Summary of Is Manufacturing "Cool" Again?

Brookings Institution Press,

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Is Manufacturing
Could manufacturing one day trump finance and law as top graduates’ industry of choice?


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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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why manufacturing requires a new wave of talented graduates and
  • Why manufacturing may soon be able to compete with law and finance for top graduates.


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...
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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.

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    Martin Neil Baily and Robert E. Litan

    Brookings Institution Press, 2009


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