Engineering and manufacturing has become more and more tech focused in recent years. The advancement of machinery and computers has allowed this sector to make things both safer and more efficient. This has been great news for both management and their teams.

Yet another advancement has already started to make waves in engineering and manufacturing. The Internet of Things (IoT)is very simply the connection of devices or robots to the internet. This can be anything from a phone, to a kitchen appliance, to a car. Basically, if the word “smart” is in front of it, it’s probably part of the IoT. (Think about smartphones, for example.) But it’s not just thermostats and refrigerators that are advancing via the internet.

Much like automation and AI, IoT is making the processes involved in engineering and manufacturing simpler every day. At a certain point, this technology will replace some of the functions currently performed by humans.

And while this may sound like it will lead to the elimination of jobs, it will not. It will, however, change the nature of the jobs in the industry. Therefore, the skills required by the sector will change, too.

Working with Machines

As more and more IoT devices enter the space, technical skills will be in higher demand. Because the IoT typically relies on a control hub to monitor the interactions and activities of the machines, people will be needed to ensure that everything runs smoothly. With so many devices sharing information, we’ll still rely on people to oversee basic operations.

Not only will people need to be software literate, they will also need to understand cybersecurity, debugging, and basic IT functions. Safeguards need to be put in place in case of a breach, attack, or technological failure. Because engineering and manufacturing jobs will rely more heavily on this technology, a misstep will be more costly. Therefore, demand for these skills will skyrocket.

Engineering and manufacturing firms will still need people to repair and maintain the machines, but these tasks will more than likely become more advanced. Those who do this work will need to have a more holistic understanding of technology and the IoT as a whole, and perhaps have some basic knowledge of coding.

More careers in mobile development and hardware engineering will be introduced as the IoT continues to develop. Whether it’s updating equipment, ensuring that mobile devices function optimally, or monitoring the site environment, people will need the skills to operate the appropriate tech.

Getting There

Jobs in engineering and manufacturing are about to become high-skill positions that will require a lot of training. That doesn’t mean that people already in these positions need to be left behind.

So, as the IoT changes things for the engineering and manufacturing sector, companies and their employees must evolve. This will require upskilling teams who currently have little knowledge of the developing technology. This training will allow current employees to develop skills they may not have previously explored.

Apprenticeships and internships can also be useful tools which will ensure that people just entering the industry have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

If you are looking for skilled candidates to join your company, reach out to the expert recruitment consultants here at Michael Page. Or, you can browse our job listings. If you choose to apply, one of our consultants will be in touch with relevant opportunities.