On Thursday 19 September 2019, the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University organised a workshop that discussed the current challenges faced by Industrial Engineering graduates in the labor market. Previous graduates of the department were invited to the workshop. Participants presented their insights on what the department and the outreach committee should do. Participants praised the role played by the department in updating the curriculum to keep pace with global progress in the fields of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. The attendees acknowledged the necessity of holding an annual meeting with Industrial Engineering graduates to discuss the latest developments at a professional level, strategies to overcome obstacles graduates might face, and finding jobs.
During the meeting, the Head of the Department, Dr. Mahmood bin Abdullah Al Kindi, said that the department has got the license to issue Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certificates to graduates of the Department, provided that certain academic and professional standards are met. Dr Al Kindi also pointed out that the new initiative would shed light on the skills acquired by students and graduates of the Department of Industrial Engineering, which in turn would help the recruitment process. Engineer Abdullah Al Buraiki said that major companies are urging their employees to get the Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma because of the development of staff skills in improving the different working methods.
The workshop concluded with a recommendation of the formation of the Association of Industrial Engineering Graduates, the launch of a periodical newsletter discussing the latest developments in this area, and listening to the concerns of graduates. Engineer Jihan Al-Jashmi added: “We need workshops like this to build connections between the graduate, the student and the management of the Industrial Engineering department, and as a means of discussing the latest developments that need to be applied within the specialty”.