Are machine learning jobs in demand for the automotive sector? According to Bosch, absolutely.

Between February and July 2023, German engineering giant Bosch was advertising for 750 jobs in machine learning, more than Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, GM and BMW put together.

Richard Parfitt

Between February and July 2023, German engineering giant Bosch was advertising for more jobs in machine learning than Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, GM and BMW put together. But that’s just the beginning when it comes to the rush for tech talent in the automotive sector.

In this blog, we’ll explore why companies like Bosch are hiring so aggressively and explain what it means for your talent acquisition strategy.

What is the role of machine learning in the automotive sector?

First, let’s look at why machine learning (ML) has become so important for automotive companies.

Machine learning is a term to describe software that learns from data without being explicitly programmed for specific tasks. It allows computers to recognize patterns and make decisions based on the information they've been given, e.g., recommending songs for us on streaming platforms based on our listening history.

Whether it’s in design, the manufacturing process, or the driver experience, ML is becoming integral to how cars are built and run. Machine learning helps engineers with aerodynamic and power unit design. It can optimise supply chains with demand forecasting and inventory management. It can detect and prevent manufacturing defects before they start to cause serious problems.

For drivers, ML can predict when parts will fail, optimize engine performance, and hit the brakes to protect drivers from collisions much more quickly than a human ever could. Inside the car, ML is the driving force behind everything from voice-activated sat navs to adaptive cruise control.

Where ML comes into its own, however, is with driverless cars. ML will be at the heart of the self-driving revolution, enabling cars to communicate with each other, plan paths and routes, detect objects, avoid obstacles, and recognise traffic signals.

You can see that with the patents a company like Tesla is filing, including a “vision-based machine learning model for autonomous driving with adjustable virtual camera” and a “data pipeline and deep learning system for autonomous driving”.

According to Elon Musk, the company is “very close to achieving full self-driving without human supervision”.

Why is Bosch hiring so many machine learning professionals now?

Where does Bosch come in? Between February and July this year, Bosch advertised 750 machine learning jobs compared to 179 at Tesla and just 90 at Porsche.

Bosch may not be a carmaker, but its automotive division is the company’s biggest, making tools, workshop equipment, and a wide range of automotive components. Its €50billion+ sales in 2022 make it the world’s largest automotive supplier.

That makes it paramount that their equipment evolves as quickly as the cars do. If they’re still making twentieth-century tools for twenty-first century vehicles, that’s a big chunk of their business they risk losing.

No wonder, then, that Bosch set up a Center for Artificial Intelligence in 2017. By 2025, the company says, it wants every single one of its products to either contain AI or have been developed with AI’s help. You’d be forgiven for thinking that 750 may still not be enough.

What roles is Bosch hiring for?

The roles Bosch is hiring for include a doctoral student with a focus on deep learning solutions for autonomous driving. They also include data engineers, software engineers, and data scientists.

On one of the new jobs, based at their campus in Renningen, Bosch asks for an individual who can combine “symbolic reasoning and numeric AI methods, like Machine Learning, in hybrid AI solutions”. “Experience with machine learning and respective state-of-the-art toolkits” is one of the most important skills required.

In return, they offer candidates “close contact to product developers and the possibility to apply and observe the findings of our research in real-world applications.” In role, they say, you’ll work with leading institutions, publish research, and enjoy all the usual pension and insurance benefits that come with working for a big company.

Old-school stability with new-world tech, not just in the lab but in the real world. Sounds appealing, right?

What does the rush for software talent in automotive mean for me?

Is your Talent Acquisition strategy keeping up? Bosch is making the push for good reason. If they’re going to achieve that ambitious goal to have AI in everything by 2025, they need to compete for a talent pool that finds itself in massive demand right now.

With newcomers like Tesla racing ahead on AI and ML (just think about all those patents), the old industrial companies like Bosch are desperate to catch up and maintain their market dominance. All told, the automotive sector is advertising 33,000 tech jobs right now.

It doesn’t stop with the disruptors in the car market either. As we’ve written elsewhere, the scramble for tech talent is happening in every sector.

In healthcare, where software is rewriting the rules of patient care and system efficiency, there are 68,000 open software positions.

In Defense, it’s 58,000 and, in retail, 52,000. Industrial Machinery and Electronics are looking for over 40,000 each. The Energy sector needs 31,000. Supply Chain and Telecommunications each need over 20,000. Finance needs an eye-watering 70,000 as the fintech revolution takes hold.

How automotive compares: there are a lot of sectors scrambling for tech talent right now.

Machine learning is a big part of that. One job posted by British bank Monzo is a “Senior Machine Learning Engineer”, asking for a lot of the same skills and experience as Bosch are trying to hire.

“As part of your job,” Monzo say, “you'll work closely with product managers, data scientists, backend engineers, designers and researchers in an agile product environment.” There’s that real-world application we were talking about before.

You might be looking at this and wondering what you can do to compete and find the best talent in such a competitive market. Don’t worry, the competition might be fierce but it’s not insurmountable.

At Hashlist, we have over 3,000 tech specialists with experience in ML, AI, and more with 9+ years of experience on average. If you’re looking to accelerate your software transition, just like Bosch, by hiring the best qualified talent, get in touch and we can get you on course to catch up.