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March 2021

The Future of Automotive Technical Education

The Future of Automotive Technical Education 1416 794 Peter van Gorder

When the COVID pandemic made the world shelter in place, so many “normal” things we did in our everyday life were affected. Many businesses were closed that were not deemed essential. Many workers shifted to a work-from-home business model. Schools were closed, and students adjusted to at-home, online learning. Most of us stayed home and didn’t put as much mileage on our cars. Across the globe, people pivoted to adjust to the new “normal”.

As a result, many people have been questioning the future of automotive technical education. The pandemic has been challenging to the automotive industry, for sure. But there is always good to find in bad situations. As we look into our “pretend” crystal ball to see the future, here is what we believe is unfolding for the future of automotive technical education.

Job security. During most recessions, some industries tend to be recession-resistant. Typically, those industries are auto repair, alcohol distributors, beauty salons, and funeral parlors. Shockingly enough, of those four industries, only auto repair remained less affected by COVID shutdowns. No one would have ever considered bars, barbershops, and funerals to be closed down for months at a time. But auto repair shops across the country tended to sustain or improve their gross annual revenue when comparing notes from 2019 to 2020. That is why we feel that the future of automotive technical education looks bright, for the industry is deemed essential.

Evolving technology. When automobiles were first invented, they were relatively simple. If you watch this Mercedes Benz commercial about the world’s first driver, Bertha Benz, you’ll see what we mean. 

As cars became mass-produced, the technology evolved further. However, when you compare the technical simplicity of a gas-powered vehicle built in 1957 compared to a gas-powered vehicle built in 2021, the technological leap is head-spinning. This dynamic technical evolution is primarily because today’s modern cars are essentially sophisticated computer networks on wheels.

Suppose you look at the current trends of automotive technology. In that case, the climate crisis is pushing car manufacturers to move away from gas-powered vehicles and moving toward hybrids and electric cars. Today’s auto repair industry is highly aware that if the automotive technicians who repair vehicles do not evolve with the emerging technology, they are doomed to lose out on market share. Therefore, anyone participating in the automotive technical education programs from this point forward will have a significant career advantage since they’re getting hands-on experience with electric vehicles and leading-edge, specialized training.

Education is evolving. For many years, education has changed from a standard, one-size-fits-all model to a customized curriculum model that better serves each student. The pandemic knocked the education industry for a loop and forced schools of all levels to pivot from in-person classrooms to online education. 

Because of these unprecedented circumstances, many parents and students are questioning the traditional model of in-person school. In particular, many people who are worried about student debts are doubtful that a liberal arts education will help them pay their student loans off in a short timeframe. That is why we see growth in vocational training and automotive technical education. Here is an auto repair recruiting video illustrating this point.

The future of automotive technical education looks bright, and Switch Vehicles Inc. is here to support its growth. At Switch Vehicles, we manufacture a fun, sporty, and safe Electric Vehicle created as a “build-it-yourself” kit for education. Our all-inclusive program is called The Switch Lab™ – which challenges students to build a full-size, road-worthy electric vehicle as a classroom project. Used in high schools, colleges, and junior high schools across the US, the program delivers high-quality project-based learning with real-world experience and impact. Founded in 2013, we practice what we teach with EV Kits manufactured in our Sebastopol, CA, shop.

Our reusable EV Kit is an ideal project that teaches students how to work with their hands, solve problems, learn about systems, and gain experience in cutting-edge automotive technology. To learn more about how Switch Vehicles can benefit your school, contact us today.