Auto industry attracts best, brightest
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.
If you wondered whether doldrums from the recent financial crisis had dulled interest in automotive careers, simply look at the young people featured in Automotive News last week.
The 40 Under 40 package in our July 16 issue introduced some of the very bright and eager young executives working at dealerships all over the nation.
And if you thought too few young people want careers working for automotive manufacturers or suppliers, you are in for a surprise.
The attraction of the automobile industry is still huge. Lots of young folks are studying for careers in the auto business, whether in retail or manufacturing.
I have been involved with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit for quite a while and am pleased by how many young people are interested in careers designing automobiles. CCS is certainly the leading institution of higher learning that teaches automotive design.
Meanwhile, Northwood University offers a curriculum in retail automotive management on residential campuses in Michigan, Texas and Florida and in classrooms at several locations across the country and in Switzerland. For decades, Northwood has done a wonderful job of educating students about the intricacies of automotive management, and the school continues to attract lots of young people.
Currently there is criticism of higher education and the inability of institutions to teach usable skills. But CCS and Northwood students graduate with skill sets that enable them to become productive members of automotive manufacturers or retailers immediately.
It is encouraging that the automobile business is still a magnet for young people.
Many other universities and colleges have excellent programs in other disciplines -- such as engineering, marketing and finance -- for eager students who will head for the auto industry when they graduate.
Last week's special section -- autonews.com/40under40 -- was a great example of the young breed of executives in the retail automobile business.
You can reach Keith Crain at email@example.com.