University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

What is industrial and systems engineering?


Why choose industrial and systems engineering at UW-Madison? » 

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Want to improve the quality of healthcare delivery or help reduce medical errors? Want to make US manufacturing more competitive? Want to make information and computer systems more user friendly? Want to work in the fast paced industry of management consulting? Want to lead change management efforts for your company? Want to work in what the Wall Street Journal said was the 16th best job in the United States If you answered “yes” to any of these, then Industrial and Systems Engineering is for you.


Industrial and systems engineers (ISyEs) make products and processes better. By “better” we mean higher quality, more efficient, more productive, higher performance, more accurate, more user-centered, and more safe. What is exciting about ISYE, is that where other types of engineers will focus on narrow products or processes specific to their specialty, ISYEs manage entire systems of people, machines, and information. Given that ISYEs learn to manage large systems, it should not be surprising how many Fortune 500 CEOs are actually ISYEs. CEOs of Northwest Airlines, Burger King, Walmart, UPS, Accenture, DuPont, Wells Fargo, and others were all ISYEs.


What is great about ISyE is you really can make things better in any industry — from automobile manufacturing and aerospace, to healthcare, forestry, finance, leisure, and education. Yes, ISyEs really do work everywhere. That is one of the most appealing things about an ISYE degree — the flexibility to help make the industry you are most passionate about, better. A few companies that you may have heard of that recruit our own ISYE graduate include Boeing, Capital One Financial, Deloitte Consulting, Epic Systems, Fed Ex, GE, General Mills, GM, Intel, John Deere, Johnson and Johnson, Mayo Clinic, Kraft, Miller Brewing, Polaris, Nestle, Orbitz, United Airlines, and many more.

Ask us for more information. We hope to see you in class soon.