Applied & Technical Studies

Digital manufacturing is hungry for talent

Digital manufacturing is hungry for talent

A 3D printer can print a house. What else could it do?

With the advent of automation, 3D modelling, 3D printing, and precision cutting, creative possibilities are multiplying in the manufacturing industry.

Whether you are new to the manufacturing field or a seasoned hand who needs to upgrade your skills, the UFV's Digital Manufacturing diploma equips you with the know how to work in a high tech shop. You explore the techniques needed to harness evolving technologies and create innovative products made of smart materials.

The one-year Digital Manufacturing diploma builds on the knowledge you gained in the Electronics Technician Common Core program at UFV or elsewhere. Over two semesters, you go through a set of courses focusing on 3D modelling, material science and technology, design for manufacturing, computer numerical controlled machinery, and fabrication technology.

You get to interact and create with a wide array of digital equipment including digital and computer numerical controlled machinery, 3D printers, laser cutters, plasma cutters, automated looms, culinary equipment and more. In your last semester, you apply what you learn by working on a design and implementation project, based on your career goals and interests.

When you graduate, you are ready to enter a field hungry for talent as an operator, technician, or technologist, either in digital manufacturing or any economic sector deploying technology.

Career Outlook for digital manufacturing

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) reports that manufacturing employs 1.7 million people, with an annual compensation of $114 billion — more than any other sector. Currently, 40% of CME’s members experience skill shortages. This number is expected to grow to 60% in five years.

Locally, manufacturing supports 12,000 firms and 400,000 jobs according to City of Abbotsford Economic Development (CAED). As an economic driver, manufacturing provides $8.6 billion in wages, which is 15% higher than the overall average wage for all industries. High technology is fuelling growth in the sector: CAED reports that in the last 15 years, advanced manufacturing businesses grew over 19% of all firms, to almost 45% of the total manufacturing firms in British Columbia.

Therefore, digital manufacturing grads have excellent employment prospects in a wide variety of enterprises including aerospace, mining, steelmaking, automotive, food processing, wood and paper products, and consumer goods.