The rising demand for workers experienced in autonomous vehicle engineering has resulted in an unconventional training ground for new talent.
Online education startup Udacity launched a self-driving car engineer "Nanodegree" program on Oct. 27. The nine-month, $2,400 online course is aimed at equipping computer science and engineering workers with the necessary skills to develop autonomous vehicles.
Fourteen automakers and technology companies, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia and Elektrobit, have partnered with Udacity to help shape the curriculum and gain early access to graduates of the program.
"There's a lot of hype and fight over talent," said Manuela Papadopol, director of business development at Elektrobit, which has been recruiting primarily at universities in Germany.
There were more than 1,000 job listings related to autonomous vehicles posted on hiring database website Indeed.com last week, according to an analysis by Indeed Hiring Lab, the website's research arm. Some postings included multiple jobs, so the number could be even higher, Indeed said. Boston Consulting Group estimates that self-driving technology will be a $42 billion industry and create 100,000 jobs by 2025.