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5 future jobs that could solve the manufacturing skills gap

By Isaac Maw, for Engineering.com

Aug 28, 2017

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Perhaps the solution to the skills gap isn’t in filling old jobs, but creating new roles that maximize the effectiveness of digital technologies. According to a recent report by research institute UI Labs in collaboration with HR consultancy ManpowerGroup, that’s exactly what needs to happen.

“By mapping the digital roles and skills of the future, our research will help companies and schools upskill today’s manufacturing workforce for the connected, smart machine and augmented-technology jobs of an increasingly digital enterprise,” said ManpowerGroup CEO Jonathan Prising. “This will help bridge the skills gap and highlights the advanced and attractive jobs emerging on the forefront of the manufacturing sector.”

The report identifies 165 of those emerging roles—way too many to cover in a single article. Instead, here are five of the most interesting:

1. Chief Digital Officer (CDO) - advocate for new technologies and envision how their companies can implement digital solutions, such as IIoT and automation.

2. Digital Manufacturing Engineer - takes the vision of the CDO and makes it work, such as designing and building new systems and processes that use advanced manufacturing technologies, like 3D printing.

3. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality System Specialist - finds manufacturing applications for these tools to support early product development, including design, engineering and analysis.

4. Worker Experience Designer - streamlines the interaction between operator and machine, whether that machine is a 3D printer or an inventory management app. This role is all about empowering and engaging workers, improving productivity and morale and reducing costs, inefficiencies and errors.

5. Digital Factory Automation Engineer - looks for ways to automate processes for improved productivity and quality, esepcially by upgrading obsolete manufacturing systems.

Read the full story, and check out the full study.