If you want to work at Tesla or SpaceX, a university or even a high school diploma isn’t what you got to bring to an interview.
But before hastily googling ‘Tesla jobs’, you may want to make sure of you coding and AI skills.
Elon Musk set out his priorities as he announced an “AI party/hackathon” at his house with Tesla engineers.
After one user cheekily inquired whether he had the time to “get a quick PhD in AI” to hold out hope for an invitation, Musk replied: “A PhD is definitely not required.”
“All that matters is a deep understanding of [artificial intelligence] and ability to implement [neural networks] in a way that is actually useful,” he tweeted. “Don’t care if you even graduated high school.”
A PhD is definitely not required. All that matters is a deep understanding of AI & ability to implement NNs in a way that is actually useful (latter point is what’s truly hard). Don’t care if you even graduated high school.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2020
“Educational background is irrelevant, but all must pass hardcore coding test,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Tesla is in need of AI professionals as it aims to achieve Level 5 autonomy for its self-driving vehicles — meaning they will require absolutely no human attention. His rocket-manufacturing company SpaceX is also hiring engineers, supervisors and technicians for its Starship project of a reusable spacecraft to take people to orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Musk himself dropped out of a PhD programme in applied physics at Stanford University in 1995, when he was 24 years old, after just two days to found his start-up company Zip2. Four years later, he sold it to Compaq for roughly $300 million.