Talent Shortage in the Semiconductor Industry | Global ETS

Addressing the Talent Shortage in the Semiconductor Industry

Jun 12, 2023News


The semiconductor industry grapples with an ongoing talent shortage despite resolving the chip shortage, particularly in sectors like automotive and factory equipment. Projected to grow by over 80% by 2030, the industry faces a pressing need for skilled workers. Initiatives such as the CHIPS and Science Acts, along with the pending EU Chips Act, signal increased investment in R&D and talent development.


The talent shortage in the semiconductor industry persists despite the resolution of the chip shortage. While certain chip types experience declining demand, sectors like automotive, factory equipment, and appliances still rely on chips. Moreover, the industry is projected to grow by over 80% by 2030, necessitating an increase in skilled workers to support this expansion.

Investment in R&D, manufacturing, and talent development has been prompted by the semiconductor shortage. Noteworthy initiatives like the CHIPS and Science Acts, along with the pending EU Chips Act in Europe, have attracted attention and resources. With a trillion-dollar industry forecasted by 2030, the demand for skilled workers is pressing. Deloitte estimates that over a million additional skilled employees will be required, averaging more than 100,000 annually, while the number of graduate students enrolling in relevant programs remains limited.

The semiconductor worker shortage is expected to worsen due to global economic conditions and ongoing supply chain challenges. To address this, companies and policymakers can adopt various solutions. These include investing in new talent pipelines, leveraging advanced analytics and tools, forming partnerships with educational and governmental institutions, prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, and enhancing the overall employee experience.

The tech industry is currently experiencing mass layoffs, leading to a flow of highly skilled talent seeking new opportunities. The semiconductor industry, with its promising future, stands to benefit from this talent pool. Departing from Silicon Valley may bring unexpected advantages for both talent and the U.S. semiconductor industry. Thus, charting the course for the future is a crucial consideration for every company.

Purdue University President Mung Chiang recently signed an international agreement at the G7 Summit. The university is collaborating with industry leaders and educational institutions like Micron and Tokyo Electron to establish the "UPWARDS Network" for workforce development and research in semiconductors. This agreement was signed in the presence of notable dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan's Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Keiko Nagaoka. The partnership aligns with the memorandum of cooperation on education and technology, fostering new collaborations between U.S. and Japanese companies and universities.

During the signing ceremony, President Chiang highlighted Purdue's expertise in semiconductor talent, innovation, and industry partnership. He expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing the launch of the Negishi Fellowship alongside the UPWARDS Network program to further strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and Japan in the semiconductor field. These efforts aim to address the talent shortage and foster the development of a skilled workforce to meet the demands of the growing semiconductor industry.

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