As we saw in the previous post, Industry 4.0 and its professional projection is already a reality in which we are working and living. Today we want to pay attention to another aspect that we are sure has also crossed your mind. Ready to continue reading?
Since you started your professional career in industrial engineering, do you feel something of a jack-of-all-trades? In the early stages of your professional career, it is normal to work in a range of different areas, before you have found your niche. And as there are so many specialisations in industrial engineering, it can be difficult to stick to just one of them!
If this sounds like you, first of all - don't worry! The versatility that you are demonstrating will be one of your best assets throughout your career, allowing you to adapt to all kinds of positions, both technical and management. You are able to fully optimise the processes of any company to increase productivity, save costs and improve the quality of work. Remember that versatility is a strength!
All the same, keeping an eye on the specialisations in industrial engineering that interest you the most will help you to keep your career on the right path into the future. Let's review the possibilities that are open to you in the coming years.
The most common specialisations in industrial engineering in Spain
Whilst the first ideas about specialisation in industrial engineering will begin at university, true specialisation is developed 'on the job', once your professional career is underway.
Most universities offer some specialised modules during the final part of an Industrial Engineering degree. These help future industrial engineers and engineers specialise in a particular area. Some of the main ones inculde:
- Mechanical - Machines. Focused on the design and maintenance of industrial machinery.
- Mechanical - Construction. Training professionals in the construction of industrial facilities.
- Targeting the planning, improvement and quality control of electrical installations.
- Vital for the modernisation of production chains and to promote a professional career in engineering within industry 4.0.
- Focused on research for the creation of new materials and the recycling and reuse of existing ones.
- Industrial Chemistry. Dedicated to the use and operation of chemical equipment in the industrial environment.
- A popular area, due to the need to promote renewable energy and develop new methods of mining and storage in the sector.
- Relating to the automation of production processes.
- Organisation and Production. Equipping industrial engineers with knowledge about business management and business development.
Specialisations sought after in the job market
Most Industrial Engineering students go on to work in areas such as production, transport, and energy, according to an alumni employability survey conducted by the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
The distribution of professionals among the different specialisations in industrial engineering is as follows:
- Production – 26 %
- Transport – 22 %
- Energy – 13 %
- Consultancy – 9 %
- Academic – 5 %
- ICT-software – 4 %
- Biosanitary – 4 %
- Civil and construction – 4 %
- Machinery – 4 %
- Other – 9 %
Tasks of the different specialisations in industrial engineering
When you consider the area in which you see yourself growing professionally in the coming years, you should also think about the kind of tasks in these specialisations in industrial engineering that you would find the most rewarding.
Let's play a game! Imagine yourself carrying out the following tasks:
- Quality Control. You would be in charge of auditing the processes of a company and redefining them, incorporating practical improvements of the sector, and supervising compliance with policy at all levels.
- Production Planning. Key functions and responsibilities in this role include demand forecasting, managing supply of raw materials and production planning and scheduling.
- Inventory System Design. A vital role in large factories. You will be responsible for warehouse management, product classification, and stock review policy.
- Human Resources Management. If your strength is in dealing with people, this role involves creating an organisational structure and defining the functions and distribution of work among a company's workforce.
- Development of Industrial Safety Programmes. Occupational risk prevention is one of the most widespread specialisations in industrial engineering. In this role, you would be responsible for ensuring the safety of machinery and processes.
- Facility Design and Internal Distribution. Wherever there are expansion plans, you will be presented with the exciting challenge of designing new plants and creating an optimal design for the elements of each site.
- New Product Development. Would you love to nurture your creative side? Whether in a large company or an SME, imagine yourself creating new prototypes to bring to market.
- System Maintenance. Ensuring that everything is in working order and remains operational will be the key objective of this role, achieved through preventive evaluations and repair and replacement plans.
- Digitalisation and Innovation Leadership. Command your company's transition to the digital ecosystem. You will revolutionise obsolete processes, renew production systems and optimise workflows by applying agile methodologies such as Scrum, Lean or Kanban.
Which of these roles do you think would suit you best? Which of the specialisations in industrial engineering do you feel could be the place for you? Choose the path you want to take and find your place with BETWEEN!