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Why You Should Consider a Career in Semiconductor Engineering

Why You Should Consider a Career in Semiconductor Engineering

time-clock min read
calendar13 July 2023

Is it time to take on a new challenge? Are you:

Reaching a turning point in your career as a technician?

In an engineering field and looking for a different job?

Graduating from University soon and need a field to settle into?

No matter your technology background there’s an incredible career path ahead of you in semiconductor engineering.

(Source: Statista)

What is Semiconductor Engineering?

Semiconductor engineering is the process where electrical products are prepared for launch to the market and/or end-users. It involves designing, implementing and testing different semiconductors (like silicon) to ensure the highest functionality of the machinery in question, as well as its safety. 

Why are Semiconductor Engineers Important?

Today, semiconductors are the “building blocks of modern computing” and play a role in the vast majority of personal and professional technology devices used across the world (Source: CTE). Therefore, semiconductor engineers are essential in aiding the production of the world’s technology sector. 

The Job Role Explained 

Semiconductor engineers are known for having a wide scope of responsibilities across different electrical applications, from lightbulbs to heavy machinery. Born to Engineer reports you’ll spend most of your days:

  1. Designing semiconductor devices systems, software, and modules.
  2. Develop interfaces and structures.
  3. Testing products and conducting analysis.
  4. Reviewing and providing specification documents.
  5. Availing software engineering support.
  6. Identifying and resolving problems that arise.

The Demand

This year, the international IT market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% - bringing its total value from $8.4 billion in 2021 to an estimated $9.3 billion in 2022. (Source: The Business Research Company). This is driven by:

Digital transformation and businesses needing more hardware.

Software development that requires modern and up-to-date technology.

Trends in consumerism, where the average smartphone only lasts 2-3 years.

With these factors in play, it’s no wonder that qualified semiconductor engineers are in high demand. If companies want to continue facilitating ongoing development in the agile market, they have to fill their talent gaps.

(Source: Finances Online).

Semiconductor Engineer Shortage

Every day, over 3.8 million smartphones and one million laptops and computers are sold on the global market. This is just a snapshot of the devices that need to be appraised by semiconductor engineers, which, compared to mass sector growth, are in short supply. An article published in January revealed that the “monthly shortfall in semiconductor workers [is] about 27,700 employees.” (Source: 9-5 Mac).

This is an opportunity you can take advantage of.

Your Career

Today, anyone who decides to specialise in semiconductor engineering is putting themselves forward for incredible career development. The gap between supply and demand means employers are prioritising the needs of their semiconductor engineers and increasing salary rates to retain talent.

The Top 5 Benefits of Semiconductor Engineering
As a semiconductor engineer, you can enjoy…

1. Respect 

Employers in the sector are eager to provide you with the best possible working experience so you’ll continue working with them. They will listen carefully to your requests, take your advice on board, and provide you with the resources to thrive.

2. Flexibility

If you are feeling overworked and underappreciated in your current role, then you know the mental drain it can have on you. As a semiconductor engineer, you gain an extensive level of career flexibility. You can trial full-time jobs to find positions that align with your goals, or even become a contractor where you can set your own rates. 

3. Recognition

Alongside appreciation from your employer, semiconductor engineers generate high levels of personal satisfaction. The challenging nature of the job keeps you “on your toes” with engaging and entertaining work. At the end of the day, you can return home feeling proud of your contribution to the technology sector. 

4. Development

When you move into semiconductor engineering, you’ll have the chance to be challenged and develop both personally and professionally. As technology continues to advance, you’ll have to learn new skills and even front the way in semiconductor innovation.

5. Progression

The global semiconductor industry has been predicted to go through a decade of growth and become a trillion-dollar industry by 2030 (Source: McKinsey). This creates scalable potential for someone who enters the market while it is still hot. Soon, you’ll be able to claim a leadership position to keep increasing your income. 

How to Become a Semiconductor Engineer
Although there are thousands of unfilled semiconductor engineering jobs, you don’t want to settle for a position that doesn’t engage and satisfy you.  

Step 1. Attain Qualifications

73% of semiconductor engineering jobs, even entry-level positions, require a bachelor's degree or master’s degreein a relevant field (Source: Zippia), such as:

  • Computer Science
  • Material Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Engineering Science
  • Applied Physics
  • Chemical Engineering

If you don’t have one of these qualifications, you could consider studying while you work through Open Universities. Or, you can speak to potential employers about sponsoring your education.

Step 2. Hone Your Skills

To become a semiconductor engineer, you need a variety of different skills. It’s not enough to simply be proficient at what you do, you need to:

  1. Communicate with clients and colleagues.
  2. Apply critical thinking to solve issues.
  3. Be detail orientated to not make dangerous mistakes.
  4. Have high dexterity to complete your job.
  5. Competent in Mathematics

Although not obligatory, those who come from a background from the following occupations can make the transition fairly easily given the skillsets are evenly matched eg manufacturing process engineering, equipment engineer, design engineer or data analysis and processing.

Step 3. Design a Specialised Resume

Instead of simply using the resume you already have (even if it’s up-to-date) your best bet to finding high-quality employment is to design a customised resume that’s specific to semiconductor engineering. This shows the top companies and recruiters in the market that you are serious about your application.

Step 4. Review Available Positions

If you have the right skills and qualifications, you can afford to be picky when it comes to job postings. Look at employer reputation sites to assess where you’ll be treated well, and look at different salary ranges in your local area. Make a list of everything you’d like from your employment including ideal work location and then research recruiters who can help you negotiate.

Step 5. Contact Xcede Group

When it’s time to find a semiconductor job role, speak to the specialist recruiters at Xcede Group. We connect world-leading organisations to top talent in the form of unique contract, permanent, and project-based solutions. 

As a specialist recruitment business working across every aspect of STEM innovation, we can provide you with the opportunity you’re searching for. Contact us today.