Since its beginning, the 3D printing industry has experienced significant growth, evident in Wohlers Associates’ yearly reports (Wohlers Report 2019 ISBN 978-0-9913332-5-7). Behind this growth is a talented workforce. But, as with most disruptive technologies, the sector growth happens much quicker than the pace of learning, leading to a talented workforce. This lag has created what is commonly known as the 'Additive Manufacturing (AM) Skills Gap'; the notion that there are simply not enough talented people to fill jobs and thus meet the needs and demand from the AM employers.
To help fill the skills gap 3D printing programs at all grade levels need to developed and widely offered. This will open up jobs for educators who can teach the technical and business aspects of 3D printing.
Regarding the skills that will be needed by workers in new age technology fields, there are three basic skill fields. First, there are cognitive skills, which include digital literacy, as well
as advanced problem-solving and creative and critical thinking skills. Second, there are social and behavioural skills like conscientiousness, grit, and openness to experience. Third,
there are job- or occupation-specific technical skills, in this case related to robotics systems and 3D printing.
Thus skills and knowledge at the intersection of 3D printing and these areas will also be in future demand. In terms of education, jobs for educators who can teach such skills, both
regarding 3D printing itself and interdisciplinary connection and intersections with other fields and subject areas, will become another emerging job opportunity. Such teachers will be needed in the Arts as well as the Sciences, and stay current with the latest trends and technologies that the various industries and fields will adopt.