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Monday, February 3, 2014

Why VLSI Industry Reluctant to Hire Fresher??

Why VLSI Industry Reluctant to Hire Fresher??
Question in every student’s mind…
Every student those are interested in VLSI field has this question. This article is especially for such type of questions only. Few other flavors of such questions are
  • Everyone is asking for experience, how can I gain experience until unless someone hire me?
  • VLSI industry is not giving chance to fresher. Why?
  • It’s easy to get job in IT/software industry in comparison to VLSI industry. Why?

My experience says that it’s not the problem with Industry. Problem is somewhere else. To know where the problem, let’s try to answer these questions. 
  • Do I know what the VLSI industry is?
  • What are the different fields and areas where I can work?
  • What profile I require in the VLSI industry?
  • On what technology, my interest is?
  • What are the different tools or basics I should prepare before any interview?

I can bet that 75% student’s reply
  • In the VLSI industry we are designing CHIP and I love designing.
  • I want to be designer.
  • Nano technology is the latest one and I want to work on that.
  • PSPICE, Verilog, VHDL, Matlab are few of the tools. Few may know about the Synopsys /Cadence / ICC/Encounter/Caliber tools also but most of us don’t know too much about these tools.
  • Digital knowledge, VLSI flow, CMOS basics are few topics which we should prepare.

None of the above answer is wrong but that is not sufficient. We know a lot about IT software industry, so let me try to justify my statement (“Not Sufficient”) with an example.

Example: Question to a candidate who is interested in VLSI Industry.
Question: What’s your area of interest and in which profile you are interested?
Reply: I am interested in the VLSI field. I am passionate about the Chip designing. I know Verilog/VHDL language.

Example: Question to a candidate who is interested in IT industry.
Question:  What’s your area of interest and in which profile you are interested?
Reply: I have good understanding in C/C++/Java programming. I interest is in Networking side. I want to do core development. I have done 3 projects in my college days. My target company is Cisco. I have done CCNA certificate course to fulfill my gap.

Now, can you notice the difference in both the reply?
IT candidate
VLSI candidate
Aware about on which programming language or technology he/she has to work
Mentioned Verilog/VHDL.
Aware about this much. No info about the 20nm/14nm technology.
Awareness about the different domains like Networking
Clear about that candidate want to do in Development. Not interested into Support or testing.

Wanted to do Chip Designing.
No idea about the other different type of profile. Like Designer, Developer, CAD Engineer, Field Engineer etc
Know his/her target company
Any company is good for us. No idea which company is doing what. Like EDA industry is also part of Semiconductor Industry.
To fulfill the gap, done a specific certification course
If someone knows – they know about CDAC course.
Have done specific project in his/her college days
If we have done something, that may be based on VERILOG/VHDL

Note: There are few exceptions, where student is graduated from Top Engineering College or have done few of the courses. But majority of students (don’t know the exact %) has above info.

Let’s ask this question once again. Where is the problem? Why VLSI industry is reluctant to hire fresher? Is there any problem in the VLSI industry? I would say NO.

Every Industry has their protocols. If you will follow, no one can stop your entry. Every one is saying that Software Companies are hiring fresher but truth is: we know their protocol and we follow that. In case of VLSI industry, we don’t know too much. Why, we don’t know because it’s not in our education system. Only few of the colleges (In India – IITs/BITS/Only Few other colleges) have the infrastructure or specific courses related to VLSI domain. And that’s the reason VLSI industry hire/prefer fresher from those colleges.
Now you can ask why colleges don’t have infrastructure of specific courses. So there may be several reasons.
  • They themselves are not aware too much about this industry.
  • Infrastructure cost is very high in case VLSI.
  • They don’t have experts who can teach or guide students.
  • Universities don’t have specific courses related to VLSI in their curriculum.

Root Cause of this big problem is:
  • Our Education system.
  • Knowledge Gap.
  • Not Aware about too much about VLSI Industry.
  • Not many experts from VLSI Industry, ready to share their experience + knowledge

Defiantly, you will ask what best you can do right now, because it’s difficult to change the Education system in short term from student point of view.

