Why you’re more likely to get an autonomy job in Michigan than California

There may be twice as many technology employers in California, but competing against the world’s talent is tough!  You’re actually about twice as likely to get a job in Michigan and surrounding states, as there’s a lot less competition and far more employers (per head of population).

The real difference between those two states alone is nearly 80%.

Detroit is not usually the first choice for most technology people, but with low prices and employers keen to catch up with the threat from California and the modern industry 4.0 manufacturers, the city is catching up quickly as an attractive place to start businesses in the sector, as well as a location where you can create a real long-life career, without the pressures and expectations of start-up life in Silicon Valley.

California might be where you attract funding and technology innovation, but the products are being bought by the folks in Motown, a resurgent industrial powerhouse with a depth of experience enabling American mobility for more than a century.

There are other opportunities too, especially if you feel a natural affinity to a slower pace.

Property prices, both for commercial and residential property, are far lower, and there are a significant number of major international companies there too, all with a real hunger to embrace new ways of working. Car makers from outside the US are opening new factories, and jobs are being added at a faster rate than most other cities in the country.

It’s not all about California sun and golden skies in the race to autonomy. Michigan has 80% more jobs opportunities in autonomy per person!

Let’s also not forget that there’s more than 100 years of cultural, educational and commercial investment in the automotive industry in Michigan, centred of course on Detroit, and this – above anywhere else in the USA – is where the technology buyers; the automakers and the largest Tier 1 system suppliers such as Autoliv, Bosch, Valeo and Continental, have been for decades.

The top ten states ranked in order of ‘employers with an interest in autonomy’, per head of population is:

  1. Washington DC
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. Massachusetts
  5. California
  6. Connecticut
  7. Oregon
  8. New York
  9. New Jersey
  10. Colorado

A quick explanation… the higher on the list, the fewer people in the state per company… so while California might have around 500 employers working in the sector, because of the significantly larger population (around 40 million people) the competition for those jobs is that much tougher.

Washington DC and Maryland play host to the government of course, but ours is a tech conference so we don’t worry too much about anything other than the laws of Moore, Newton and Asimov. Michigan is obvious too, Massachusetts has industry movers and shakers thanks to armies of tech folk coming out of MIT, and California is where the world’s techies live, work, and play.

As for the rest – well that’s up to you to find out, odds are they’ll be coming in May, along with 400 other people from across the US, with further guests from industry in Europe and Asia.

There is a good reason why AutoSens resides in Detroit, and we’ll stay there and talk about it for years to come – long may it reign as America’s motor city!


Purchase your tickets to AutoSens in Detroit, come and meet some local partners and open up your engineering career opportunities in autonomous vehicle technology. Book tickets here

Responses