Main image of article 'Tech Connects' Podcast: Opportunities in Semiconductors

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The next episode of the ‘Tech Connects’ podcast is here! Our next guest is Tony Chan Carusone, who’s a Professor at the University of Toronto and CTO of Alphawave Semi, a tech company pushing forward a number of cutting-edge initiatives, including the design of custom silicon for artificial intelligence, hyperscale datacenters, and much more. Tony thinks the semiconductor industry faces a number of key challenges that will need to be solved over the next several years and decades, including a desperate need to grow the talent pipeline of tech professionals who specialize in all the various processes related to chip creation.

According to one recent report by Deloitte, the semiconductor industry will be short 1 million employees by 2030. And when you think about the centrality of chips to everything we do every day, you realize that potential lack of talent is a critical issue. Let’s listen in as Tony breaks down both the current industry and solutions for the future.

Chips are so pervasive in our everyday lives, powering everything from our smartphones to our cars and appliances, that sometimes it’s easy to forget they’re even there. So, it’s illuminating to talk to Tony because he illustrates just how central chips are to everyday life—and how quickly the semiconductor industry is evolving in new, interesting ways.

Here are a couple of other takeaways from our discussion:

First, if you’re interested in a tech career, think seriously about semiconductors, especially if you’re interested in hardware and electronics. You’ll have a real chance at making a huge difference in peoples’ lives if you help advance the semiconductor industry forward.

Second, the semiconductor industry is speeding up. As Tony mentioned, there are open-source tools that enable microchip design. There are startups trying to create custom silicon for next-generation functions such as artificial intelligence. There’s a lot of opportunity there for anyone to have an impact and contribute critical ideas, even just out of school. If you want to break into the field, gaining a solid foundation in math and science is critical; from there, there are lots of pathways to specialize in different aspects of the field. 

Third, the semiconductor industry will remain absolutely critical for a long time to come, but even with the attention devoted to building up a talent pipeline, there’s every chance that demand for tech pros will sustain well into the future. Keep an eye on how this field is evolving; it could make a good long-term play for your tech career.