supply chain management entails developing strategic plans and carrying out operations with the goal of enhancing the environmental impact, quality, delivery accuracy, and overall costs of all our goods and services. Cross-functional collaboration is essential for success when working as an industrial engineer in a variety of areas, including selecting the best supply chain logistics strategies, automating production, implementing other technical production solutions, preparing for the launch of new products, managing investment projects, etc.

Is Industrial Engineering A Good Major?

What is supply chain management?

The focus of supply chain management is on the commercial aspects of supply chain operations. Professionals in supply chain management oversee the entire process of providing a good or service to a customer, including the storage of materials, production, and fulfillment. The majority of supply chain management professionals have backgrounds in business and finance, and they apply their knowledge of these fields to their business strategies, recommendations, and procedures.

What is industrial engineering?

A branch of engineering that focuses on successful supply chains is industrial engineering. To reduce costs and ensure the best possible delivery of products and services, industrial engineers design, automate, and monitor production processes. They frequently assist companies and organizations in maximizing time management, spending, and resource use. Engineers can assist companies and supply chain management teams reduce waste and enhance quality by bringing an engineering perspective to business practices. They can encourage innovation within their organizations and use their logistical training to make better decisions.

Industrial engineering vs. supply chain management

Supply chain managers and industrial engineers share a commitment to streamlining supply chains, assisting businesses in reducing waste and raising the caliber of their output. However, the two occupations arent the same.

Here are some key areas where they differ:

Types of jobs

Experts in industrial engineering and supply chain management can advise businesses on how to enhance their supply chain processes by drawing on their education and experience. Because they value their creativity and mathematical backgrounds, some employers look for engineering candidates. A qualified industrial engineer could work in the following fields:

In contrast, the following positions are typical of supply chain management specialists:

Degree programs

Supply chain managers and industrial engineers are frequently qualified for positions supervising a company’s manufacturing processes. The degree programs can vary and give each production professional’s skill set unique perspectives.

The following are some classes you could take if you major in industrial engineering:

Supply chain management courses are often less math-focused. Listed below are a few typical supply chain management degree program courses:


Industrial engineers and supply chain managers can both benefit from certain abilities, such as communication and problem-solving, but due to their different perspectives and career paths, some abilities may be more useful than others.

Here are some skills that can benefit industrial engineers:

The following abilities may be more useful to supply chain managers in their roles:


The duties for the positions can also differ. While some jobs may have overlapping responsibilities, engineering jobs frequently place more of an emphasis on logistics and original problem-solving. Here are some typical duties for an industrial engineer:

In contrast, the duties of supply chain managers frequently emphasize business-related aspects and management strategies. Here are some of their common duties:


The objectives for each of the professions can vary because they each represent distinct viewpoints. Professionals in supply chain management frequently approach supply chain operations from a business perspective. They draw on their backgrounds in finance and business to inform their strategies, analysis, and leadership roles. The objectives of supply chain managers typically center on streamlining procedures, reducing expenses, and boosting business profits because they are business-oriented.

Industrial engineers ultimately have comparable objectives, but they approach their work from a logical and mathematical perspective. In order to draw conclusions about operational procedures and productivity, they might use technology or calculations.


Tips for choosing between a career in industrial engineering and supply chain management

Here are some ideas to consider if you’re trying to decide between a career in supply chain management or industrial engineering:

Consider your skills

Think about your current strengths when choosing between a career in engineering or a business career. Engineering programs often place heavy emphasis on math. Students must complete a substantial number of courses in advanced math areas like calculus in order to earn an engineering degree. You may enjoy pursuing an engineering degree and working as an industrial engineer if you have strong math and creative abilities.

Math classes in business schools are frequently given less time and attention than classes on finance, economics, and marketing principles. In a business program and career path with a management focus, you might have more success if you’re a great communicator with keen attention to detail.

Look at job postings

If you’re interested in learning more about the salaries, responsibilities, and job requirements for the positions you’re most interested in, look into job postings for industrial engineers and supply chain specialists. Discover the requirements for each position and decide if you find the job responsibilities appealing before applying. You can choose the best career path by considering job descriptions and opportunities and imagining yourself in a working position.

Evaluate career goals

Consider your career goals and expected salaries when choosing between two jobs or degrees. With a business degree, you may have greater earning potential and will probably manage other business professionals. Industrial engineers might collaborate with technology or production teams, concentrating more on implementing processes and finding novel solutions to problems.


Can industrial engineer work in supply chain?

Industrial engineers create, refine, and oversee the procedures used to manufacture and distribute goods globally (i e. the manner in which services are provided in sectors like banking, healthcare, or entertainment

Which is better industrial engineering or engineering management?

In general, MEM is regarded as a more valuable degree, particularly for a recent graduate, as it diversifies an engineer’s skill set. As a result, MEM graduates start out with a higher salary, but IE graduates can also advance in the field.

Is supply chain management like engineering?

Despite sharing the same objectives as supply chain management, supply chain engineering is more heavily weighted toward a mathematical model-based approach than supply chain management is.

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