Once an unpopular career destination for university graduates in Korea, the semiconductor industry has been a plum target since the rise of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix as global leaders and key growth engines for the Korean economy. The industry’s outsize role in innovation of cutting-edge technologies and applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and autonomous driving has added to the appeal.
The draw of a career in chip manufacturing is even stronger when new graduates from Korean universities consider the semiconductor industry’s rapid growth of 22.2% in 2017 and 15.5% in 2018, according to VLSI Research. Yet, even before earning their degrees, many students are unclear about steps they need to take to prepare for a career in the industry and the type of work available to them.
These questions and concerns were on the top of the minds of 250 students who gathered at COEX in Seoul in mid-November for SEMI Campus Outreach, a half day of career insights from global chip companies including Lam Research, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, and KLA along with leading semiconductor companies in Korea such as SEMES, EO technics, JUSUNG ENGINEERING, DONGJIN SEMICHEM, PSK and Wonik IPS.
Keynote - Inhak Harry Suh, CEO, Lam Research Korea 250 students gathered at Campus Outreach
Campus Outreach keynote speaker Inhak Harry Suh, CEO of Lam Research Korea, stressed that talented new graduates hold the key to leading the semiconductor industry into the Industry 4.0 era and the next phase of growth. He urged the students to look for a company that treats its employees with respect and fairness and to enjoy their work.
Joining the executives in inspiring the students, field and service engineers highlighted the semiconductor industry’s strong growth potential, described their job responsibilities and the skills students need to develop to thrive, and offered guidance on subjects to study in school to best prepare students for jobs in the industry. On the recruiting side, human resources representatives at the event provided overviews of their companies and skills they’re looking for as they court talent.
Campus Outreach sponsors
At SEMICON Korea 2020 – Feb. 5-7 at COEX in Seoul – SEMI will continue to cultivate industry talent at the Workforce Development Pavilion. To help the industry solve its critical talent shortage, the pavilion will offer university students interviews with industry experts and tutorials on semiconductor production as the students explore career paths and are mentored by engineers during the Meet the Experts program. And with a diverse workforce recognized as a competitive advantage, the Women-in-Technology session will gather leaders to discuss how the industry can improve diversity.
Jaegwan Shim is a marketing specialist at SEMI Korea.