Semiconductor Careers in Singapore are Hot! HTU Students See the Big Picture

Semiconductor Careers in Singapore are Hot! Learning about the “Big Picture”

Singapore’s economy hosts a rich ecosystem of businesses, and over the past decade, the region’s electronics industry has experienced tremendous growth—with over 52 percent of Singapore’s electronics output in 2007 coming from semiconductors alone.

As rapidly growing markets, Singapore and Southeast Asia are integral to the global semiconductor manufacturing and related industries. Governmental policies and the high quality of education in the region create excellent opportunities for both establishing new businesses and ensuring a continuous pool of high-quality job candidates. This information was presented to secondary school students recently at the fourth SEMI High Tech U (HTU) program held in Singapore.

Hosted by Applied Materials, Republic Polytechnic, and Soitec, the program featured three full days of intense, hands-on curriculum. HTU is widely regarded as an excellent introduction to educational and career opportunities in the math, science and technology disciplines. Sponsors of this particular program—ASE, Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore, Hermes Epitek, Kulicke & Soffa, and Teradyne—framed the potential scope of opportunity by examining existing output in the region, and outlining future investment in Singaporean fabs and R&D facilities. Strong mathematics and science-focused students in Singapore are very keen on non-technical careers like banking and finance—rather than careers in engineering and technology. Programs like HTU are designed to help young people understand their options.

In the presentation delivered by the EDB, students learned that semiconductors are a major area of focus for Singapore, and are part of an industry that has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 percent since 2001, and employs a total workforce of about 40,000 people. The presentation also examined the segments of the industry for students to better illustrate real-world job opportunities and diversity. Semiconductors represented 15 percent of Singapore’s total manufacturing output in 2007.

The future graduates were especially interested in information on average starting salaries. In Singapore, professionals in the semiconductor manufacturing industry are among the higher-paid workers versus other manufacturing industries, and students fresh out of technical college programs can expect to receive higher wages, on average, than in many other Asian countries.

“The Singapore region, which has traditionally been very strong in advanced packaging and test, is now in the process of a major diversification in terms of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Biing Huei-Saw, director for sales and development at SEMI Singapore. “With the support of government programs, and a strong higher education system, new graduates in technological disciplines have an incredibly diverse set of opportunities right out of university. Programs like HTU will help provide a steady stream of skilled engineers for companies like Applied Materials and Soitec, which have set up major plants in Singapore, and contribute to the growth of the semiconductor community in the region.”

If your company would like to be a host sponsor and participate in HTU, or would like to learn more about it, please contact Lisa Anderson at

About the Program:

SEMI High Tech U is an industry-driven math and science-based career exploration program for high school students and teachers.