Skilled Worker Shortage
A Volkswagen selfdriving car prototype Laura Putre

A Volkswagen self-driving car prototype.

To Get Self-Driving Cars up to Speed, Engineers and IT Workers Need More Training

A new study finds a demand for connected and autonomous vehicle workers in 49 occupations—from IT and cybersecurity to civil and transportation systems engineering.

Technology can only get from the idea stage to development—and eventually, mass production—with the workforce to design the architecture and write the code. The need for talent in the autonomous and connected vehicle sector—engineers, software developers, cybersecurity professionals, transportation planners—is growing faster than schools can design curriculum and the government can create new occupational categories.

A new study finds a demand for connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) workers in 49 occupations—from IT and cybersecurity to civil and transportation systems engineering. For workers to compete going forward, many of those jobs will require specialized training in addition to four-year degrees, the study found.

Computer scientists, for instance, might need additional training to develop code specifically for vehicles to communicate with each other, and civil engineers might need specialized coursework in designing smart bridges and roads.

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN), a partnership of community colleges and workforce agencies, and University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute collaborated on the study, which analyzed job posting data from Burning Glass to determine the necessary skill sets.

Other findings:

1. Software developers, information security analysts and computer system engineers/architects with CAV skills are the job titles most in demand. As CAV matures from the development to the production phase, demand for expertise in manufacturing, infrastructure and quality control will likely increase.

2. With the emphasis on cybersecurity, many CAV workers will need federal security clearance. Non-U.S. citizens working in the United States on HB-1 visas cannot hold such clearance, so that would limit hiring options for employers.

3. CAV skills are most in demand in Washington, Detroit, Boston and Baltimore. The average salary listed in a CAV-related job ad in 2015-16 was $94,733, up from $82,490 in 2011.

4. Nationwide, employers advertised for 10,344 jobs with CAV specialization in 2015-16.

TAGS: Talent
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