Many people believe that manufacturing jobs involve old factory settings and heavy duty machines. What many do not realize, however, is that the manufacturing industry has advanced substantially with the outpour of new technology. Today, manufacturing is not just a job – it’s a career choice. It is cutting-edge and creative, safe and sustainable, and most of all, highly-skilled and high-tech.
If you desire a career that involves creativity, innovation, and technology, manufacturing may the path for you. Manufacturing employers are in search of qualified individuals with these passions, and if you have skillsets in manufacturing technology, analytics, and mechanics, you can expect to reap the reward. In Connecticut, manufacturing workers earn an average of $96,279 annually.
You may be asking, “How do I get into a career in manufacturing and technology?” But even more, you may be wondering how and why the two are so intertwined. What is the relationship between manufacturing and technology, and how will that impact future careers? Find out.
What is manufacturing technology, and where is it going?
Manufacturing technology is a broad term used to describe the machinery, software, and tools that help us produce manufactured goods. This technology enables manufacturers to turn raw materials (like metal and plastic) into quality products that we use every day – Everything from your computer to your coffee mug was manufactured using some slice of technology. In addition to everyday goods, manufacturing technology has also facilitated the production of larger innovations, such as impactful medical equipment, agricultural machinery, national arms, and transportation systems.
Today, the types of technologies used in manufacturing range from computer programs to production machinery. One of the most current and common categories of manufacturing technology is CNC (or, Computerized Numerical Control). CNC technology consists of both machinery (such as lathes and turning mills) and software, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software. The software is pre-programmed and used to direct and guide the CNC machines, which then create very precise parts and products.
While many people believe that manufacturing is an outdated profession, it is actually one of the most trailblazing and technologically-driven industries you can get into today. When you pursue a career in manufacturing, you can expect to work with cutting-edge technology such as 3D printers, lasers, and robots. Typical manufacturing technology you’d find in the modern workplace include:
- Software, such as CAD/CAM software
- Turning, milling, drilling, and grinding machines
- Electrical discharge machines (EDM)
- Sawing, water jet cutting, and laser process equipment
- CNC machinery
- Stamping, bending, and pressing machines
- Hydro-forming and cold and hot forming equipment
- Additive manufacturing equipment, such as:
- 3D printers
- Laster sinters
- Rapid prototyping equipment
- Work-holding equipment, such as chucks, clamps, blocks, and tooling columns
- Drills and taps
- Grinders and grinding wheels
- Pallet changers
- Die handling equipment
- Automated wire guided vehicles
- Assembly systems
- Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)
- Transfer machines
- And more!
Being that we are amidst a fourth Industrial Revolution, the role of technology in manufacturing is only expected to strengthen, especially as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics become more widespread.
According to a recent Forbes article, there will be several cutting-edge technologies utilized throughout the manufacturing industry in the coming years, including:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Digitalization and data software
- Augmented and virtual reality
- Material science, such as additive manufacturing
- Batteries, such as contact-less charging systems
The first two are expected to have the biggest impact, adding value to manufacturers by boosting efficiencies in the production process. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Standards and Technology predicts that the following categories will have the largest impact on manufacturing in the near future.
- Additive manufacturing, such as 3D printers and design programs, will be used to reduce energy costs, limit waste, and boost efficiency in production
- Collaborative robots, which work side-by-side with humans, will be utilized to support quality inspections, assembly, machine tending, and more
- Smart manufacturing technologies will also be leveraged to boost productivity
- Cybersecurity systems will be more widely used to protect organizations and their consumers
How will technology impact manufacturing jobs?
It is easy to assume that technology like collaborative robots will replace manufacturing jobs. And while this is true to some extent, it is actually creating more jobs – and more advanced titles – in the field. As robots take on manual and tedious tasks on the assembly line, employees are given more opportunities to advance into higher-level positions that require real human skills, like problem solving, critical thinking, management, team dynamics, and more. Meanwhile, employees are still given the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology and the latest and greatest developments in manufacturing.
How do you get involved?
As we step into 2020, the relationship between technology and manufacturing will only get more exciting. If you want to be a part of this revolution – which will shape manufacturing in many decades to come – the time is now to get involved.
While manufacturing requirements vary, employers are seeking highly-skilled and competent workers who work well with technology, who can adapt to change, and who are knowledgeable in industry machines. A manufacturing and technology program can help prepare you for a promising manufacturing role – and it won’t take years to complete.
At Goodwin College in Connecticut, you can complete your CNC and manufacturing technology certificate in just 22.5 weeks. The program is completely career-focused and will allow you to connect with potential employers throughout the course of the program. In fact, we’ve partnered with manufacturers across Connecticut to make our program shorter and more affordable than other manufacturing schools in the state – allowing you to get into the field (and land a career) fast.
Students in our manufacturing programs are trained on state-of-the-art technology, such as our new CNC 3-axis milling and turning machines. In the program, students also receive hands-on, in-field training with manufacturing leaders and develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s high-tech manufacturing industry.The time is now. Call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 to learn about our career-focused manufacturing programs. Or, visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.