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How to Address the Semiconductor Industry’s Talent Shortage?

Anyone who has waited for a smart appliance or car to arrive understands the critical need for semiconductor chips, particularly those produced in the United States. Nearly all modern electronics, from the Alexa that wakes you in the morning to the phone that delivers your messages to the traffic lights that direct traffic, contain semiconductor chips.

The American scarcity of semiconductors (and accompanying talent deficit) over the past three years has been dismissed as a “supply chain” problem made worse by the epidemic, but the reality is far more complex.

Domestic production of integrated circuits now only makes up a small portion of global production. According to a recent article, the U.S. contributed only 16% of commercial chip manufacturing in 1990, down from 37%. Instead, a large number of small electronics are now produced in Southeast Asia outside, particularly in Taiwan and South Korea.
Bringing Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Home This year, the Congress and American chip manufacturers made tremendous strides to right the ship. However, rebuilding the domestic semiconductor chip manufacture will take time and a concerted effort from all parties.

Congress celebrated the CHIPS act’s passage in July of last year. The law allocates $77 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for American companies that design and produce integrated circuits. The package directs $39 billion in direct financial support to businesses constructing chip manufacturing facilities in the United States. $2 billion is directed toward lab innovation for the military and other applications. An additional $11 billion is allocated for advanced chip manufacturing research and workforce development.

A Range of Positions and Duties
The current difficulty is finding talent to fill such positions in the semiconductor sector through training and recruitment. More than 24,000 jobs for Internet of Things (IoT) specialists are available worldwide, with an average compensation of $150,000, according to Simplilearn. Jobs in IoT infrastructure deal with connecting things to the internet. Devices include electronics, various types of gear, and CPUs.

Engineers who design and produce the materials for these gadgets are in high demand due to the ever-increasing use of electronics and computer systems. However, hiring talent is a challenge for semiconductor producers.

Increasing Interest in Semiconductor Jobs
So how do we link those who are interested in careers with the numerous semiconductor jobs available in the United States? Let’s look at some strategies for addressing the skill gap in the semiconductor sector.

1. Modify how the industry is seen
According to Tony Chan Carusone, CTO of the Toronto-based semiconductor firm Alphawave IP, there is a misconception that the semiconductor industry is a stuffy one. It is thought to be less fascinating than the software business, with fewer chances for career advancement and income creation. Carusone clarified that, in actuality, the sector encompasses far more than just factory floor labourers donning white bunny costumes. He claimed that a professional can start out strong and make an effect right away in the hardware market.

There is already a significant amount of abstraction present, he noted. The modern equivalent of developing a chip, for instance, is programming code. Whether a worker is creating a software product or carrying out the coding and design of a hardware product, the industry is dynamic, he continued.

2. Highlight Talent Opportunities Clearly
Companies need to outline clear career paths for individuals to work on market-leading solutions in addition to competitive compensation. The stability, expansion, and profitability of Carusone’s business, he claimed, are key recruiting factors. He claimed that “there is a global talent battle” in the semiconductor business.

3. Show evidence of industry innovation
New chip designs are one area of innovation and opportunity. Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or chips made for a particular product or usage, are a market that is expanding. A business can control a market if it can create a semiconductor specifically for that use.

4. Encourage Additional Electrical Engineering Graduates
Carusone asserts that there aren’t enough electrical engineers coming out of institutions. He claimed that the software sector, where there is high demand, draws students. However, as a result of the way institutions are set up, programmes in electrical engineering are being eaten alive by computer software. Companies making semiconductors are raising pay to stay competitive.

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