There has been much talk on how the American Manufacturing Industry can prepare for the jobs of the future. The current boom of technical manufacturing is showing us where the world is heading. To stay current in today’s marketplace, the American Manufacturing Industry will have to make some changes and it starts with our education. Here is how we can change higher education to fill manufacturing jobs:
Some of us were taught the only way to get a good job was to enroll at a 4-year college or university. That simply isn’t true. The American Manufacturing Industry has many areas of focus which are not taught at 4-year universities. The rising costs of 4-year colleges with no guarantee of a good job after graduation are leaving students in debt. The reality is most traditional 4-year universities are not preparing students for high demand jobs. In January, the New York Federal Reserve examined employment data for recent college graduates between 2009 and 2013 and found that 45 percent were working in “non-college” jobs. Meaning, nearly half of all recent college graduates are underemployed. Meanwhile, there are a lot of technology manufacturing jobs going unfilled. If more students had the training and skills to fill high-demand jobs required by the technology sector, more graduates would have meaningful employment.
Thankfully, there are a lot of technical manufacturing jobs which don’t require a 4-year degree with a higher price tag. S.T.E.M courses are being taught at trade schools across the country. At Lyndex-Nikken, we have sponsored selected employees to take night courses on machinery and CNC operations at our local community college. Also, programs like the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS give students exposure to STEM based learning and how to continue their education past the show. Students who desire a career in manufacturing should be encouraged to consider trade schools as an alternative. Trade schools are feasible, cost effective options for those wanting to work in this industry. By investing in cheaper more focused education options, we are preparing the next generation of technology manufacturers for the future.