Why Choose an Industrial Management MBA

An MBA, Master of Business Administration, is a very prestigious degree that immediately increases your professional standing and opens interesting new career doors. However, as the world of business and organization is changing, demand is now increasing for people who don’t just have an MBA, but who are specialized in a certain area as well. Hence, those who specialize in industrial management, who can apply their skills specifically to industrial processes.

What We Do

Someone with an MBA in Industrial Management is a very multifaceted individual. They understand the regular business practices but they also have great knowledge on industrial management techniques. As such, they develop new production systems, supervise industrial plants, manage international relationships, plan production, control production and plan for improvement.

Why It’s Hot

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial production managers in specific earn an average of $89,190 per year, if they are educated at bachelor’s degree level. Unfortunately, however, the industry has seen negative growth. This is not because their skills are no longer required, but rather because the industrial processes are continuing to struggle to recover from the recent financial crisis.

As such, while demand for bachelor degree educated industrial production managers in particular is down, it is actually safe to assume that demand for MBA educated industrial managers across the board is up. This is because it is their skills that may just help industrial processes pick back up again.

Work Environment

Someone with an MBA in Industrial Management will usually have an office within a manufacturing environment. This could be anywhere from a factory to a power plant to a drilling platform. In general, however, these professionals do not have any involvement in the direct manufacturing or production of goods. They will circulate on the industrial floors in order to analyze and assess work methods, but their own job will be performed at top levels. They will also often collaborate with other industrial professionals in order to share methods of best practice.

How to Do It

In order to complete an MBA in Industrial Management, you will first have to complete a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete. Various majors could fit in with this degree, although something relating to business, manufacturing or industrial processes will be preferred. Acceptance to MBA degrees is hugely competitive and you will usually have to do very well on the GMAT exam in order to be accepted. It is also recommended to apply for several different schools to increase your chances.

MBA in Industrial Management Online

A lot of people choose to study online instead. With the MBA in Industrial Management, this is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is no on campus degree option specific to Industrial Management in this country. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that an online degree allows students to continue to work while they study. Furthermore, as industries are becoming increasingly global, studying online is actually an opportunity to enroll in a college or university outside of this country, thereby immediately starting to build international professional networking contacts. Some of the online options you may want to consider include:

  1. Industrial Engineering MBA/MS – Arizona State University – This is a dual degree program in which graduates complete the degree with both an MBA and an MS (Master of Science). With a focus specific to industrial engineering, graduates develop greatly increased business acumen during the program.
  2. Master of Industrial Engineering/MBA – NC State University – A dual degree in which students achieve both the MBA and the MIE degree. It focuses on areas such as biosciences, supply chain management and more.
  3. Self-Designed MBA – Walden University – At Walden University, students can choose one of ten different concentrations for their MBA, one of which is the self-designed option. This means students can choose from the various elective courses and choose the ones most applicable to industrial management.
  4. Master of Business Administration – Engineering Management Specialization – Salem International University – Graduates from this program are able to control their organization’s logistics and supply chain, as well as being able to project manage entire industrial teams.
  5. MBA & E – Lehigh University – This degree combines the MBA with an engineering degree. It takes 45 credit hours to complete. Students can also specialize in a certain type of engineering, such as manufacturing systems engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.
  6. Dual Degree MSE + MBA – Purdue University – This is a 60 credit program that graduates people with an MBA and a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE). It focuses on all the elements of a standard MBA but adds things such as globalization, law and ethics and various engineering core courses.
  7. Master of Business Administration + Engineering Management – Lawrence Technological University – This is a dual degree, meaning students complete the program with two qualifications. The course includes 27 credit hours of MBA courses, as well as 18 credit hours of MEM course work.
  8. MBA/MSE – EE – Arizona State University – This is a dual degree that offers an MBA and an engineering degree. It focuses specifically on electrical engineering, with five different tracks to choose from. The faculty is one of the most acclaimed in the country.
  9. Manchester Global MBA – The University of Manchester – This university is based in the United Kingdom and offers a 24 months part time, Global MBA program. The university prides itself on its flexible program delivery options.
  10. Mini-MBA for Engineers and Technology Managers – Rutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick – This mini-MBA is designed to increase the business acumen of engineers and other technology professionals. While the program does not give a student an MBA degree, it does deliver a mini-MBA certificate from the university. Additionally, it costs just $4,995 for the entire program.

Pros & Cons

Choosing to complete a degree at master’s level is a huge commitment, but in terms of time and money. Hence, you must take the various advantages and disadvantages into consideration before you decide to enroll.


  • The degree is highly prestigious and you will instantly gain professional respect and recognition.
  • You could earn a very interesting salary, as well as potentially receiving a bonus.
  • You have the potential to really turn an industrial business around and make it profitable.


  • There are very few programs around that focus specifically on industrial management. Most offer it as part of engineering management and if your interests do not lie in engineering, you may struggle to find a degree program suitable for your needs.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry is experiencing negative growth, which means finding a job can be difficult.

Financial Aid

Career Paths

Those who hold an MBA Industrial Management can choose from a variety of careers, usually at senior management level. They could be involved in the production element of a business, or in the administrative and management aspect. Some of the possible jobs include:

  • Production manager: managing the entire production process, including setting targets, deciding where different operatives have to work and more.
  • Vice President of manufacturing: running most of the manufacturing department within an organization, reporting to the CEO.
  • Industrial engineering consultant: advising engineering companies on best practices and helping them to increase the profitability of their business.
  • Industrial line supervisor: holding full responsibility of a production, manufacturing or engineering line.
  • Management analyst: determining whether leadership and management within an industrial environment is up to standard and how they can improve.
  • Human resources manager: focusing specifically on industrial personnel, ensuring the right people are hired as well as taking care of retention, training and succession planning.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Industrial Management