The One Job That Pays $10 Million Per Year (Hint: It’s Not A CEO Gig)
Amy Elisa Jackson September 22, 2016
If you want to make up to $10 million in one year, forget launching a start-up. You need to become an engineer of self-driving cars ASAP.
Ex-Google genius Sebastian Thrun, the man dubbed by some as the “father of self-driving cars” says that because of the high demand and low numbers of engineers with the skills, “The going rate for talent these days is $10 million.”
The co-founder and CEO of online higher ed startup Udacity tells Recode, “it’s a very simple instance of a law that is fundamentally true: Technology is moving so fast, that by definition when something becomes hot, the skill set doesn’t exist.”
It’s why Tesla, Google, and Apple are constantly poaching engineers from each other and why Uber swiped all the talent from Carnegie Mellon’s robotics lab. There simply aren’t enough people with the skills required to automate cars. According to Thrun, the only machine learning program in the world run, is at Carnegie Mellon, which cannot churn our talent fast enough for the industry’s demands.
“I’m surrounded by companies that are desperate for talent,” said Thrun. “Non-traditional players are joining the field and they’re all building substantial teams. But the skill set to build a self-driving car is a multidisciplinary skill set [and] that broad skill set is just not there.”
So if you’re in college and have a penchant for tech, change your major quick. Self-driving cars are the wave of the future and it’s where the big bucks are. “The number of people you can hire right out of university who are being educated in the field are limited,” Axel Gern, Mercedes Benz head of autonomous driving in North America, tells Recode. “You’re looking for experts in computer vision, robotics, intelligent systems, artificial intelligence and so on.”
And if you are already out of college, consider a specialized program like the one at Udacity. Since opening the applications for the self-driving program this week, Thrun’s brainchild has received over 4,000 applicants for the 250 slots. Whoa! Not to worry, Udacity says it will expand the program in the coming months and years.
In the mean time, talent will be the pervasive problem in tech. Once it was virtual reality designers and now it is self-driving car engineers. One thing is for sure, being on the cusp of technology education is where the millions are made.
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