How to get into the semiconductor industry

In summary, the conversation discusses the individual's background as a Brazilian Electronics Engineering undergrad student and first-year Masters student in Atomic and Molecular Physics. Their main interest is to work in the semiconductor industry, but they are concerned about their lack of laboratory experience and whether employers will provide necessary training. They also mention using software such as VASP, SPICE, and MATLAB for their projects and potential options for gaining access to an IC fab. The conversation ends with the recommendation to consider a PhD program and the challenges of securing employment in the US without prior experience or authorization to work.
  • #1
Hi friends,

I'm a brazilian Electronics Engineering undergrad student, going to graduate in 3 semesters. I'm also in the first semester of my Masters in Atomic and Molecular Physics, focused on ab initio simulation of semiconductor crystals (VASP).

My main interest is to work in industry in the field of semiconductors, CMOS technologies, and quantum technologies in general (and preferably in Europe). But as my research is on computational physics, I feel that the lack of laboratory experience will drag me down or even make me ineligible for such positions.

Is laboratory experience needed before joining the workforce, or will employers give me the necessary training? How hard is to get into this area? Is computational physics valuable in the industry?

Thank you all :) any advice/story is welcome
 
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  • #2
Fernando Valadares said:
Is laboratory experience needed before joining the workforce
@analogdesign can add to the responses :smile:

Does your school have a basic IC fab as part of its lab facilities? If not, is there an IC fab nearby that you have access to for projects?

What simulation software (other than VASP) have you learned and used for your projects in school?

https://www.vasp.at/
 
  • #3
Hey berkeman, thanks for the reply

In my masters I'm exclusively using VASP to simulate III-V alloys and python to develop pre and post-processing tools. In my bachelor degree I use SPICE for circuit simulation and MATLAB for control/ telecommunications/ general purpose programming.

Sadly my school doesn't have an IC fab, but it seems that I can request access and training at a lab in a close city. I could even look for training in other countries if needed though o0)
 
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  • #4
Since you want to work in a research lab setting, your best best (maybe your only bet) is to get to where they are. I would highly recommend you consider a PhD program in semiconductor devices. Since you have some experience in III-V technology, if you are interested in continuing that you could consider a school in the US such as UC Santa Barbara (which specializes in that). Many other US and European schools can get you the experience and education you need to be competitive in the job market in various semiconductor and materials specialties.

It is very difficult (at least in the US) to get a job at an entry level if you're not already authorized to work here. This is because it is hard to make the argument that a visa is appropriate for someone who doesn't have skills that aren't readily available domestically. It is much, much easier to get semiconductor employment in the US if you're coming out of a US graduate school (Europe or Asia is also possible but more difficult).
 
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1. What education and skills are required to enter the semiconductor industry?

The semiconductor industry is highly technical and specialized, and therefore requires a strong educational background in relevant fields such as electrical engineering, physics, or materials science. In addition, skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail are crucial for success in this industry.

2. Are there any specific courses or certifications that would be beneficial to have?

While there are no specific courses or certifications required to enter the semiconductor industry, having a strong foundation in mathematics, computer science, and electronics can be highly beneficial. Additionally, obtaining certifications in specific programming languages or software tools commonly used in the industry can make you a more competitive candidate.

3. What type of work experience is valuable for a career in the semiconductor industry?

Internships or co-op programs in semiconductor companies or related industries can provide valuable hands-on experience and industry-specific knowledge. Additionally, experience in research and development, as well as project management, can be beneficial for a career in the semiconductor industry.

4. What are some common job roles in the semiconductor industry?

Some common job roles in the semiconductor industry include process engineers, design engineers, manufacturing engineers, quality control engineers, and project managers. There are also roles in sales, marketing, and business development for those interested in the business side of the industry.

5. How can I stand out as a candidate in the competitive semiconductor industry?

To stand out as a candidate in the semiconductor industry, it is important to have a strong combination of technical knowledge, relevant work experience, and soft skills such as communication and teamwork. Networking and staying updated on industry developments and advancements can also make you a more desirable candidate. Additionally, highlighting any unique or specialized skills or experiences on your resume can help you stand out from other applicants.

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