Part 2: Educating and Training the Industrial Workforce - Survey Says....

July 11, 2012
This spring, Automation World conducted an informal survey of readers to determine how they feel about their education and training, and what they would tell students about jobs in manufacturing today; 260 readers responded. Educators take note of what’s missing from your curriculums. Students, learn how promising a career in manufacturing can be.

Automation World: What should students know when choosing a career in manufacturing?

· “Engineering was a perfect fit for my interests and education growing up.  Factories are where it all happens.”

·  “Theory and design can only go so far—eventually things have to be made in the factory.  It’s very satisfying to see your designs and hard work come to life in the factory.”

·  “It fit my hands-on interest.  I could see the results of my work rather than just a small piece of the entire work…. There are so many interesting and complicated machines to do manufacturing.”

·  A good “mentoring” experience would include a rotation through engineering, research, and production jobs.  Not all companies can provide that, but a well-rounded individual will find a way to get that experience.

·  “The manufacturing process has become quite advanced and there are many challenges to maintaining as well as staying ahead of your competitors through the use of technology and data collection.”

·  “I didn’t know that manufacturing was right for me, but the job offer seemed to be the best one…. manufacturing can be just a high-tech as other engineering fields.”

·  “It’s fast paced, high tech.  It’s much more complex and interesting than what it first appears.” 

For see more responses results to this question, visit

Automation World: What should curriculum planners focus on when creating education programs?

·  “Couple the university experience with job learning activities, vocational training, and industry mentoring for engineering students.”

·  “Companies need talent that can use both their right and left side brain. Therefore, schools should integrate more visioning, business strategy and strategic thinking in their programs.”

·  “Back to basics.  Too many graduates do not have practical skills.  They know all the words, but have no idea as to how to move forward.”

·  “Programming methodology should also be developed and taught for safety and control.”

·  “Hands on training with industry software and hardware so that the theoretical can be translated to the real world.

·  “More up to date topics using latest technology. Up the ante on the use of testing and validation.”

·  “Functional Safety. Security. Energy Efficiency.”

·  “Working with other people, psychology of the workplace.”

·  “More hands on projects. Machine building focus.”

·  “More contact with actual production companies during studies.”

·  “We should be offering an experience similar to what is done in the medical field (undergrad, intern, resident). This could be done in the same 4 years.” 

For see more responses results to this question, visit


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