One of the largest car companies on the planet, Toyota, is set to make software engineers half of its new technical hires, the Japan Times reports. It’s only a matter of time before software hires outpace mechanical ones.
The Japanese auto giant will scale back the number of mechanical engineers it plans to intake in its home country, while increasing the number of software engineers it’s bringing aboard.
The race to both electrify and automate cars is very competitive, so Toyota is more than doubling the percentage of software engineers it hires next spring, as the Japan Times outlines:
Toyota Motor Corp. will increase its software engineer intake to around 40% to 50% of all technical hires from spring next year as it looks to supercharge the development of autonomous and other next-generation vehicles.
The move to increase its hiring of those with aptitude for software engineering from the current 20% comes after Toyota hired about 300 new university graduates or engineers with graduate degrees, mostly with backgrounds in mechanical engineering,
The report doesn’t cite specific numbers, and it looks as though Toyota is playing its cards close to the chest as far as how many software engineers it’s going to hire. But it will mean scaling back the number of new mechanical engineers it takes on to account for the software increase.
It’s also notable that Toyota is shifting its hiring strategy because it shows how important software engineering and development is going to be as carmakers become reliant on CASE technologies. The acronym stands for “connected, autonomous, shared and electric,” from the Japan Times.
Last year, Toyota began expanding its portfolio with Toyota Kinto, its own entry into the mobility segment complete with a specialised app. Toyota even hinted that it plans to develop its own smart carwash, and all of these new technologies are going to need software engineers to build the systems powering them.
Of course, there’ll always be a place for mechanical engineers and industrial designers among the ranks of big auto, but as the industry pivots, it’s going to need a lot of software experts for anything from artificial intelligence to data analysis, per the Japan Times.
If you are neither a mechanical nor software engineer, though, don’t fret. It’s always possible that Toyota could need more YouTubers.