Hiring Ads: Sign of strength in job market or weakness of informal networks?
2012/07/08 Leave a comment
There is an interesting post on hiring ads over at Global Robotics Innovation Park. The post sources its data from Wanted Analytics’s post on hiring advertising for robotics. The post headline is that robotics related hiring ads are up 29%. This is good news, but I’m not sure that it is that significant a statement on the health of our industry. It is more a statement on the health of our industry’s customers and the macro-economy at large.
If you look at the trend and the details that they report, it seems that most of these jobs are at users of robotics in manufacturing or medical hubs–not places with lots of robotics builders. The need for a physician/urologist with robotics experience sounds a lot like hospitals are trying to keep those sweet new DaVinci Sis fully utilized. A lot of the other jobs sound like manufacturing is finally finding its feet again. Don’t get me wrong, this is all good for robotics, but it doesn’t mean that our industry is growing relative to the economy at large. Take a look at the job posting numbers for robotics qualifications.
Job Postings for Robotics:
Wanted Analytics also has a similar post on the state of hiring for lean six sigma engineers with a headline about 28% growth. The trend of the two graphs is almost identical. This suggests to me that both the headlines should really be about the macro-economy and what that means for hiring.
Job Postings for Lean Six Sigma:
I think the takeaway from this jobs post is that as our industry continues to insert robotics into more areas of people’s lives, that the changes will not be in tech hubs where robots are designed and built. Rather, the changes will be where the users live. Our impact, for good or ill will be where our systems get used. Adoption and sales are going to be driven by the challenges that our customers face. As an industry we need to start addressing the challenges of the robotics workforce to remove that impediment to adoption. ReThink Robotics is on the right track trying to reduce the hurdles to operating a robot. Still, our society will probably require a lot of system operators and maintainers if more work is to be done by robotic systems. The education system is unlikely to meet this challenge with out partners, I hope that our industry can be such a partner.