In a previous paper , we described students’ perceptions of industrial engineering (IE) as a field, but that analysis was based on 26 interviewees from only one institution. In this paper, we expand that set to 117 students at four institutions and 12 faculty. As part of the interview protocol, we asked participants to describe IE as a field and characteristics of effective IEs, as well as to discuss their perception of what non-IEs think of IE. From the initial and expanded data sets, we have identified attributes that students commonly use to describe the field, such as people-oriented and about efficiency. We examined the data for gender and institution differences, finding only one consistent difference: men were more likely than women to mention the status potential afforded by an IE degree. It was striking that so many aspects of IE that are attractive to women are also appealing to men.
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Murphy, T. J., R. L. Shehab, T. R. Rhoads and D. A. Trytten (2006). A Multi-Institutional Study of Student Perceptions of Industrial Engineering. Proceedings of 35th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego, CA.