the one thing all organizations value

I recently had a conversation with a graduate from of my department who has had a highly successful career in industry for the last 25 years since earning a Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The conversation turned toward the value of an industrial engineering degree. The value, he argued, was in educating students about the decision sciences. This captures data driven decision-making, communication, and the human side of decisions, including emotions and cognitive biases:

“Industrial engineering is ultimately about how to make decisions and how to make them well. And that’s something that every organization values.”

While there are several other valuable skills one can learn in an industrial engineering program in addition to the decision sciences, this claim resonates with me. Industrial engineers don’t make things, we make decisions, and it’s hard to overstate how valuable and interesting this is.

What aspects of industrial engineering have been most valuable to you?

One response to “the one thing all organizations value

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