School of Engineering and Computer Science

Industrial and Systems Engineering among ‘recession-proof’ jobs for college graduates

U.S. News & World Report says ISE plays ‘essential role’ in production

icon of a calendarJune 19, 2020

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Industrial and Systems Engineering among ‘recession-proof’ jobs for graduates
Robert Van Til, OU ISE
Professor Robert Van Til, chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department at Oakland University.

Industrial and Systems Engineering is one of eight jobs that are projected to be great ones to target in the current economic climate, according to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report.

“On the production end of the supply chain, industrial engineers play an essential role,” U.S. News & World Report Contributor Robin Madell wrote in the article. “They increase efficiency in systems, finding ways to best integrate all parts of the supply chain — from employees and machines to information and materials — when making a product or providing a service.”

Robert Van Til, Ph.D., Pawley Professor of Lean studies and chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department at Oakland University, said he was pleased to see ISE on the list.

"Not only do Industrial and Systems Engineers help companies save money by designing and improving systems, they work in a large variety of industries,” Van Til said. “Besides automotive, our graduates work in defense, aerospace, healthcare, supply chain and logistics, pharmaceutical, consulting, software, energy, entertainment and other industries.”

According to the article, industrial engineers with a bachelor’s degree can earn a median salary of $88,020.

“One of our graduates this semester was hired last week by a construction company to apply lean and other continuous improvement techniques to their operations,” Van Til said. “It's a great undergraduate major. And since our ISE master's program is open to any engineer — mechanical, electrical, etc. — it provides a pathway for any engineer to get into the ISE field.”

Other “recession-proof” jobs on the list include:

• Logistician

• Cost Estimator

• Actuary

• Statistician

• Information Security Analyst

• Registered Nurse

• Medical and Health Services Manager

“What I find interesting in this list of eight different careers is that Industrial and Systems Engineers actually work in four of them,” Van Til said. “Besides Industrial Engineering, ISE are also hired as logisticians, cost estimators, and statisticians"

To learn more about ISE at OU, visit

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