When you introduce kids to the what, why, and how of engineering and modern manufacturing, it’s surprisingly easy to get them interested and excited about playing their own role in making things. The problem is, some of their parents may not share that point of view. Is the previous generation’s outdated interpretation of manufacturing hindering their children’s career potential?
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“Overall, nine in 10 parents said they worry about their child’s future career options, and 87 percent said they believe that science, technology, engineering and math education are ‘critical’ for economic success. Yet a third also reported they don’t think jobs in the manufacturing or trade industries require a college education and only 12 percent consider jobs in manufacturing to be ‘recession proof’. ‘Parents have some awareness about manufacturing careers, but there are still looming misperceptions about the robust, exciting prospects for their sons and daughters, especially as more than half of manufacturers see a shortage of manufacturing talent,’ said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. ‘Students have plenty of options to explore within the field of STEM education and manufacturing careers, and can earn strong wages and benefits.’”
With the need to encourage young people to pursue careers in STEM and manufacturing, it’s important to remove as many obstacles from their path as possible. However, when a child’s greatest source of encouragement—his or her parents— haven’t yet warmed up to the reality of a prosperous career in manufacturing, it would appear that the sector needs to reach out to the public even more. Do you think organizations that promote and better enable kids to pursue manufacturing jobs are doing enough? How would you change someone’s mind regarding manufacturing misconceptions?