The semiconductor industry is in a pickle.
Intel has earmarked $100B+ on chip fabrication plants in coming years. Its competitors — Samsung and Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Company (TMSC) — are putting up similar sums.
All this money…
… can’t buy enough people to actually run the plants. Per The New York Times, there will be a shortage of up to 300k semiconductor workers in the US by 2025.
The skill shortage runs the gamut from technicians to run the plants to researchers to design the newest chips.
One big issue: Silicon isn’t sexy. Today, university grads with engineering degrees — especially Ph.D.s — are taking their degrees to software, which often pays better too.
How to train the next generation
The semiconductor firms are implementing new recruiting plans, per NYT:
- US chip manufacturers are lobbying for more foreign work visas to fill the gap
- Leading Taiwanese universities are launching semiconductor-specific courses together with TMSC
- 12 Chinese universities have already created chip-focused colleges to fill the void
With semiconductor chips a geopolitical flashpoint for the 21st century, making silicon sexy is a matter of national security.
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