5 things you should know about the manufacturing industry
Manufacturing has gone through an immense change in the last few decades. With globalization, automation and disruptive technologies, how we build and manufacture products that fuels our economies and lives have rapidly evolved.
Contributing 23% of the GDP in 2017, the manufacturing sector in Malaysia is also the second largest employer, providing jobs to 17% of the national workforce. The Malaysian government has also recently announced new strategies under the National Policy on Industry 4.0 to transform the manufacturing industry landscape in the next 10 years, offering more opportunities for workers with a wide range of backgrounds.
For those considering a career in the manufacturing industry, here are 5 things you should know:
- Cutting edge
Industry 4.0 refers to the progressive movement where traditional manufacturing and industrial practices are gradually powered by advancements in new technologies, revolutionizing the industry through smart manufacturing. Adopting new technologies before becoming widely available to the public such as drones, robotics, 3-D printing and IoT, to name a few. Since many manufacturing roles now require knowledge of a wide variety of new processes and procedures, workers must have a willingness to learn and be flexible about job scopes and changes in this industry. This also means there’s a great need for highly skilled people, and a huge opportunity for training for those hoping to develop life-long skills.
- Exciting sectors of work
Manufacturing itself covers a wide range of sectors. Whether you want to work in electronics and transportation or metal and chemicals manufacturing sector, it depends on your interest and career goals. Manufacturing also spans some of the most interesting high-tech industries, like aerospace and pharmaceuticals, making it a wonderful arena for science enthusiasts.
- Room to grow
One of the biggest draws in manufacturing is the variety of work and the potential for career advancement. From fabrication and welding to product research and development, the possibilities seem endless. There are also jobs within the manufacturing industry for those from other practice, such as marketing, accounting, sales, business development, human resources and more. These positions offer all the benefits such as competitive salaries and benefit packages to working with people from many different backgrounds.
- People before machines
Manufacturing has always been on the cutting edge of technology and made jobs innovative. Factories have become increasingly reliant on automation, artificial intelligence and robotics, thus making processes smoother and faster. While there are concerns of robots displacing jobs, the bulk of automation is designed for work that could be considered impossible or unsafe for humans to handle. This makes robots complementary to the work humans are doing, instead of taking work away from them. That said, the field is changing and people need to develop an attitude towards continuous re-skilling and the ability to adapt and develop throughout our working life.
- Enhanced safety
For a long time, the manufacturing industry has been associated with the handling of dangerous chemicals, unsafe factory conditions and other hazards. However, standards and regulations have come a long way, and with the help of robots, automation and machine monitoring, we are working safer and smarter than ever before. More stringent health, safety and environment regulations have also played a major role in this, ensuring that workers don’t face unsuitable or harsh working conditions.