Major in Industrial Engineering or Accounting?
Question by Nicholas: Major in Industrial Engineering or Accounting?
I am a high school student and my parents are practically forcing me into majoring in some type of engineering in college even though I absolutely hate chemistry. I have the most trouble with the subject no matter how much time I spend on it and even after going to tutors, etc.
I am a lot more math / social studies inclined than science inclined.
I am interested in integrated systems, finance, economics, business, and technology. In my spare time, I tend to read magazines such as “Money” or “The Economist”. Have not picked up a copy of “Popular Mechanics” more than 3 times.
Through my research, I found that the salary for Industrial Engineering graduates is greater than accounting graduates. I have seen that accounting graduates are actually underpaid… If this is true, then my parents would have another reason to force me into engineering. Their concern is for me to get a stable job after college and get an above average salary.
Basically everyone on my dad’s side [uncles and aunts] majored in something science related, and they are mostly in the medical field. [My dad is a doctor.].
I think that accounting would come in handy when managing my own finances compared to industrial engineering, but I also think that industrial engineering would make me more of a benefit to the world compared to say, Investment Bankers. Also, most accounting majors make less than industrial engineering majors. However, I find this to be inconsistent with how things are today:
In high school, I know two friends whose dads are engineers. One’s a software engineer, and one is either a mechanical engineer or industrial engineer. I have another friend whose dad is a financial advisor / planner. My friend with the dad who is a financial planner is more well off than my other two friends…
My personality: I’m an introverted geeky guy. I’m not really into sports, as the only one that I play in high school is tennis. So which of the two career fields would I be OK in, or suffer in?
I don’t know which one would be better for me… Please help… Also, which one is considered a “smart person” major? I’ve heard that most business majors are usually jocks who did a little bit over OK in school or social mavens. Is that true?
Answer by C7S
Accounting and Industrial Engineering are completely unrelated and different fields.
I am an Industrial Engineer and I have worked in 3 of the main areas that Industrial Engineers work in. That is Product Development, Construction, and Manufacturing.
The only business related class Industrial Engineers take is Micro or Macro economics, and Engineering Economics. In Engineering Economics, they learn about how to make the proper decisions on investments of new equipments and processes. You learn to compare salvage value, maintenance costs, service life, throughput of machine, and more to choose the right equipment for your company. This is typically only used in manufacturing field.
Micro and Macro Economics is a requirement for all engineers to take, regardless of engineering major.
As an Industrial Engineer in my previous experiences and current experience combined, this is what Industrial Engineers do:
Process Improvement, Product Development, Tooling fixture design in CAD, machining and casting, supervising production staff and technicians, work in preventative maintenance to decrease downtime, find quality issues in products and solve them, decrease overhead costs and improve environmental footprint of company through the use of more efficient light bulbs, etc. Lean Manufacturing, Project Management, Facility and Flow line layout design and redesign, HVAC design, HVAC and electrical surveying, vibrations analysis, lighting studies, electrical studies, writing reports on project plans and status, writing engineering contracts, increase reliability of equipment through proper maintenance, make design improvements to products and processes, ergonomics and human factors improvements, implement safety improvements and programs, simulate fire drill emergency and optimize, simulate waiting times, conduct time studies, and so much more. I also assisted in the redesign of the switch gear that got damaged in NJ by Hurricane Sandy. I was heavily involved in redesigning it to withstand up to 4 feet of water without being damaged .
Industrial Engineering is a very technical field where you use common sense, knowledge of engineering law, engineering economics, manufacturing, engineering design, and mechanics to solve problems. An Industrial Engineer is essentially a problem solver.
It is a fun job overall because you get to use your creativity and do different things every day or week.
You can also become an operations or engineering manager after only 5 years of experience. Industrial Engineers typically start off between $ 50,000 and $ 60,000 per year depending on the company, industry, location, and job title/responsibilities. After 5 years, the average salary is $ 66,000. After 40 years of experience, the average salary of an Industrial Engineer is $ 96,000. But if the Industrial Engineer takes on a management job title like Operations or Engineering Manager, they would be getting $ 96,000 per year with only 10-20 years overall experience, and more like $ 120,000+ with 40 years of experience as a manager.
What do you think? Answer below!