IEEE Career Focus: Semiconductors

IEEE LogoBy John R. Platt Statistically speaking, quite a few of the people reading this article are probably doing so on new tablet computers that they picked up or received over the holidays. Those tablets — which didn't exist just a few years ago — would not be possible without the semiconductor industry. At the same time, the growth of the modern semiconductor industry has been fueled by the rapid development of new technologies — tablets, smartphones, and hundreds of other connected devices — that can be found in almost every facet of our daily lives. After an off year in 2012, the semiconductor industry is expected to grow 4.5% in 2013 to $303 billion, according to recent projections from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS). With that growth the industry also has a tremendous need for new employees. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. alone are employed by the semiconductor industry, and that number is growing three times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

Posted  January 2013