The Chameleons of Engineering

chameleons of engineeringPicture source:
By Rona Howenstine

If you asked a kid, ‘what would you like to be?’ You will usually get answers like doctor, pilot, policeman, teacher, etc. But never an industrial engineer, because most kids does not know that IE profession exists. According to EMSI Job Posting Analysis, demand for industrial engineers outweighs the supply. US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the outlook for industrial engineers is stable over a 10-year horizon from 2014 through 2024. Now, you might be wondering about what makes industrial engineers prevail amidst the rapidly changing word.

There are nine characteristics that help them survive:

  1. How they think: they consider the entire system, from end to end.
  2. How they influence: they have great communication skills, the ability to facilitate, high energy and a large investment of emotional capital.
  3. How they approach situations: they can affect things incrementally or monumentally and have scalable approach.
  4. How they plan: they are die-hard fans of the quote ‘If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.’
  5. How they measure: they understand that what gets measured gets managed and that inappropriate measures drive bad behavior.
  6. How they analyze: they can turn massive data into simple and meaningful information.
  7. How they solve problems: they find root cause and implement a permanent fix, solving problems once for all.
  8. How they make decisions: they have clear and concise methods for decision-making.
  9. How they consider risk: they consider risk and quantify it without fearing it, and should anything go wrong they resolve the issue.