get ready now for the factory of the future.

  • career advice
  • July 21, 2017

Did you know that the manufacturing industry is our nation’s top buyer of technology? That means to work in manufacturing or logistics you will be working in what some have called the 'factory of the future, Industry 4.0, cyber-factory or connected factory.'

“…tools and workstations communicate constantly via the internet and virtual networks. Machines, systems and products exchange information both among themselves and with the outside.” 

But what does all of that mean to you? It means that technology will impact your day-to-day role and responsibilities. So how do you prepare? We have four ways to get you started so you can be on your way to becoming tech savvy.

certifications

Check with your local technical institute, community college or university for manufacturing or logistics certifications. If you’re not sure where to start or what’s right for you, look at available manufacturing or logistics jobs to get an idea of required qualifications. 

Many organizations also offer on-the-job training and certifications that you can take with you as you advance in your career.

apprenticeships

As a way to find well-trained employees, some manufacturing and logistics companies have taken to creating their own training programs. Apprenticeships mix hands-on training with mentoring and classroom or online learning.

You can also check with local trade schools or technical institutes to see if they offer opportunities through the schools or with community partners.

mentors

If you know someone in the industry, ask if you can take them to lunch and get the 411 on the job. Ask about day-to-day responsibilities, what they did to gain new skills and if you could shadow them at work to get a realistic sense of the job.

Don't hesitate to pursue a mentor relationship; you’d be surprised at how open people are to helping when asked.

basic manufacturing and logistics software

Because companies often design their own software and programs, and because technology changes at a rapid pace, it’s difficult to pinpoint the most common manufacturing and logistics software.

so what should you know?

Check out this list of Top Logistics Software Products from Capterra, a group that helps companies find the right products for their needs. Click on a few of the software companies’ websites where you can give the software a test drive or watch a video on how it works. You can also do the same with the Top Manufacturing Software Products.

Don't get too bogged down with the details, but pay attention to the way the technology connects multiple functions and makes someone like you more efficient.

Look to your recruiter for advice on skills you may be missing or how you might sharpen the ones you have. You can also browse available positions for required skills and experience, then work to improve your resume and skill set during your job search.