Manufacturing is shifting away from manual labor and toward machines that do most of the work. This has been true for some time now, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. As such, the manufacturing and tech industries are coming together unexpectedly. The kind of people wanted in both sectors are likely to come from similar backgrounds, with skill sets in handling complex computers and understanding robotics. Most of the goods being manufactured overseas are being done by poorly paid people who don't have the same skills as U.S. citizens, and the loss of those jobs in the U.S. is not necessarily of major importance. Instead, the work that is growing up is highly paid and involves very sophisticated processes.
Additionally, the U.S. is becoming good at making the machines that make other machines. Most of the products being manufactured in China are built on American-made products, which means the U.S. is exporting its goods to countries with a high demand.
What the jobs of 2015 will look like
As manufacturing becomes more streamlined and complex, the jobs will become more focused on technology than ever before. Additionally, the stigma associated with manufacturing will wear off as people realize they can spend less money on education and get a job earning more cash than many people who went to good schools.
Right now a lot of young people are entering the tech sector, but we could see a shift to manufacturing as the industry continues to grow. While that happens, jobs in the tech sector will also change.
According to Tech Republic, the business of the future will require people who can manage databases and provide desktop support. Computers are getting more complicated and less transparent, which means that desktop support has become less of a "computer literacy" issue and more of a serious job involving a lot of experience.
"The computing environment continues to get more and more complex," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half, according to Tech Republic. "There's more technologies, there's more tools and things that are being introduced into the IT environment for most companies. They need people to not only maximize the efficiency of those tools, but help them actually use it and support them as they're trying to get comfortable with integrating that technology into their day-to-day work life."
Additionally, network security will become more important. This goes for factories as well as computer hubs. People need workers who can keep their machines safe from hackers.
Will robots replace workers?
In the end, as the manufacturing industry becomes more technologically proficient, the jobs are moving away from manual labor and closer to "managing robots." So the question from the New York Times is whether robots will eventually do everything, leaving people in a bind.
In the end, no one can know for sure, but it's likely that the jobs market will become more competitive. Work will be less about showing up and doing repetitive tasks, and more about complex jobs that are different every day. People will probably work harder although occupations will be less physical. In the end, it's likely that as manufacturing and tech both increase in scope and penetration of daily life, the employment market will grow as well.