Heather Caliendo, PlasticsToday
Brian Welt, coordinator of the University of Florida's packaging-engineering program, believes many students share a common misconception when it comes to packaging jobs.
"A lot of students don't even know it's a career," he told PlasticsToday at Pack Expo 2012 (October 28-31; McCormick Place, Chicago). "And, as a result, they don't realize how great the opportunities are for the industry."
The most important asset for any company is its workforce. If you measure on the basis of gross sales, packaging is the world's third largest industry, featuring a variety of jobs from engineering to design to the conversion of raw materials.
Still, projections show that the need for skilled packaging professionals far exceeds the number of packaging graduates.
"I think the packaging industry is the best kept secret in design and manufacturing," said Jim Higley, professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University. "There's a bright future for those who go into packaging, but the key is to get students excited about it."