Education for tomorrow's modern workforce

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Autodesk led a multiphase research project that revealed a divide between education programs and manufacturing industry workforce needs.

Building blocks for Industry 4.0

An industry in transition

An industry in transition

The resulting Future of Manufacturing white paper indicates that the manufacturing industry of tomorrow will require more than new technology. As companies face increased demands for more sophisticated products while navigating resource scarcity and supply chain disruptions, they will need a highly skilled and adaptive workforce.


Keeping pace with industry expectations

Keeping pace with industry expectations

Manufacturing innovations are unlocking unprecedented productivity, quality, and reductions in waste and cost. These innovations are revealing outdated education programs and their limitations. This has triggered movement around curriculum updates and project-based learning. Educators can take steps to mitigate the impending risk and prepare students for the modern workforce.


New skills for Industry 4.0

Many of today's manufacturing skills were built for Industry 3.0 or earlier. Building curricula designed for Industry 4.0 will develop the skills, technical knowledge, and workflow experience students require for the modern manufacturing landscape.

Technical/hard skills

To keep pace with Industry 4.0 advancements, tomorrow's workforce will need a broad range of advanced technological skills.


Soft skills

As digital transformation efforts drive convergence across manufacturing roles and workflows, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving are becoming ever critical.

Interdisciplinary skills

As collaboration requirements increase, so does the need for a better understanding of each functional role across the manufacturing process.

Industry 4.0 roles

Mechanical engineer

Mechanical engineer

Tomorrow's mechanical engineers will play expanded roles in developing products that are designed for manufacturability and are leaner, smarter, and more sustainable.


Technical/hard skills: AI/ML; design for manufacturing; generative design; coding/programming; 3D modeling and design; data analytics and visualization; prototyping; engineering simulation and digital twin.

Manufacturing engineer

Manufacturing engineer

Tomorrow's manufacturing engineers will design and implement manufacturing systems to improve time-to-market while reducing cost, waste, and defects.


Technical/hard skills: CNC machining; AI/ML; design for manufacturing; robotics/cobotics; integrated CAD/CAM software and programming; additive and hybrid manufacturing; operations technology; AR/VR.

CNC machinist

CNC machinist

Educators are positioned to help machinists prepare and evolve to an elevated role that includes managing and programming advanced technology.


Technical/hard skills: AI/ML; robotics/cobotics; integrated CAD/CAM software and programming; additive and hybrid manufacturing; predictive/preventative maintenance; five-axis or higher machine tools.

Reshape your curriculum for the modern industry

Future of manufacturing

Read the e-book or full market research report to learn the critical steps, insights, and skills to prepare the modern workforce.

Education transformation

Discover trends and forces transforming education and the role educators play in building tomorrow's workforce. 

Take the next step

Ready to align with industry needs? Download Autodesk Fusion at no cost for educators and students.