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, consulting, technology, startups and other fields of interest to IEOR majors, visit the CCE Industry Exploration pages. See what Columbia students have gone on to do with their degree with CCE’s What Can You Do With A Degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research tipsheet.

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 an 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 equipment 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 equipment 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: coordinate of efforts of a network of vendors that provides specific materials and components for a company’s products.

For more details on the work of Industrial Engineers, visit the IEOR department website, as well as the Sloan Cornerstone Career CenterTryEngineering, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Industrial Engineering/Operations Research Job Search

While some large organizations may recruit in the Fall semester, many others will seek full-time hires on an “as needed” basis. The key is to start your search early so that you do not miss opportunities. Use resources like the professional associations listed below to apply to positions and seek out networking opportunities, attend CCE’s Engineering Consortium Career Fair and Engineering Industry Showcase, and pay attention to your departments’ emails. Many industrial engineers go on to earn a graduate degree. These programs tend to involve more research and independent study. Graduate degrees are usually required for teaching positions. Entry-level industrial engineers find jobs in various departments, such as computer operations, warehousing, and quality control. As engineers gain on-the-job experience and familiarity with departments, they may decide on a specialty. Industrial engineering jobs are often considered stepping-stones to management positions, even in other fields. Engineers with many years’ experience frequently are promoted to higher-level jobs with greater responsibilities.

Columbia Resources

    External Resources

    Professional Associations

    Internship/Job Boards  

    • This component of the Engineer Jobs site is catered specifically to jobs in the industrial engineering industry
    • Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
    • National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
    • American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
    • ACECNY: A proactive coalition of more than 270 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment — civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical — and affiliated companies.
    • Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
    • Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
    • A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent