ITR Economist Brian Beaulieu gave a very informative economic outlook for the attendees at PMPA’s Management Update Conference in Glendale Arizona last week. We saw lots of charts and correlations that helped our members make sense of all the conflicting ‘news’ and economic indicators that are our constant distraction.
But I can share with you the one graph that should give you the confidence to find your career in advanced manufacturing (like our precision machining industry) rather than go headlong into debt for a college degree that may not have a positive return on investment.
US Manufacturing as a percentage of GDP (Value Added) (3 Month Moving Average)
This graph documents recent history, going forward we see manufacturing jobs returning to North America as energy prices for the rest of the world increase.
We see energy access and prices improving for U.S. Manufacturers as a result of the shale gas boom.
We know personally, despite the uncertainty in the market, that many shop owners are trying to add talent, so they can continue to sustain their levels of production and customer service.
If going deep into debt for a degree with no return on investment is something that you are determined to do, good luck with that.
If however, you could consider the idea of learning and earning as you go, I can heartily recommend getting a start in precision machining via a local community college.
It has been our experience that you will have a job before you complete a one year operator program, and the balance of your training and education will be sponsored in whole or part by your employer.