The Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) programme provides students with the essential skills and entrepreneurial mindset to create and transform technology-based businesses. The programme is a unique combination of engineering, business and leadership studies that empower top-tier future leaders to create value and sustained competitive advantage for organisations. Graduating engineers from the programme are prepared for challenging positions to solve the most complex business problems including crafting strategies, developing daily operations and designing future organisations.
Businesses are increasingly shaped by technology. Therefore, the programme prepares graduates to lead and develop technology-based businesses by combining engineering, economic, and human perspectives. Industrial Engineering and Management programme graduates have:
- An integrative understanding of technology and business. Graduates understand engineering processes, technical systems and underlying technologies and how they are connected to the value creation process of businesses.
- Strong leadership and people skills. Graduates are equipped to lead and develop organisations and motivate people to realise their inherent potential.
- Practical problem-solving skills. Graduates possess applicable practical skills to solve complex business problems, for example by leveraging sophisticated data analytics.
- A can-do attitude. Graduates are confident and willing to face challenges and tackle new tasks with determination.
- An entrepreneurial mindset. Graduates are able to identify innovative opportunities for adding value for technology-based businesses.
- Broad knowledge of various organisations. Graduates are able to apply their learnings to a wide scale of technology-based businesses from early-stage startups to large multinational corporations.
- Hands-on experience. Graduates have practical experience in putting the theories into action within the context of technology-based businesses.
Upon graduation from the IEM programme, graduates have solid competence in engineering and business as well as widely applicable practical leadership and problem-solving skills.
Studying Industrial Engineering and Management enables several diverse career paths in organisations ranging from startups to multinational corporations, consultancies and NGOs. The programme alumni have also founded numerous companies. Typically, graduates work in an expert, analyst or project management roles in their first job after graduation.
The department’s close collaboration with the industry and an active alumni network helps students build relationships with companies throughout the studies. Furthermore, the student association of Industrial Engineering and Management organises networking events such as an annual seminar for students and alumni. Several companies also offer master’s thesis positions that can lead to employment after graduation.
Potential career paths for IEM graduates:
- Business and service development
- Supply chain and quality development
- Operations and project management
- Management consulting and advisory services
- Risk management
- Startup founder
Aalto University has well-established career services that assist and support you in employment in Finland and abroad. Aalto students tend to find good positions with ease upon graduation. An active entrepreneurship community is also present at Aalto, which can help as a springboard for founding your company. Finally, if an academic career is of interest, the Master’s programme in Industrial Engineering is a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.
Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish).
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Language of instruction
The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish.
The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students per academic year.
Studying Industrial Engineering and Management is a combination of state-of-the-art theoretical research-based insights and practical learning through cases and group assignments. The programme is in close collaboration with several industry-leading companies and the students are able to carry out real-life cases, group assignments, course projects and Master’s Thesis research for them.
The programme itself is very multidisciplinary and flexible. There are plenty of topics and courses from which to combine the perfect study path for every student. Students get insights from each of the three major options to form an overview of industrial engineering and management. The curricula can be found on the student portal Into (please note that there may be changes to the curricula for 2020-2022. The new curricula will be published in April-May 2020). The major options are:
Operations and Service Management
The major in operations and service management covers issues from operations strategy to efficient execution of operations that are at the core of successful technology-based businesses. These range from configuring appropriate resources and processes into a production system that best contributes to the organisation’s goals and competitive advantage to managing the production system in order to provide the best match with demand and supply. The major in operations and service management builds on the generic principles of operations management but emphasizes novel ways of encountering the challenges and utilising the opportunities related to creating and transforming technology-based business.
Organisation Design and Leadership
The major in organisation design and leadership focuses on issues of organisational design, motivation and leadership that are critical to the creation and transformation of technology-based businesses. The central question addressed is how companies can grow and prosper while at the same time preserving their adaptability, creativity, and entrepreneurial mindset. The success of any organisation depends on the potential of its people and its capabilities to maintain a purpose-driven organisation. Therefore, to be able to renew themselves, companies need to unleash and develop their human potential by enabling teams and individuals to self-organise (as opposed to just executing decisions made by top managers) and pursue collective action to seize entrepreneurial opportunities.
Strategy and Venturing
The major in strategy and venturing focuses on topics related to the identification, formulation and implementation of courses of action that improve or sustain business performance and thus support the creation and transformation of technology-based businesses. Identifying proper courses of action requires the ability to analyse and synthesize a wide range of different pieces of information and to exercise judgment. Often such analysis is carried out by teams. To achieve their objectives the courses of action also need to be implemented and put into practice.
The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish. Regardless of the language, the variety of courses provided is extensive, covering topics like entrepreneurship, innovation and finance. Here are a few examples of the wide course selection:
- Designing Adaptive and Creative Organisations (5 ECTS)
- Knowledge Management in Practice (5 ECTS)
- Service Operations Management (5 ECTS)
- Startup Finance (5 ECTS)
- Strategies for Growth and Renewal (5 ECTS)
Structure of studies
Industrial Engineering and Management is organised by the School of Science and comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
- Major (45 ECTS)
- Minor (20 ECTS)
- Electives (25 ECTS)
- Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS)
The minor is chosen from a technical field and based on the in-depth knowledge acquired during the bachelor studies.
At the beginning of their studies, students define their Personal Study Plans (HOPS) with the help of the programme staff. The primary purpose of HOPS is to ensure that the studies support the student’s interests and are completed in a logical order.
Personal Study Plan (HOPS)
Personal Study Plan (HOPS) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, i.e. compiling an optimal selection of courses, aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. HOPS is also a useful tool for keeping up with studies. At best, it shows the stage at which students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.
Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation
The majors in the programme are Operations and Service Management, Organization Design and Leadership and Strategy and Venturing.
Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. The student and the supervising professor agree upon the topic of the thesis. Master's theses are typically written for a company or for one of the research projects of the department in question.
The programme’s study environment is highly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. Students can participate in the international exchange programme at one of Aalto University’s many top-tier partner universities worldwide. Other options to gain international experience are to include a summer course or practical training abroad in the degree.
Apart from the studies, student life among IEM students is very welcoming and active. New students can join the IEM student organisation called Prodeko, which provides different activities, events and other opportunities to balance studies with free-time fun. In addition to the invaluable support by Prodeko, the programme’s alumni act as mentors for international students, smoothing their integration into the IEM and Aalto communities.
As Prodeko members, students also join the international student organisation ESTIEM that organises events and activities around Europe for IEM students. It comprises over 60 student organisations across the continent and offers not only great networking opportunities but also possibilities to take on responsibility in different leadership positions – already as a student.
Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad each year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies, but also multiple free time events, activities and celebrations around the campus. Programme administrators, active student tutors and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into the Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland.
The programme itself is multidisciplinary. It is not entirely focused on technical capabilities but also on leadership and people skills. Students can choose electives from other schools of Aalto University or from other Finnish universities. Also, the technical minor can be selected from other departments schools.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus brings students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.
Co-operation with other parties
The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management co-operates closely with the national and international companies (ranging from start-ups to multinational enterprises) and research institutes of the field. In addition, the department has academic co-operation with high-quality international universities and organisations research.
The topics of the major are linked to ongoing research focus areas in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University School of Science.
About the School
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