February 29, 2024

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Taiwan Invests Billions in Next-Generation Talent for Chip Industry

Wanting to meet rising demand, Taiwan is racing to set up specialised “chip schools” that run all year round to train its next generation of semiconductor engineers. Such a timely move should cement its dominance of the industry.

The plans to come up with quality talent in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry was championed by President Tsai Ing-wen. Last year, under the country president’s initiative, the public and the private sector invested US$ 300 million to kickstart graduate school programs aimed at the semiconductor industry. This time around the private sector is infusing far more capital to ensure the lifeblood of the industry.

Amid a global shortage, semiconductor companies plough billions of dollars into capacity expansion to make the “brains” that power everything from smartphones to fighter jets. The demand for quality ICT talent is never as pronounced as Taiwan’s biggest chip manufacturer. The chip giant alone will spend up to US$ 44 billion this year while looking to hire more than 8,000 employees.

Chip companies need a lot more and better talent to compete on the global stage. Indeed, I’m devoting some of my golden years to talent development.

– Jack Sun, Dean, Taiwan Semiconductor Graduate School

Seeing the country’s need to step up, industry stalwarts are putting their attention into talent development. Jack Sun used to be the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Taiwan’s largest chip manufacturer. Now, along with a host of colleagues, he devotes his time developing the next generation of semiconductor engineers.

Sun and other industry heavyweights turned educators embody the government’s strategy of strengthening industry-academia ties to remain a critical node in the global chip supply chain. Indeed, a concerted effort is needed as the country is racing against time when it comes to the chip industry’s need for talent. Tsai pointed this out in December at the unveiling of National Tsing Hua University’s College of Semiconductor Research.

Taiwan’s government has partnered with leading chip companies to pay for these schools. The first four were established at top universities last year. To meet rising demands, each university is handed a quota of churning out about 100 master and PhD students. Other schools have been added to this list.

Moreover, Tsai has asked these semiconductor schools to stay open year-round. That means these schools have to work double-time, plough through winter and summer to ensure talent is ready in time.

The President of an industry group confirmed this saying that even before the global chip shortage, companies worried a talent crunch could hobble the booming industry. He, together with other chip executives, has been urging the government to act since 2019.

But Taiwan is facing an uphill climb. To date, Taiwan has one of the world’s lowest birth rates. Although demand for workers has soared, the island nation has been producing fewer engineers over the past decade. Even fewer are enrolling in the doctoral programmes that best prepare engineers to develop breakthrough technologies. With limited local prospects, other semiconductor firms in Taiwan are looking elsewhere and expanding their search for talent overseas.

If it plays its cards right, Taiwan should be able to maintain its global dominance in the chip industry. The country’s ability to pivot and turn itself into a digital powerhouse has been noteworthy in its commitment to move its economy forward. Lately, it has started regulating its cryptocurrency industry — long observed at an arm’s length.

As OpenGov Asia reported, Taiwan has installed an AI HUB that should put the country at the forefront of Artificial Technology in the region and in the world.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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