As you begin to think about your future, you’re probably wondering how you can have an impact on this world, in a job that is stable, and even fun.
You’re probably also getting advice from so many people about the “best” careers and “best” education paths to take. But what’s been the best for other people might not be best for you.
You want to do something meaningful, and to enjoy your job. You know that technology will continue to play a huge role in any industry you might go into, and you’re likely wondering what the heck will the jobs of the future actually look like?
Before you make some big decisions about education and careers, you’ll want to know what skills and job opportunities will be around in the future, and which ones best suit the work you want to do in this world.
Manufacturing as a Key Place for Jobs of the Future
One of the industries on the cutting-edge, contributing greatly to Canada’s economy, is also an industry that doesn’t get enough love. Manufacturing not only has staying power as technology infiltrates the workplace, but it provides interesting, challenging and super impactful work.
The jobs of the future will be greatly affected by automation and digitization according to “Technology, jobs, and the future of work,” a McKinsey report. All industries are being impacted, but the one that will also help other industries to innovate is manufacturing.
Manufacturing of high-tech devices, tools, robots and machines provides solutions to other industries so that they can adopt more efficient work practices. Therefore, manufacturing is a hugely portable area of expertise. Anything that you learn in this industry can easily be applied to others as you progress and grow in your career. In other words, the skills you learn can be applied anywhere, and to the work that you most enjoy and find fulfilling.
3 Higher Education Options for Manufacturing Careers
In the jobs of the future, there are certain skill sets that will be most valuable. You can learn these skills from three different higher education options.
1. Four-Year University Degree
Your first option, and likely the one you’ve heard the most about, is a four-year university degree. When thinking about the digitization of future work, the degree programs that would give you the lasting knowledge and problem-solving skills you need would be engineering and computer science. There is a current shortage of manufacturing supervisors, and engineers and computer scientists will be needed to manage, adjust workflows, integrate new technologies and solve complex system-wide problems.
2. College Diploma
Your second option would be a college diploma or certification in technology. College programs usually offer apprenticeships to go along with the diploma, so that you can earn money while you learn. There is a current shortage of skilled technicians in manufacturing, including welders, tool and die makers and millwrights. An apprenticeship makes it easier to support yourself as you train for your career, avoiding student loans. You’ll also have the chance to work in the industry and decide if the company’s values, mission and culture suit you.
3. On-The-Job Training
Your third option is to jump straight into the workforce after high school and get training on the job. Some employers prefer this, because they can train you in exactly the way they prefer to operate. Other employers will gladly hire you while you’re in college or university, or as an apprentice part time. As your skills level up, so too does your job and your pay.
No matter which option is best for you, there are training institutions in eastern Ontario to train you in manufacturing, which will provide steady work into the future.
Contribute to Canada’s Economy Through Manufacturing
A recent Brookfield report found that Canada tended to buy solutions to automation, rather than creating its own. This is an example of a missed opportunity for the economy, which also leaves Canada vulnerable to relying on international suppliers, and future international policies and relationships.
There is tons of room in the industry for innovation, new jobs, inventions and putting technology to use at all levels. Engineers and scientists could be designing automation solutions within companies, rather than companies needing to purchase solutions. Jobs could be created around keeping innovation within Canada.
On top of engineering and innovation, technologists and machinists are desperately needed to turn designs into actual physical products. There are so many opportunities for people to work with their hands, to build, finesse and problem solve. Canada needs all levels of expertise to explore and capitalize on the opportunities available. Manufacturing is key to the country’s economy, allowing you to contribute meaningfully to society, and it also provides a stable, yet exciting, career.
Manufacturing Careers Now and Into the Future
There are current openings in manufacturing, because many workers are nearing retirement age. But there are also opportunities within manufacturing well into the future, to support the automation and digitization that will happen over the next two decades.
Download this infographic to discover the resources and programs available to you to get the technical and soft skills that help you pursue a career in manufacturing.