Because the 3-D printing industry has experienced incredible growth in recent years, the market for skilled 3-D printing workers has become constrained. The entire industry -- including 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) -- have experienced some form of difficulty finding the necessary technical expertise required to operate industrial-grade 3-D printers. As a result, there are many high-paying job openings in 3-D printing that have gone unanswered.

For aspiring professionals looking for solid career prospects, studying additive manufacturing, casually known as 3-D printing, in college could pay some handsome dividends. This is especially true because 3D Systems and Stratasys recently bought entire companies for their 3-D printing technical expertise, validating that skilled labor is in high demand. 3D Systems acquired Robtec, the largest Latin American 3-D printing service bureau, and Stratasys acquired Solid Concepts, a leading North American 3-D printing service bureau that's been in business since 1991. With 3D Systems and Stratasys making acquisitions that help further their respective growth initiatives, it creates less "available" talent left on the market for other 3-D printing companies. Ultimately, this dynamic could prove to be beneficial to aspiring career seekers looking to secure high-paying employment.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller asks Kevin Ayers, industry manager at SME, what aspiring students should study to get involved with the 3-D printing industry. Going forward, 3D Systems and Stratasys investors should watch how the education landscape evolves to benefit the industry as a whole.

Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems and Apple. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, Apple, and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems, Apple, and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.