Smart factories are a key aspect of the fourth industrial revolution, but a factory can’t evolve into a smart factory unless its workers evolve, too.

The skills gap has a lot of manufacturers wondering about what the future holds. Should employers offer more pay to entice existing talent? How can we encourage students to pursue STEM and skilled education?

As if finding skilled workers wasn’t hard enough, the industry is changing so fast that many careers end up being moving targets. Companies can’t implement cutting-edge digital solutions if their workforce doesn’t have the skills to use that new tech effectively.

Perhaps the solution to the skills gap isn’t in filling old jobs, but creating new roles that maximize the effectiveness of digital technologies.

According to a recent report by research institute UI Labs in collaboration with HR consultancy ManpowerGroup, that’s exactly what needs to happen.

“By mapping the digital roles and skills of the future, our research will help companies and schools upskill today’s manufacturing workforce for the connected, smart machine and augmented-technology jobs of an increasingly digital enterprise,” said ManpowerGroup CEO Jonathan Prising. “This will help bridge the skills gap and highlights the advanced and attractive jobs emerging on the forefront of the manufacturing sector.”

The report identifies 165 of those emerging roles—way too many to cover in a single article. Instead, here are five of the most interesting:


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