In the past 30 years, the motor vehicle has undergone a remarkable evolution, not only in Malaysia but also globally. The rapid development of autonomous and technologically-advanced vehicles is creating a demand for new skills across the industry. The need for qualified engineers with skills that bridge the traditional and digital worlds has never been greater.
These new skills are not replacing those of traditional engineers but are characteristic of a continuous evolution of skills of the Malaysian workforce.
1. Artificial Intelligence & Application Software (AI)
AI and machine learning are already playing an integral role in the progression of self-driving vehicles on public roads. While it still seems like a journey that Malaysia needs to embark on, Malaysia’s car manufacturing industry is likely to prosper, as the technology behind these autonomous vehicles is undoubtedly the future.
As automation and connectivity are at the heart of car makers’ strategies, more players in the market will be looking for the right niche skills to spearhead this revolution. Knowing your way around AI and application software will certainly boost your career in the next years.
2. Electrical engineering
The global shift to hybrid and electric vehicles is fuelling demand for powertrain and power electronics specialists. From electrical motor control to battery and power management, employers will be looking for talent specialising in this growing sector.
As the world moves toward more sustainable energy solutions, the demand for experts in power electronics is requiring a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering skills. Your career prospects are not limited to the automotive sector, but extend to a variety of other industries, including the aeronautical, architectural and infrastructural space.
3. Digital sales specialist
In today’s world, almost every customer is an ‘internet customer’ in the sense that most purchasing decisions are influenced by what we see or interact with online. As we spend more and more time researching cars and comparing prices online, the demand for digital sales specialist is increasing.
Before going down to a dealership, many customers will already have done their research, which means that the sales pitch is moving from offline to online. As reciting a car’s benefits is no longer necessary (since the consumer probably already knows), sales specialists need to create trust and confidence online.
4. Soft skills
While having technical skills is crucial, the trainable workforce cannot rely on just trade-based skills. With the rise of AI and other technologies, HR managers are predicting an increased demand for soft skills among the workforce. For instance, the automotive industry may require workers that have good knowledge of computers and mathematics but are also able to think critically.
Soft skills such as communication, decision-making and negotiation skills are the trifecta of abilities that the automotive industry is looking for. Being able to lead, problem-solve, innovate and influence people cross-functionally is an important attribute that will be of high value throughout your career.