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Perception: Industrial Engineering Jobs

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Industrial Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Eric Specking University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16

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Eric Specking serves as the Director of Undergraduate Recruitment for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He directs the engineering recruitment office, most of the College of Engineering’s K-12 outreach programs, and the college's summer camps. He received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas.

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Brian W. Henderson University of Arkansas

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Brian Henderson is the Director of Employer Relations for the University of Arkansas College of Engineering. Brian's duties include managing employer recruiting efforts for the college and creating/coordinating professional and career development workshops and events for engineering students. Brian has worked in career development for more than 9 years and loves helping students with their career related needs. Brian enjoys Calling the Hogs, working out, and spending time with his family when not at work.

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Bryan Hill University of Arkansas

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Bryan Hill is a native of Louisiana, USA He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the U of A. Currently, Bryan is the Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment and Diversity, Honors and International Programs at the University of Arkansas College of Engineering. He is also director of UAteach, a secondary math and science teacher education program. He has more than 10 years of experience in engineering student recruitment, diversity and k-12 outreach programs. Bryan was recognized as one of the Top 15 researchers in 2015 on the UA campus. Since becoming assistant dean in 2009, the College’s total enrollment has increased 76%.

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Students select a field of study for several reasons: parents, future monetary gain, and true interest. During the inquiry process, students often ask what type of jobs are available, average salary information, job mobility and marketability, but the true question that they are wanting to answer is will I be able to find a job upon graduation. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, industrial engineering will grow 5% from 2012 to 2022, which will produce an employment change of around 10,000 jobs, but will this growth be able to provide enough opportunities for current and future industrial engineering students? Also, what is the perception of industrial engineering job opportunities by incoming engineering students? This paper analyzes and compares the results from 3 surveys administered by the University of Arkansas. It will 1) explore survey results for students interested in industrial engineering to help gain insight on how entering engineering students perceive industrial engineering job opportunities, 2) compare the student responses to faculty, alumni, and industry partners, 3) determine the differences, if any, by demographic groups, such as gender or ethnicity, and 4) analyze survey results to current market trends. Results show that a majority of students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners interested in industrial engineering perceive a strong job market for industrial engineering at the time of the survey and in 5 years. Faculty perceived a more optimistic market than students, alumni, and industry partners with 100% indicating “Good” or “Very Good”, compared to approximately 80% for students, alumni and industry partners.

Specking, E., & Henderson, B. W., & Hill, B. (2016, June), Perception: Industrial Engineering Jobs Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25880

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