Samsung Electronics has announced its plan to raise semiconductor talent in South Korea. With its joint agreement with three regional universities, the tech giant Samsung is going to introduce an integrated course focused on semiconductor process control technology.
The new five-year integrated undergraduate and graduate course by Samsung Electronics will be launched in 3 universities – Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) on contractual basis.
The admission process is expected to start by the second half of this year while course operations are planned to begin by March 2024. Centred around chip process control methodologies, this course entails convergence classes, field orientation programs, and discussions on design and software technologies.
Students will be handed over nurturing internship opportunities with the right mentor guidance during the course. Every year about 100 students will be admitted across Ulsan, Daegu, and Gwangju. With the agreement with these institutes, Samsung Electronics partnered institutes tally has increased to 7 from 4.
Previously, Samsung Electronics has formed partnerships with South Korean premium universities like Yonsei University, Sungkyunkwan University, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Oh Tae-Seok, the first vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT sees the semiconductor industry from a strategic viewpoint for the technologically advanced South Korean economy. Investment in the semiconductor sector is perceived as one of the future deciding factors.
As of now, the country generates 5000 semiconductor professionals every year. By ascertaining Samsung’s semiconductor course, 450 more chip talent can be added to this pool which is a healthy move since there will be more demand for such professionals in the coming years.
South Korea’s semiconductor equity (EQ) investment is anticipated to rise by 41.5 percent even beating the Chinese investments that are likely to grow by only 2 percent, says SEMI, a global industry association for electronics manufacturing and design supply chain.
Global semiconductor supply chain will go through reshaping and it has already begun. Manufacturers in South Korea are re-installing and installing production plants from China to their home country, giving a boost to local investments. For example, Samsung is opening one of the biggest semiconductor clusters worth $230 billion in Gyeonggi Province.
Major semiconductor competitors like Taiwan, China, and the US have welcomed steps to gear up their industries. Taiwan has eased rules and regulations on academic cooperation in the semiconductor sector. China is also building semiconductor-based departments at domestic universities. As for the US, the administration is allowing additional STEM students entry.
Opening for semiconductor experts is no less forecasted to meet the expected altering of the supply chain. According to Lee Jae Yong, the chairman of Samsung Electronics, they are preparing for upcoming challenges in the semiconductor industry by supporting adequate talent. This will assist local communities around regional universities and at the same time saturate the talent that’s concentrated in big cities such as Seoul.
A serious chip labour shortage is going to be a hurdle for South Korea’s growth trajectory in the global supply chain. The Korean Semiconductor Association reports that by 2031 the country will require 71 percent more semiconductor and software experts compared to 2021.