What do you do when much of the U.S. is under lockdown and university students want insights into career opportunities in the microelectronics industry including how to secure jobs?
More than 100 students from 30 universities hopped online recently to attend Find Your Future in Microelectronics, the SEMI Foundation’s first webinar. The students learned about the industry’s impact on the future of tech and available career paths and discovered how to take advantage of the Foundation’s university programs. They also submitted their resumes as part of joining SEMI’s student fellow network in hopes of engaging with employers and exploring available job opportunities.
And if the students’ questions were a telling sign of their engagement, the event showed that they were fully tuned in. Tim Brosnihan, executive director of the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG), Erika Hansen, an Applied Materials process engineer, and Cristina Sandoval, the event coordinator and moderator, fielded a whopping 65 questions, many of them about job opportunities, career paths and suggested courses of study. A sample of the questions asked:
Q: Is the industry still hiring during these uncertain times?
A: Yes! The microelectronics industry is growing and will continue to grow over the next 10 years. There are many job opportunities to be had in the industry and many of our member companies are hiring.
Q: What kind of degrees does the microelectronics industry look for?
A: Generally, the industry primarily hires graduates with STEM degrees. Chemical, electrical, nano, mechanical, and materials engineering are some of the top majors the industry hires from along with chemistry, physics, and mathematic degrees. That being said, the industry needs talent from all majors. That includes business, finance, human resources and marketing.
Q: How can I get connected to the opportunities provided by SEMI?
A: You can sign up to connect to our employers and opportunities at www.semi.org/join-edu. Once you submit your information, you will be kept up to date on the latest events and opportunities offered by SEMI and our member companies.
Q: Any advice on what to do if your offer has been rescinded?
A: Don’t limit yourself when it comes to opportunities. If your offer has been rescinded, don’t give up! Share your situation with your LinkedIn network, an invaluable resource full of contacts that can help you learn about job opportunities. You never know what you will love once you enter the workforce, so keep yourself open and don’t limit the positions or fields that you interview for. Rescinding an offer is always a very difficult decision for an organization, so make sure that you exit the relationship positively. You never know who you will cross paths in the future.
Erika delved into the day in the life of an engineer and advised students on ways to find jobs in our industry. Students interacted with Erika, eager to learn how she balanced customer needs with working in the lab. She said she enjoys that duality because it continues to challenge her, allowing her to grow her abilities as a professional.
When it comes to breaking into the industry, working in college or through internships and direct-hire opportunities after graduating are good ways to do so. And the students can get their feet in the door with degrees at various levels and across a wide range of disciplines. There is no set formula for success. Learners, she said, will find a place in the industry.
With workforce development a key industry initiative, the SEMI Foundation will be rolling out more virtual programs and events to help keep university students and the microelectronics industry connected. Look for details on a virtual job fair we’re planning.
We look forward to seeing you online!
Shari Liss is executive director of the SEMI Foundation. Shari can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.