Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Do Industrial and Systems Engineers Do?
A: Industrial and systems engineers (ISEs) use their knowledge of people, machines, processes, materials, mathematics, and economics to solve problems in a wide variety of settings. In a nutshell, ISEs find ways to do things better. In addition, ISE skills are applicable to activities outside of your career including family, community, social and religious organizations.
Q: What Kind of Job Opportunities Are There?
A: You can find ISEs in manufacturing, banking and finance, hospitals, theme parks, and pretty much anywhere that efficiency, quality and safety are a business concern. Many IEs eventually find themselves in management positions because of their knowledge of many important business areas. Since the business world is growing more and more complex on a global scale, there is a large demand for IEs, and this trend is likely to continue.
Q: How Much Money Can You Make as an ISE?
A: Starting salaries of industrial engineers are very competitive with those of other engineering disciplines. In 2005, the median starting salary reported from a nationwide survey was about $61,000 per year. Many starting salaries of our BS graduates exceed $55,000. Because of the high pay, flexibility, and chance to make a positive impact on people’s lives, Industrial and systems engineering was recently found to be one of the professions with the happiest people!
Q: What is Special about the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC A&T?
A: A lot of things!
- It’s a great value.Tuition rates are among the lowest available nationally, for both North Carolina residents and outside of state students.
- Unsurpassed list of corporate recruiters for internships and full-time employment upon graduation.
- A number of financial supplements available including scholarships and on-campus work programs.
- It’s just the right size. It's small enough to provide a nurturing environment, where you will be known by teachers and classmates. Learning is promoted by smaller class sizes, tutoring, and mentoring. Students feel like they are part of a family. But, it's large enough to provide all the benefits of a big program in terms of facilities and diverse faculty.
- Its tradition of excellence: Nationally respected programs at the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. level.
- Continuous accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
- Continuing facilities expansion and improvement to facilitate learning.
- Opportunities for involvement in cutting edge research in one of the nation’s leading departments in terms of research dollars per faculty member.
- Its focus on real life: Strong internship program to assist with career-related summer work.
- Real-world design experience prior to graduation.
- Focus on developing skills needed to distinguish one in the future workforce: systems thinking, information technology integration, multi-cultural teamwork, and leadership/entrepreneurship.
What do our students and alumni have to say?
“I am a freshman in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. I love my major. I chose industrial engineering because there are so many things that I can do with my degree. This major will give me the diversity and flexibility to continue my education in any path that I choose, for example, get a MBA or go to law school. Also, the need for industrial engineers is so great that I will probably never become bored with my job or not have one. I love being here at NC A&T State University and I’m excited about becoming an industrial engineer.”
Amani Foster, Class of ’11- Silver Spring, MD
“North Carolina A&T State University, and particularly the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering have many things to offer. In addition to small class sizes, the one-on-one interaction with faculty, strong alumni presence, and numerous networking opportunities, the department offers a very nurturing environment. The faculty and staff strive to improve upon those important interpersonal skills that will make you a well-rounded student. The department challenges you to great heights. I improved on all my skills, and learned how to learn, which prepared me for continuous learning in the ‘ real-world’.” It was a very unique experience.
Rikki Vinson, BS-Class of ’07 - Greensboro, NC
“I love being an industrial engineer, and attribute my successful experience to my undergraduate education. The industrial engineering coursework assured a smooth transition into the workforce. Industrial Engineers (IEs) provide a broad range of knowledge that can be implemented in any company or organization, and you can use it in your everyday life. I am always trying to find a way to improve my day-to-day activities and make them more efficient. I believe others should choose Industrial Engineering because of the broad range of career opportunities. For example, most other engineering disciplines can expect to work for firms that specialize in that one specific field. IEs can work for any organization and have the flexibility to do just about any job. I believe that IEs drive businesses by increasing productivity and focusing on continuous improvement, which translates into financial benefits. This means that IEs will always be in demand.”
Brandon Ball, BS-Class of ’06 – Atlanta, GA
“I chose to study at NC A&T because of its strong reputation. While there, I always felt welcome and at home. The treatment I received from the professors, staff, and peers gave me a sense of belonging and they were eager to help me succeed. I’ve built lasting relationships and can appreciate the professors’ desire to for me to reach my full potential as a student and individual. Because of the quality education and family environment, I am confident that I am prepared to compete and succeed in my professional career.”
Marco Trevino, BS-Class of ‘03, Doctoral Student - Metepec, Mexico
“The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is a wonderful environment for personal, academic, and professional growth. The faculty and staff seem to care about the success of the students. I was also impressed with the numerous research opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I am thankful for having been able to continue my post graduate academic career in the department. ”
Samuel Craig Littlejohn, MS-Class of ’04, Doctoral Student - Columbia, SC
For more information about the ISE program at NC A&T, you may contact any of the following individuals:
Dr. Tonya Smith-Jackson
Chair and Professor
Dr. Dan Mountjoy
Undergraduate Program Director and Adjunct Associate Professor
Ms. Elaine Vinson
Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Administrative Specialist
Dr. Eui Park
Graduate Program Director and Professor