Summary of Is Manufacturing "Cool" Again?

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Economists Martin Neil Baily and James M. Manyika argue that the time is right for high-flying graduates to consider careers in manufacturing. Booming economies in the developing world and innovation in production, technology and materials are driving demand for quality graduates. A possible “renaissance” in manufacturing means it could again become the career of choice for the most talented graduates, who have gravitated toward law and finance in recent years. Although aware that it ignores the plight of blue-collar manufacturing workers, getAbstract recommends this enlightening article to human resources managers, manufacturing executives and bright young things everywhere.

About the Authors

Martin Neil Baily is a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, where James M. Manyika is a nonresident senior fellow of economic studies.



As manufacturing declined in the West, the brightest graduates gravitated toward lucrative jobs in finance and law, but this trend may be changing. The world’s developing economies are booming, and huge demand from their newly minted middle classes is leading to an expansion in manufacturing. Simultaneously, advances in materials, technology and production mean that the industry is now more innovative than ever before. As a result, the need for top-quality graduates with broad skill bases is growing.

Manufacturing now has a large and increasing appetite for...

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