Automation is frequently cited as one of the chief causes of the decline in the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but these days it can just as easily be credited for the rise in interest in technology-based occupations. The growth of e-commerce, digital manufacturing, robots, drones, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, driverless cars and trucks, wearables, and all the other high-tech gadgets and solutions that need to be created, designed, engineered, produced and sold have led to a renaissance of sorts at the university level. Pursuing a manufacturing degree, in short, is a cool field of study, and U.S. universities are attracting students to their programs the old-fashioned way: by offering compelling coursework and research opportunities that lead to real-world jobs.
This slideshow is based on US News & World Report’s current ranking of the top undergraduate industrial/manufacturing programs. For each school, we offer a snapshot look at the manufacturing initiatives, research programs and fields of study offered and available to students (and in some cases, to the manufacturing industry as well).