Career Resources

Industrial Engineering / Operations Research


Columbia IEOR Department Home Page

  • IEOR Department Overview provides description of the 4 different majors within IEOR: Engineering Management System, Financial Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Operations Research.
  • IEOR Events Calendar provides information about workshops, seminars and employer presentations hosted by IEOR. These events may not be on CCE’s main calendar.
  • Introductory Video helps to define what IEOR is. Other videos in the sequence may also be helpful to understand scope and opportunities in and beyond IEOR.

Careers and Industries

  • Graduates of IEOR are problem solvers. They use application of engineering methodology to non-traditional engineering problems. This skill set allows graduates to work in a wide variety of sectors, including financial services, consulting, manufacturing, technology, government, non-for-profit, and academia.
  • For resources on FINANCE and CONSULTING, click the links to go directly to those pages.
  • The rest of this page will deal with sectors outside finance and consulting.

Operations Management

An operations manager ensures smooth operation of various processes that contribute to the production of goods and services of an organization. While the manager may not be specialist in any field, expectation is to perform well in various different roles.

Some roles and responsibilities of operations manager include:

  • Delivery management: ensure delivery is on-time and goods and services meet quality criteria, obtain feedback from clients and communicate it to concerned departments
  • Logistics management: coordinate with quality assurance personnel to ensure that goods produced meet acceptable standards and positive feedback from clients
  • Budget management: coordinate with finance department to obtain necessary approval for budget, and ensure that quality equipments are maintained
  • Third-party relation management: ensure the adherence of standard procedures in hiring of outside services, and the proper execution of the agreed terms
  • Inventory management: ensure that the raw materials received are properly stored and conserved
  • Operational strategizing: decide how to make optimum use of resources for organization, and determine the types of equipments needed to fulfill organizational quality policy


Other Professions in Operations Management

  • IT Operations Manager: oversee teams of programmers, software engineers, and other professionals in dealing with data computing
  • Financial Operations Manager: oversee company’s entire finances, analyze reports to ensure company is working within budget, perform financial forecasts
  • Operations Manager Research Analyst: decide how to allocate a company’s resources, such as time, people, space, money and raw materials, to ensure profits
  • System Center Operations Manager: ensure that a company’s computer network is running
  • Quality Assurance Operations Manager: lead tests and inspection of products to ensure that products are free from defects
  • Industrial Production Operations Manager: perform employee scheduling, hiring and terminations, quality control, maintenance and coordinating the entire unit’s activity
  • Marketing Operations Manager: analyze demand and monitor consumer trends in order to find the most effective marketing strategy, forecast revenues and establish prices
  • Purchasing Operations Manager: acquire all goods and services that are needed for a company’s operation
  • Clinical Operations Manager: oversee laboratory procedures, ensuring that lab follows all procedures in regards to safety
  • Real Estate Operations Manager: oversee the purchases and sales of properties for a business or private investors

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is coordination of efforts of a network of vendors that provides specific materials and components for a company’s products. Vendors specialize in making components and subassemblies due to cost and quality reasons. Supply chain management is a continuously ongoing process and is essential for the organizational operation.

Supply chain managers need to find suppliers and get them to agree to deals for making desired components for a competitive price. Once deal is set, managers needs to continuously make sure that the components are available or assembly lines as needed. When suppliers send parts late or send parts that don’t meet the requirements, managers have to take action.

Important Skills

  • Teamwork and communication: Supply chain managers are the customer service representatives for the manufacturing operations of the plant. It’s critical for the supply chain manager to build relations with employees and suppliers. Supply chain managers need to let suppliers know when quotes are due and follow up when deadlines are near. Communication with forecast team is also crucial to get the latest information.
  • Change: Supply chain managers need to stay tuned to customer’s needs, direction of the company, and trends in supply chain management.
  • Negotiation: Supply chain managers need to effectively negotiate with suppliers with price and lead time, during the quotation process and in case of emergencies.

Professional Associations

  • Computing Research Association (CRA): association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS): international society for practitioners in Operations Research and Management Sciences, permitting them to communicate with each other and reach out to other professional societies, as well as the varied clientele of the profession's research and practice
  • Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE): professional society dedicated to the support of the industrial engineering profession and individuals involved with improving quality and productivity, by providing leadership for the application, education, training, research, and development of industrial engineering
  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE): not-for-profit membership organization with 7800+ members (Dec. 2010) founded to develop and disseminate the interdisciplinary principles and practices that enable the realization of successful systems