Technology development creates many challenges in the education of industrial-electronics (IE)-related subjects. At the same time, it allows new educational paradigms to be implemented. The main contribution of this paper is to initiate a discussion for the needs and challenges of IE education both at university level and in lifelong learning, in order to meet the requirements of the emerging technologies of the 21st century. Educational challenges and opportunities are first identified and analyzed. Afterward, an overview of state-of-the-art learning methodologies and tools is presented. New educational paradigms and future directions are also identified.