VLSI Industry is a lucrative Industry for Electronics Engineers. Every year 2000 chips are being designed in India and nearly 20000 engineers are working on various aspects of the VLSI chip design.
This industry focuses on cutting edge technological innovation and needs deep R&D work. It offers one of the best salary structures. Most of the electronics gadget we see around is an end product of VLSI industry. For e.g., Smart Phone, Tablets, Laptops, Smart watch, TV, AC, Washing Machine, Automatic Car, Data center etc. Some of the leading companies working in the field of VLSI are Samsung, Intel, Google, Apple, Facebook, Cisco, Qualcomm, Philips, Nokia (Now Microsoft), ARM, Nvidia etc.
Opportunities in VLSI Industry
Due to recent advancement in IoT and Automotive industry, there is a huge demand for research and development in the semiconductor industry. As per the recent news and information, there is a plan for setting up India's very first semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing facility (In Gujarat, planning to start in 2017). All these new developments and need of high-end electronic components will lead to huge demand in employment generation in India. 25000 new employment opportunities are expected by 2017 and more than 500,000 jobs are going to open up in the electronics sector in coming five years.
Challenges in VLSI Industry
This industry has a great opportunity for trained skill development. The skill needed for chip design is unique and needs special training beyond the academic curriculum.
For VLSI industry
• Product development cycle is shorter
- Every 6-month new technology comes to the market. Engineering team needs to learn and deliver fast.
• High R&D cost & high competition
- In order to minimize the R&D cost in the huge competitive market, companies need to design their product in minimum time. They do not have time to hire and train engineers. There is a gap in demand and supply of right skilled engineers in this field and companies are looking for more trained resources. Due to the gap in the academic curriculum and industry expectations they are facing a lot of challenges in hiring the right candidate from colleges. Due to this particular reason companies are relying more on lateral hiring which ultimately disturbs the ecosystem and create fewer opportunities for fresh graduates.
• Industry is dynamic
- Due to increased competition, companies need to design an innovative product with the distinguished feature set.
For candidate - readiness for VLSI industry
The most important question is: How can a candidate meet Industry expectations?
Before they begin their journey in VLSI industry, they need to have answers for some of the key pointers mentioned below:
• What's the exact requirement for Industry?
• What is needed to fulfill that requirement?
• What processes or steps should be followed to be part of this Industry?
• How can someone know whether they are ready for this Industry?
Industry-Academia Gap Analysis
On the basis of extensive discussions with industry experts, we found that they are facing challenges in hiring and are looking for more skilled graduates/engineers for the industry.
Industry challenges in hiring right resource at entry level:
• How to hire the right candidate with appropriate skillset?
• How to ensure and be confident about expertise in a particular skill-set by seeing their academic performance?
• How to ensure hiring right resource in the 1-day interview process?
At the same time, students/fresh graduates/engineers have several open-ended questions in their mind.
Issues faced by students:
• How can we be ready for VLSI Industry?
• Why is Academic learning not sufficient for entering into the VLSI Industry?
• What topics/subjects should be studied and how deep it should be?
• Lack of pre-defined standard compared to any other competitive exams?
• How can we assess ourselves and make sure that we are ready for Industry?
This leads to an opportunity for skill development of college students so that they are fully ready for the industry.