The semiconductor industry is growing at a steady rate with the EU targeting a 30% global market share by the year 2030. While that might seem some way off, the wheels are already moving as the EU updates regulation to allow the industry to one day compete with Asia Pacific.
As unlikely as challenging the world’s dominant semiconductor region might seem, those dreams have a real chance of coming to fruition as companies such as Infineon, NXP Semiconductors, and STMicroelectronics lead the charge.
Below, we’ve taken a closer look at the current state of the European semiconductor industry and its jobs market.
How is the semiconductor industry in Europe?
Right now the semiconductor industry in Europe has a 9% share of the global market. As noted earlier, the EU hopes that within the next 7 years this will increase to 30%. This is in part thanks to evolving regulation and the impressive talent pool of existing professionals and growing numbers of students choosing courses that will qualify them to take on the many exciting roles within the industry.
The current strengths within the industry lie in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors while R&D departments in Europe have been at the forefront of industry developments for many years. This has led to European-led breakthroughs in areas such as nanotechnology, photonics, and quantum computing.
Europe's semiconductor companies are also heavily involved in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles, which are expected to play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. So no surprises for guessing that this will certainly be a growing industry.
Yet despite all the positivity surrounding the European semiconductor industry, it faces several challenges, including fierce competition from other regions, such as Asia and North America. To top it all off, the industry is heavily reliant on imports of raw materials, many of which are from competing regions. This can lead to supply chain disruptions and price volatility. The fact is that Europe consumes about 20% of the world’s semiconductor supply but only manufactures 9% of it so you can see how this is becoming a serious issue.
Despite these challenges, Europe's semiconductor industry is poised for continued growth and as the European Commission has identified it as a key strategic sector and has launched initiatives to support its growth. This includes funding for research and development and the creation of a European Innovation Council.
How's the job market in the semiconductor industry?
The great news for people interested in pursuing a career in the semiconductor industry here in Europe is that it’s one of the largest employers in the region. At present it directly employs around 200,000 highly-skilled people but is indirectly responsible for the employment of around 1 million highly-skilled people. That might seem like a daunting figure to anyone looking to launch their career, but here’s the thing — despite being such a significant employer, there is a widening talent gap in the industry.
Now, you are probably all too keenly aware that the global talent shortage is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years with some estimates stating that by 2030, we could have as many as 85 million unfilled roles.
The good news (for candidates at least) is that employers in the semiconductor industry in Europe are struggling to fill highly-skilled roles. This means that, in some respects, it is now a candidate-driven market. So if a candidate is willing to relocate, then Europe is certainly their oyster.
Who are the biggest players in the Semiconductor industry?
The list of top European semiconductor companies includes some relative newcomers to the industry. And while they may not compete with some of the global market’s leaders in terms of employees, they are still the leading players in Europe and the companies to work for. Here are some of those leading lights.
Infineon is a German semiconductor company that produces a wide range of products, including microcontrollers, power semiconductors, and sensors. The company has a strong presence in the automotive industry and is a leading supplier of semiconductor components to automotive manufacturers.
STMicroelectronics is a multinational semiconductor company headquartered in Switzerland. The company produces a wide range of semiconductor products, including microcontrollers, power management chips, and sensors. STMicroelectronics is a leading supplier of semiconductors to the automotive, industrial, and telecommunications industries.
NXP Semiconductors is a Dutch semiconductor company that produces a wide range of products, including microcontrollers, power management chips, and sensors. Like many on this list, the company has a strong presence in the automotive industry and is a leading supplier of semiconductor components to automotive manufacturers.
ASML is a Dutch semiconductor equipment company that produces lithography systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The company is a leading supplier of lithography equipment to semiconductor manufacturers around the world.
GlobalFoundries is a multinational semiconductor foundry company headquartered in the United States but with a significant presence in Europe. This includes manufacturing facilities in Germany. The company produces a wide range of semiconductor chips, including microprocessors and memory chips, for a variety of industries, including automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics.
Soitec is a French semiconductor materials company that produces silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers used in the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The company is a leading supplier of SOI wafers to semiconductor manufacturers around the world.
Looking for a semiconductor recruitment agency?
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