Survey: Americans regret overlooking manufacturing jobs

Dive Brief:

  • A recent poll of more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. found many Americans have little to knowledge fo the manufacturing industry, with only 25% aware of the jobs and opportunities offered and even less acknowledging the industry is well-paid, according to a press release by Kronos Incorporated, the survey's sponsor.
  • The survey also found 69% of employed respondents wish they knew more about STEM subjects, while 89% of respondents believed careers in STEM have a future although 65% of all respondents acknowledged the field was not a matter of focus when they chose a career path. 
  • Millennials, in particular, are looking for better paying opportunities and are regretting their career choices. Among those with student loan debt, roughly 20% said they would have chosen a STEM-related subject had they known of the opportunities to pay off their debt faster.

Dive Insight:

A recurring fear for many execs in the supply chain is that a talent crisis is coming, driven by a demographics shift as much as rapidly changing technology.

Manufacturers, in particular, are becoming increasingly integrated and dependent on technology, as predictive analytics, real time tracking, robotics and the Internet of Things enter the mainstream. New generations of workers, for the first time formally trained in supply chain management, promise to help drive industry growth.

But as the survey suggests, the problem is not in the lack of people, but rather the lack of awareness for new generations.

"Millennials don’t often realize that modern manufacturing utilizes the cutting-edge and device driven technology that they grew up with," Kylene Zenk-Batsford, Director of the Manufacturing practice group for Kronos, told Supply Chain Dive. "The truth is manufacturing offers many exciting and well-paying opportunities, which include writing code for machines to communicate with each other, robotics engineering, and building lifesaving technologies," she added.

Events with national exposure like Manufacturing Day, company mentorship efforts are sure to help increase early awareness of the opportunities, and fix the talent shortage in the long-run.

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Filed Under: Communications