Although the Millennial and Gen Z generation have grown up alongside the development of Industry 4.0, research suggests that many young professionals feel that they are underprepared for Industry 4.0. Although 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled within the next few years, the skill gap will leave 2 million jobs vacant.

Deloitte recently conducted a global survey of 10,000 millennials (born 1983-1994) and 2,000 Gen Zs (born 1995-1999). The report found that just 36% of millennials and 42% of Generation Z felt that their employers were helping them to understand and prepare for the changes associated with Industry 4.0. It also found that only 36% of millennials and 29% of Gen Zs who are currently employed believe they have the skills and knowledge required for the future growth of Industry 4.0.

Although they recognize the future importance of Industry 4.0, both of the generations’ apprehension is still prevalent. This is highlighted in the fact that only 17% of millennials expect that digitization will replace, or partially replace, their jobs, but 32% of millennials who work for organizations that use Industry 4.0 technologies extensively believe this will be the case.

Maura Feddersen, an economist at PwC, says encouraging Millennials and Gen Zs to study science, engineering and technology will be crucial to take advantage of emerging technology. “Already, the nature of work is shifting, as emerging technology becomes integral to how businesses operate,” Feddersen says. “New jobs are emerging for those who produce and manage these intelligent systems.”