Chinese students complain that the work is too difficult and poorly compensated.

The US is preventing China from using modern chip technology, thus the Chinese government wants to develop its own chip manufacturing capabilities. However, there is a severe talent shortage in the country.

While the Chinese government may be eager to support the country’s semiconductor industry, students there don’t seem to be all that interested, as the South China Morning Post reports (Opens in a new window) shows. There is minimal interest in concentrating on processor production, according to Chen Ying, a partner at Huike Edutech, which assists students in finding positions in several industry areas.

Chen responded, “They may believe the job is too hard and not too well-paid,” when asked why.

This is not to imply that Chinese students are not interested in working in the IT sector, but Chen explains that the emphasis is on getting employment in AI and big data because these fields provide more distinct career opportunities. It doesn’t help that China is much behind other nations in terms of chip manufacturing and electronics design automation (EDA) software. When it comes to EDA software and manufacturing, the gap could be as great as one or two generations, according to Chen.

Therefore, China is struggling with two main issues: a scarcity of young talent and a locally produced sector that is a few generations behind in terms of technological sophistication. According to the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA), there will be a shortage of 200,000 workers between 2022 and 2023, making the talent deficit a problem that will only worsen in the years to come. Add to that the fact that, in 2020, fewer than 15% of graduates with majors in integrated circuits (IC) choose to pursue careers in the industry.


At least 12 Chinese universities have a school specifically for IC studies, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, which designated IC as a “first-level discipline” for graduate doctoral studies in 2021. However, undergrads claim that the available instruction is outdated. When learning about manufacturing, one student at PKU’s School of Integrated Circuits said that “the knowledge presented in the class is 15 or 20 years behind.” A degree in IC, according to the same student, “leads to a low-tech or low-income career.”

Based on the US government’s policies, China’s access to cutting-edge chip manufacturing technology is only going to deteriorate. Due to the CHIPS Act’s 10-year ban on companies building factories there, there will also be fewer jobs in China utilizing foreign advanced technology. As a result, it’s unclear how the Chinese government can reverse this, but it’s also obvious why Taiwan, the world’s center for chip manufacture, is attracting so much attention.

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