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OEMs of the Future Need More Talent From Silicon Valley

By Matthew Dankovich, LSSBB, GWCBA
IT Business Analyst, General Motors Co.

This post is part of the MICHauto Summit series, a collection of articles aimed to shed light on the evolving culture and careers in the automotive and mobility industries. This post is the view of the writer and does not reflect the views of MICHauto or the Detroit Regional Chamber. Learn more and register for the Summit today.

OEMs of the future will build their success not solely based on their manufacturing capabilities and vehicle hardware but also by developing advanced operating systems, electrification, enhanced in-vehicle entertainment and connectivity.  Over the next 10 years, the demand for young talent with backgrounds in electrical engineering, analytics, cyber security and programming will dominate the automotive industry in relation to job opportunities for the 16 OEMs that call Michigan their home. As automakers and tech companies disrupt the future of mobility through advances in technology it will be important for these companies to attract top talent that is also targeted by the Silicon Valley giants.

Michigan has long been known as the automotive capital of the world and currently has more projects relating to connected and autonomous vehicles than any other state. This puts Michigan at the precipice of a tech boom within the industry that will redefine manufacturing processes, vehicle connectivity, automation and consumer demands.

For example, in the U.S., tech companies have 28 times more engineers with expertise in artificial intelligence. Additionally, the ratio of software engineers to non-software engineers is 1:11  in the automotive industry, whereas the tech industry ratio is 1.6:1. Automakers will need to shift this allocation of spending from traditional vehicle development to software development as well as customer service.

With over 2,000 job postings monthly relating to the evolving tech landscape of Michigan’s automotive industry, there is an increasing need for a paradigm shift from hardware development to software development and customer experience. OEMs of the future will require individuals with a broader skill set and entrepreneurial mindset. The largest challenge for many of these manufacturing giants will be to break away from the rigid operating models of the past and aversion to risk in order to develop the disruptive technology that will drive the industry forward.

Matthew Dankovich is an IT business analyst at General Motors Co.

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