Are robots coming for manufacturing jobs?
Yes and no. New research shows that the movement toward more artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the industrial space is changing the job force more than making human jobs irrelevant. In fact, the skills gap is increasing for many manufacturing jobs, and demand is growing in those areas. You just need to know where to look and how to train for the future.
- A Brookings Institute study shows it’s not necessarily the factory floor workers impacted the most by AI. Workers with graduate or professional degrees are almost four times as exposed to AI as workers with a high school degree. That means, says the study, that the jobs of relatively well-paid managers, supervisors, and analysts are expected to be much more affected by AI than most service workers.
- Oxford Economics estimates that up to 20 million manufacturing jobs will be lost to robots by 2030. But that’s not the entire picture. While the organization reports that technological advances “will transform the capabilities of robots and their ability to take over tasks once carried out by humans,” it will also “lead to the creation of new jobs in yet-to-exist industries.” CNN points out that the report also notes the “move to robots tends to generate new jobs as fast as it automates them.”
- Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute report that “job openings have been growing at double-digit rates since mid-2017…with a widening gap between the jobs that need to be filled and the skilled talent pool capable of filling them.” An estimated 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled by 2028. Positions relating to digital talent, skilled production, and operational managers are three times more in demand than other manufacturing jobs right now. Deloitte asks, “the jobs are here, but where are the people?”
“If you have a manufacturing job now and are worried it’ll be eliminated because of automation, consider how you can become part of the solution. Texas workers have access to great resources for reskilling and upskilling,” says The HT Group’s Director of Staffing Services Claire Reese.
“And if you’re not in the industry but have skills in robotics, automation, AI, and other related fields, don’t discount manufacturing as a great place for your career to thrive,” she adds. “Few industries have as much demand and potential to put your tech skills to use as manufacturing does right now.”