In the ever-changing landscape of society, where the applications of science and technology appear in every aspect of daily life, it is crucial for the younger generation, especially high schoolers, to get access and receive early guidance in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Recognizing the demand for educational initiatives, Vietnam-German University (VGU) organized the STEM Day on January 7, 2024, providing students with initial exposure and hands-on experience in various scientific fields such as IC Chip Design, solar energy system construction, mechanical system design, etc. The event garnered significant attention from hundreds of high schoolers in the region.
According to Dr. Ha Thuc Vien, Vice-Principle of Vietnam-Germany University, the main purpose of this STEM Day is to help students acknowledge the semiconductor technology needs, understand the societal reality demands, evaluate their capabilities, and subsequently find suitable career orientation for the future.
Experiencing STEM Day and Chip design
Grouped into teams of 20, participants get to attend fundamental lectures about Chip design from experienced lecturers. The sessions took place in cutting-edge electrical engineering research labs, equipped with advanced practical devices.
Students not only delved into the theoretical aspects and basic principles of IC design (Chip design) but also engaged in practical exercises. With the utilized facilities at VGU, including 20 licenses for semiconductor chip design software from Synopsys (USA) and a hardware system for testing chip designs, Students get to:
1- Receive FPGA boards and laptops with Quartus software for programming code.
2- Practice programming and write code lines for chip data.
3- Transfer code data to the FPGA board (activating the board’s lights when open either of the two switches).
Career Opportunities, Potential Entry into the Semiconductor Industry
Microchip technology is omnipresent in every aspect of today’s modern life, from consumer electronics like air conditioners, washing machines, and phones to medical devices such as measurement instruments and electric vehicles. Despite playing such a crucial role, the market is currently grappling with a chip shortage, and chip design engineer shortage severely.
According to workforce forecasts from the Human Resource Development Center, Vietnam currently meets only 20% of the workforce demand for this billion-dollar semiconductor industry and requires over 50,000 professional personnel by 2030. The current demand for microchip professionals is mainly concentrated in the stages of chip design and production, packaging. Graduated chip design engineers can get a position in specialized design firms or manage production in factories, overseeing the testing and packaging of chips.
Acknowledge the demand, universities are not only focused on developing high-quality semiconductor engineering courses but are increasingly organizing experiential sessions as “STEM Day” for students to explore and nurture their passion for chip design.