Siemens: Creating a Pipeline of Manufacturing Talent

Dora Smith, senior director, Global Academic and Startup Program, Siemens Digital Industries Software
Dora Smith, senior director, Global Academic and Startup Program, Siemens Digital Industries Software
Siemens, in collaboration with The University of Colorado Boulder and Pennsylvania State University, is looking to address manufacturing's talent crisis

Siemens has announced a new micro-credential programme designed to create a stronger pipeline of engineering to meet industry demand.

Siemens credentials have been created in partnership with Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) in a bid to supplement a formal degree, validating industry knowledge and skills.

This comes at a time of growing concern surrounding the future of manufacturing, which is facing a digital skills gap, a hiring crisis and an ageing workforce.

A recent report from McKinsey revealed the staggering extent of these problems in the US, where future generations lack both the skills and desire needed to enter a career in manufacturing. 

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This trend is already shaping how manufacturers, along with other industries, are approaching digital transformation, a reality that has influenced Siemens’ creation of the program.

“The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report highlights 60% of businesses are holding back on transforming their businesses because of the skills gap in their local labour market,” says Dora Smith, Senior Director of Global Education and Startup Strategy at Siemens Digital Industries Software.

“The launch of Siemens’ credential programme strives to combat this issue by providing the future workforce with industry-recognised credentials, addressing talent acquisition needs and creating a stronger talent pipeline."

The programme, to be delivered by CU Boulder with expert support from Siemens, consists of nine courses made globally available through Coursera. 

Two courses, Applied Sustainability Engineering and Sustainability and the Circular Economy are available. The other courses, which will cover operations management, product and packaging design for the circular economy, sustainable supply chains, leading the circular business and leveraging consumer demand, are set to launch later this year.

Dr. Christy Bozic, faculty director, Engineering Management Program, University of Colorado Boulder

"Partnering with Siemens Digital Industries Software to develop a credential focused on applied sustainability enables us to create a future that provides both economic success and a more enduring, resilient and sustainable planet," adds Dr Christy Bozic, Faculty Director of the Engineering Management Program at CU Boulder. 

“Siemens is a leader in sustainability, and combining our academic and industry expertise through this credential will provide learners with the knowledge and skills to integrate sustainability into engineering design and processes, benefitting both companies and society as a whole.”

In addition to its work with CU Boulder, Siemens is also collaborating with Penn State to integrate the programme’s content and expertise into a series of four credential courses for engineering career preparation. Topics covered include project management, inclusive leadership and business acumen. 

Peter Olfs, former head of corporate communications at Siemens speaking to Penn State University engineering students (Credit: Penn state University, College of Engineering)

"In today's ever-evolving world of engineering and technology, it's crucial for students to not only apply their learning within an industry environment but also to adapt to and lead change,” continues Dr Meg Handley, Associate Director of Engineering Leadership Undergraduate Programs at the School of Engineering Design and Innovation at Penn State.

"By collaborating with Siemens, we're equipping the future workforce with critical skills and knowledge that industry employers require."

By delivering this initiative with Penn State and CU Boulder, Siemens has been able to pilot the micro-credential programme for ABET recognition. ABET is a non-governmental, non-profit agency responsible for accrediting programs in computing, natural and applied sciences and engineering. 

The organisation will ensure the Siemens micro-credentials effectively prepare the future engineering workforce, addressing diverse skill areas with defined quality standards.

Siemens, through its innovative micro-credential programme, is ensuring students are receiving the vital knowledge and training they need to enter today’s workforce. 

Schemes like this, which highlight the opportunity, innovation and advanced technology in global manufacturing, have the potential to lead to a much-needed increase in those considering careers in manufacturing. 

Manufacturers like Siemens are exercising power and responsibility as global industry representatives in forward-thinking and proactive ways, creating new educational approaches to discover, recruit and train the manufacturing workforce of the future. 


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