Average age of semiconductor technicians is in 50s,
avoided by young people due to long-term industrial decline

Japan is pouring out large-scale subsidies in the hope of reviving semiconductors, but the lack of semiconductor talent is considered Japan’s Achilles’ heel. Due to the long-term decline of the semiconductor industry, talent development has failed.

According to the semiconductor industry on the 26th this month, Japan’s Lapidus sent about 80 semiconductor engineers to IBM’s research facility in the United States to receive cutting-edge semiconductor development technology. The average age of those who moved to Lapidus from Kioxia, Toshiba, etc. is high, in the 50s. The Japanese semiconductor industry is raising its voice, saying, “We need to nurture the next generation of semiconductor experts before they retire.”

Kim Jeong-ho, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at KAIST, explained, “In Japan, the popularity of science and engineering is relatively low, and even then, there is an atmosphere in which the automobile industry, such as Toyota, is preferred. Since the 1990s, Japanese professors’ labs have been filled with foreign students.”

An official in the domestic semiconductor industry said, “The competitiveness of the semiconductor industry comes not from drawings, but from people who can read drawings.” He added, “The situation in Japan is more serious as Korea and Taiwan are also suffering from a shortage of semiconductor talent.”

Earlier this year, the Japanese government began to foster semiconductor talent at the government level, including lifting restrictions on the number of students enrolled at universities in downtown Tokyo for the first time in six years. In addition, Kumamoto University, which is adjacent to Taiwan’s TSMC Kumamoto plant, is creating a new course to foster semiconductor talent and is looking for ways to link up with Taiwanese universities.