A subject called “Wing” ?! Many school leavers have never heard of this. In any case, the subject has nothing to do with wings or flying. Rather, the abbreviation stands for the industrial engineering course. As its name suggests, the course contains content from the disciplines of economics and engineering. The graduates are real all-rounders : They have knowledge of mechanical engineering or electrical engineering and at the same time bring with them the economic know-how to produce products cost-effectively and to market them optimally.
The subject at a glance
The industrial engineering course is made up of natural and engineering subjects and economic content. It is currently offered by over a hundred universities and technical colleges in Germany . The study programs at the FHs are mostly more practice-oriented than those at the universities. It is advisable to compare the courses with one another before starting your studies. The individual universities have very different priorities . Either more economic or more technical content is the focus. For the latter, different specialist areas such as mechanical engineering , electrical engineering or information technology are available.
There is also the possibility to study industrial engineering as a dual study . Here the students attend lectures and seminars at universities and technical colleges and at the same time complete practical training in a company.
At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, students learn the basics of both sub-disciplines . On the one hand, they deal with business administration issues such as bookkeeping and controlling. On the other hand, they attend seminars in physics and acquire initial know-how about electrical engineering and computer science . Mathematics is also on the curriculum as a basic subject in both fields of study.
In the higher semesters, students deepen their knowledge both in technical subjects and in the field of economics. The so-called integration subjects combine the content from both sub-disciplines . In this way, project management students learn how to implement a technical project in an economically efficient manner. Further integration subjects are, for example, logistics, system technology or production management.
At many universities, students have the opportunity to set a focus. Depending on the university, there are more technical subjects such as mechanical engineering or more subjects from business administration, such as marketing, to choose from. Seminars in the fields of foreign languages, social sciences and law round off the curriculum and prepare students comprehensively for everyday working life. The Bachelor’s degree offers sufficient professional qualifications to apply directly after graduation.
If you want to take on a management position later, there is no avoiding the master’s degree. Of course, this is also possible after a few years in the job. The same applies here: Find out more about the course content in advance! In terms of content, the master’s programs are even more differentiated than the bachelor’s programs . Depending on the university, students specialize in areas as diverse as production, logistics, health technology or IT.
Even if the course is still young, the subject “Wing” is now very popular. The universities carry out internal selection procedures . Above all, applicants who have a very good to good grade point average on their Abitur certificate are given a place at the university. In some cases, the universities hold personal selection interviews .
Applicants should of course primarily be enthusiastic about technology and equally interested in economic issues. Also good grades in math and physics is an advantage. At some universities there is the opportunity to refresh your knowledge of mathematics in intensive courses before starting your studies.
Professional fields for industrial engineers
Industrial engineers find their field of activity in almost all industrial companies . Most of the graduates later find employment in the electrical industry , the automotive industry or in companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector .
Depending on the focus of your studies and previous practical experience, you will be employed in different areas. This can be in production, logistics, marketing or sales. It is also possible to work as an independent management consultant . Many graduates set up their own consulting office after a few years of professional experience.
Semester abroad: advantages for industrial engineers
Many companies manufacture abroad and sell their products all over the world. Industrial engineers often work in higher management and act as contact persons. Very good English skills and the ability to communicate across cultural boundaries are often prerequisites for employment. One or more semesters abroad or an entire study abroad offer students the opportunity to acquire the skills they are looking for. A stay abroad also represents a unique opportunity for personal development and trains soft skills such as independence, flexibility and assertiveness.