Oakland University a top-producing school for self-driving vehicle workers

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May 22, 2017
Professor Ka C. Cheok works with students on self-driving vehicle technology.

In the race among companies to bring self-driving cars to market and take the lead in this specialized area, the San Francisco Business Times (SFBT)reported in their May 11 issue that companies are ready to hire, but the skills needed are hard to find.

However, many of those who are qualified to work in the industry are coming from Oakland University.

“I am very proud of our students and their accomplishments,” said Louay M. Chamra, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. “The article cites that about 1.75 percent of all engineering jobs in this field are being filled by Oakland University graduates. It may not seem like a big number, but it puts us among the top five schools placing graduates in this field.”

Other schools on the SFBT job placement list ahead of Oakland include Carnegie Mellon University (3.4 percent), Stanford University (2.94 percent), University of California–Berkeley (2.76 percent) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (1.84 percent).

Universities on the leaders list behind Oakland include: Purdue University (1.65 percent), San Jose State University (1.56 percent), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1.56 percent) and the University of Michigan (1.56 percent).

Further, the SFBT story cited the skills companies are looking for in the self-driving car industry. They included: C++ programming language, machine learning, algorithms, C programming language and distributed systems.

“We have been developing many of our classroom offerings over the past several years to mirror the needs of the automotive industry in general and also those of the self-driving car industry," added Professor Ka C. Cheok, John Dodge Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. "We are teaching all of these highly sought-after skills to put our students in the best possible position for good jobs after they graduate.”

Jobs in the self-driving vehicle space include those with automakers, auto suppliers, major tech companies and startups according to the SFBT story.

Brian Bierley, Director of Media Relations
bierley@oakland.edu, (248) 370-4346