From Black Panther to Avengers, it’s never been cooler to be a superhero. A generation ago, superhero stories were the realm of comic book geeks. Today, they’ve taken Hollywood and pop culture by storm, capturing Gen Z’s imagination as these heroes use their super powers – and technology – to save the world. As a Manufacturing recruiter, I know that the rise of superheroes is more than just a Hollywood success story– it can be a manufacturing success story, too. While Gen Z may not be wearing Tony Stark’s suit or piloting a Wakanda car quite yet, they can make their superhero dreams a reality by entering the STEM-powered manufacturing industry.

How Hollywood Can Solve the Manufacturing PR Crisis

The manufacturing PR crisis makes it difficult to inspire younger generations to enter this dynamic industry. A frequently cited 2016 Kronos survey found that only 37% of respondents would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing due to a perceived lack of high-pay jobs and advancement opportunities – despite evidence to the contrary. Hollywood can help combat this PR crisis. By portraying manufacturing as an exciting and dynamic industry – one that’s bringing the futuristic technology of superhero stories to life – we can flip the script. It’s time to show Gen Z and Millennials that the real superheroes are in manufacturing.

What the Media Gets Wrong: 3 Myths About Manufacturing

  1. The industry is dying. Factory closings, outsourcing, layoffs: all too often, our perception of manufacturing is limited to these negative stories. In reality, these shifts are a small part of a much bigger story: the explosive growth of Industry 4.0 that’s transforming manufacturing and creating tremendous talent opportunities.
  2. Job prospects are weak. Yes, manufacturing is facing a job crisis, but it’s not one built around layoffs. This crisis is the opposite. There are not enough qualified hires in the available talent pool to move forward the digitization efforts that are essential to gaining a competitive advantage in Industry 4.0. The truth is that job prospects have never been more exciting. Today’s hires have the opportunity to drive real change forward, helping to build not only new products but also entirely new business models.
  3. It’s assembly line focused. The future of manufacturing is about much more than building products on an assembly line. It’s about being a visionary, a quick learner and a confident decision maker. It’s about helping your company reimagine what’s possible in a world powered by IoT-connected sensors, AI automation, AR/VR applications like digital twinning, and blockchain-based supply chains.

The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations are reshaping contemporary manufacturing, creating exciting, new career pathways. STEM is saving the world. Are you ready, Hollywood? Let’s take this story to the big screen and beyond.