Paul Lachine

Is Manufacturing “Cool” Again?

In recent decades, as the role of manufacturing diminished in advanced economies, the brightest talents tended to gravitate to finance and other service fields that were growing rapidly – and paying well. But global manufacturing has the potential to stage a renaissance and once again become a career of choice for the most talented.

WASHINGTON, DC – Once upon a time, ambitious young people with a knack for math and science went to work in manufacturing. They designed planes, computers, and furniture, figured out how to lay out an assembly line, helped to make new cars faster and refrigerators more efficient, pushed the limits of computer chips, and invented new medicines. But, as the role of manufacturing diminished in advanced economies, the brightest talents tended to gravitate to finance and other service fields that were growing rapidly – and paying well.

But here’s some news: global manufacturing has the potential to stage a renaissance and once again become a career of choice for the most talented.

Of course, any manufacturing rebound in the advanced economies will not generate mass employment; but it will create many high-quality jobs. There will be more demand for software programmers, engineers, designers, robotics experts, data analytics specialists, and myriad other professional and service-type positions. In some manufacturing sectors, more such people may be hired than will be added on the factory floor.

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