Industrial Technology


The technology that makes other technology


Technology is pretty important. You know how we know this? Because you're reading this on the Internet rather than hastily scrawled in ochre on a cave wall. That was the alpha version of the Shmoop website, and believe us when we say it was not well-received.

Where does all this technology come from? Hey, maybe you are looking at this on an artisanal laptop and own a locally-sourced car. That's great. But the vast majority of technology is produced on a factory level and utilizes other technology to get it made. That's right, even if you somehow managed to get a handmade laptop, it wouldn't be cobbled together with stones. It would be made by tools that were in turn made in an industrial process.

Industrial technology is basically the turducken of technology when you get right down to it. Since civilization has grown more reliant on all kinds of devices, it's not a stretch to say that without them, we wouldn't have much of a civilization. Industrial technology is a step removed from that because most people don't think about it, let alone see it. But it's just as important.

If you're a builder or just the kind of person that likes putting stuff together, there's very little that has more of an impact on doing that. Mass production is how the bulk of consumer goods get built, and is one of the chief innovations that's allowed us to have all of this cool stuff. You get to be part of this process at the most basic level.

Maybe you're more of an innovator, a creative type who likes to come up with new solutions to old problems. Industrial technologists are all about improving production. Whether that's inventing a new widget or making an existing widget 20% better (presumably by adding wings), they're all about making everything better, faster, and stronger. If there's a way to make the assembly line more efficient, there's an industrial technologist who's attempting it.

Industrial technology is a kind of engineering, so expect to experience some of the same challenges as they do. It's just a lot more focused. While engineers learn how to engineer whatever they come across, the industrial technologists are all about a specific place in the manufacturing chain. They know exactly what they're going to do, and they're great at it.

Engineering theory comes into this, as well. Since you're dealing with a specific process that includes both automated and human elements, you have to learn how both work and work with one another. Then you come along, rewire everything, and suddenly it works so much better. Boy howdy, are you awesome.

So if you're a focused person who loves not only engineering but also industry, this could be the perfect spot for you to end up. We'll definitely appreciate it, even if you drive our artisanal laptop website out of business.

Famous People who majored in Industrial Technology

  • Lee Iacocca, who engineered the Ford Mustang and Pinto
  • Taiichi Ohno, father of the Toyota Production System
  • Shigeo Shingo, expert in manufacturing practices
  • Edward Whitacre, Jr., former CEO of General Motors
  • Tony Stark (with so many other degrees it's ridiculous)

Percentage of US students who major in Industrial Technology:


Stats obtained from this source.