Research from Boston Consulting Group and Detroit Mobility Lab shows that autonomous and electric cars will help create over 100,000 industry jobs in the US in the coming decade, with 30,000 of these new vacancies available to engineers with degrees in computer-related subjects.
However, the demand could still outweigh the expected number of graduates six-fold, adding to the industry’s already significant talent shortage. Unlike in the past, these graduates must have a broad knowledge across a range of different systems, including AI, machine learning, robotics, data sciences and software. Due to this, a lot of automakers have acquired start-ups which already have these abilities. Unfortunately, this has exacerbated the talent shortage, as companies such as Ford and General Motors look elsewhere for new talent.
This is arguably the most exciting shift the world has ever seen. By 2030, more than 20% of cars will be plug-in hybrid or fully-electric, with over 10% of these being autonomous. This kind of change has substantially increased the demand for special engineers with a much higher level of skill than before.
“Companies cannot delay defining what their workforce needs will be for the next few years, so they can begin to plan accordingly. Those that delay could find it difficult to compete,” said Xavier Mosquet, the Detroit-based BCG Senior Partner who led the research. “Jobs will also be created where talent is developed.”
Creating Talent Hubs
Areas like Silicon Valley and Boston have attracted huge pools of talent, thanks to leading technology institutes that are focused on mobility. Cities must support this mobility revolution by creating hubs that attracts talent from all over the world to come together in the same place and work to secure a smarter, safer and more efficient future.
Even Detroit is starting to work towards a mobility-driven society, introducing new autonomous test facilities from the American Center for Mobility and the University of Michigan’s Mcity. This is a great example of how automotive technology hubs can help the resurgence of fallen giants and introduce new jobs to the area.
The US is quickly building up an infrastructure that supports this shift, creating jobs on the way, but it needs to further develop and support the talent needed for the mobility revolution ahead. The country must provide suitable education programmes to produce top-tier graduates with the skills needed to fuel – or, in this case, electrify – the industry.