White Color/White Coat Workforce Trends: IT, LS, FT, and AME

Goals

To have a broad understanding of workforce trends among white collar/white coat workers in IT (information technology), life sciences, fintech and advanced manufacturing and engineering. An ideal response would include 4-5 trends and/or data points for each of the four industries named.

Early Findings

  • Because the goals of this research was to better inform a state campaign, we assumed a United States focus. If a more broad approach is desired, for example, a global focus, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.

Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering

  • According to Deloitte, manufacturers still need a large number of skilled workers to fill job openings. A recent study from them reveals that skilled production, digital talent, and operational management positions may be three times as difficult to fill in the next three years, with 2.4 million positions in manufacturing going unfilled between 2018 and 2028.
  • Manufacturing engineers, also referred to as plant engineers or process engineers, will be in high demand to perform cost benefit-analyses, solve production issues, and operate CAD software to design and produce products and systems. Digital twin engineers, who manage communication networks between the physical and digital worlds throughout the manufacturing value chain, are also expected to be in high demand, according to the same study referenced in the previous bullet point.
  • According to Industry Week, "U.S. manufacturers have struggled to find STEM-educated employees to staff their increasingly technologically advanced workplaces. But on the horizon lies a solution that will benefit businesses worldwide: the merging of extended reality, from virtual reality and augmented reality to mixed reality and augmented virtuality, with global interconnectivity. Manufacturers are already benefiting from the use of computer-generated environments that merge the real world with visual and audio aids. Within a decade a company will be able to tap skilled workers across the globe to design products, work with engineers, and operate and maintain U.S.-based machines and equipment virtually through XR. In other words, a worldwide workforce will staff globally connected virtual-actual shop floors."
  • According to a 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, called "Building America's Skilled Technical Workforce" [free download required], "[m]any experts expect additional job opportunities in manufacturing as large numbers of existing workers retire and advancing technologies, such as robotics, create new positions not previously seen on the typical manufacturing floor. Importantly, these manufacturing jobs will likely pay wages higher than the national average for equivalent positions in other industries."
  • RAND researchers assert that "[t]he U.S. workforce needs to be ready to benefit from further adoption of robotics for advanced manufacturing (AM)." Additionally, they discovered that "[i]n higher education, a small but growing share of programs offer technician training for AM." RAND looked at 2,407 four-year universities and colleges, and 1,476 two-year colleges in the United States and found that "0.27% of the 271,497 unique available higher education programs are directly related to technician training in manufacturing at the sub-baccalaureate level (N = 743). About 0.1% of all post secondary programs serving undergraduate students in the United States are directly related to manufacturing and culminate in a bachelor's degree (N = 251)."

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • As discussed at the top of this document, because the goals of this research was to better inform a state campaign, we assumed a United States focus. If a more broad approach is desired, for example, a global focus, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Our initial hour of research was spent ensuring that the research questions could be answered using publicly available sources, and then zeroing in on Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and providing some relevant and salient pieces of information, data, and statistics to set the table for future research.
  • We noted that Advanced Manufacturing did not cover engineering. We are suggesting that another project cover engineering, unless there is a reason we are unaware of that requires these to be grouped together. Our scoping below will reflect this.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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