An article from Wired pointed to a recent phenomenon of classes and schools that teach “maker skills” – hands-on, DIY skills geared toward 9-5 desk jockey-types who are great with, say, a Power Point presentation, but maybe not so much at the skills necessary to make tangible objects.
The schools and programs teach everything from quilting to welding to plasma laser cutting. They’re popping up in major metropolitan areas and small towns alike. And they’re not just in the U.S. – you can find them all over the world.
So it begs the question … is this the beginning of a revolution, where herds of office drones trade their Aeron chairs for welder’s helmets, or a career as a CNC machinist? It’s too early to say. But as the trend toward DIY takes root — manifesting itself in everything from backyard vegetable gardens to garage-housed 3-D printers — it’s possible that more than a few folks are eager to spend their days getting their hands on something other than a mouse and keyboard.
If nothing else, it appears to be a fantastic opportunity to educate a segment of the population who otherwise would not be aware of the technical know-how necessary for today’s manufacturing industry. It might not be the magic bullet that closes the skills gap, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.