Working in the semiconductor industry was once an extremely popular career option, but with so many other growing areas of emerging tech to work in, has this popularity decreased, asks technology website Silicon Republic (SR)
Peter Kennedy, professor of microelectronic engineering at University College Dublin, tells SR the semiconductor industry has always been cyclical.
“When there’s a recession, demand for products falls and employment contracts slightly. When the recession ends, or a new technology emerges, demand for microchips and the engineers that design them, skyrockets,” he said.
“It’s a bit like the stock market. The underlying trend has been consistent exponential growth because semiconductors are being used in more and more applications all the time. That’s not going to end any time soon.”
While the applications for semiconductors appear endless, those who can design and build them are in a limited supply. The tech industry is suffering from skills shortages across the board, but the nature of working with semiconductors means it needs a huge range of skills.
Kennedy said when it comes to the design side of things, companies such as AMD, Analog Devices, Intel, Qualcomm and more are mainly in need of electronic engineers who are proficient in maths and computing.
For the application of semiconductors, Kennedy says they need people who know the application domains – energy, entertainment, health, etc, – and love to use technology to make the world a better place. “Biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, business, and soft skills are all useful,” he says.
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