For student, I have following suggestions
  • Increase your knowledge base about the VLSI industry.
    • Read Blogs / Articles / Magazines.
    • Talk to your seniors / Friends / Relative to know more about VLSI industry.
    • Attend different Seminars / Conferences which are specific to VLSI /Semiconductors.
    • Become part of different groups/forums in social network and try to understand what other people are discussing.
  • Try to fill your knowledge gap.
    • It’s not straight forward. But Read different basics books to understand the different aspect of Chip design.
    • Develop curiosity about the different topics and list them and try to figure out how you can correlate with your existing course work and then strong your basics on that.
    • If possible, attend different courses / training program / workshop.
  • Explore your interest
    • Obviously, this is something you come to know when you know what’s your options. But before trying for a company – explore your interest.
    • This interest helps you to choose target companies also.

From experts in VLSI Industry, I have following request
  • Try to share your experience through blogs / Articles / Seminars / Workshops.
    • It doesn’t matter how good you are in a particular topic or not. Most important is whatever you share might help someone.
    • Several companies have tie up with different universities.  Try to participate in such program actively.
  • Always be active in guiding juniors or someone outside.
    • Think about those days when no one was outside to guide you. All of us struggled in one way or other.
    • Become part of different Forums or Groups, to answer people’s issues/problems.
  • Help your own colleges or universities (from where you have done engineering or masters) in developing awareness among students and if possible encourage them to develop infrastructure.

..Ending this article with 2 Quotes..

“Knowledge increases by sharing, not by saving”

“The high peak of knowledge is perfect self-knowledge”


  1. Agree.. couple of things that current education system doesn't teaches

    - Version Control
    - Linux (basics such as commands, editors, compiler)
    - Scripting languages like Perl. tcl, Shell Scripts (Ksh, bash, csh)
    Just learning basics of CMOS and Digital design is not enough

    1. So true,
      I agree with Aniket
      -Dont wait for someone to teach you or train you... Please read or ask if you dont know

  2. Well, yes it is true.
    Really good one.

  3. Very nicely captured. Covered the key things...

  4. Exactly what u have tell is true.Really most of the colleges/universities are not providing the good infrastructure.

  5. Yes I agree, there needs to be more awareness about VLSI among freshers.Good article!!!

  6. Yes i agree with your statements. but both industry and university create an awareness in VLSI among the students

  7. NAASCOM is planning to come up with IT certification standardize course(with difference subdomains) to make some standard of candidate for job and likewise, we also need some sort of standard VLSI Certification course which any one can afford it. i think some work has already started in this direction.moreover,NPTEL website is free good source of video lectures( but it does not cover every VLSI aspect related material like(VLSI Front end verification domain Systemverilog,SystemC,OVM/UVM based course which are in full demand nowa days)

    1. Hi Vinod,

      Agree with you. And to cover this gap .. we are working over this. When ever you get time .. check our post and I wish you can provide some good feedback.

  8. jus say it vlsi is only for iit and nit students

    1. NOP.. I know many people who came from some normal engg college and doing very good in this Industry. It's like.. It's not easy to enter in this industry like you can enter into Software field. And the reason of this is Awareness and GAP. Student hardly know about this Industry.

  9. thanks for the info.. many may be knowing then also i'll suggest everyone to get registered in forum to seek expert opinion for anything related to vlsi.. i requested information for my final year project n got good response from experts in the field

  10. I feel the same way at my school in America. When we first came in, we know nothing about industry but when we get an internship, then we can see the different positions in a company and which one is more appealing to us. Though to be honest, I am not sure what VSLI entails...

  11. very well thought article.. it will help freshers to make their ground work more strong before entering this industry....

  12. thanks for encouaging towards vlsi industry

  13. I was searching for such magazine, but no such magazine was available xcept one "Chip design". Can u list down some of them to enhance and update my knowledge in this field... Also, can i get any video lecs or websites to learn system verilog and methodologies...

    1. Best online site is
      IEEE Xplore

      if you can get an access from your college or company then it's best for every thing.

  14. thanks to provide clear vision in vlsi prior to making interest in this particular field

  15. feeling very fortunate to get this awareness

  16. Hey! After doing B.Tech from NIT,is it beneficial to do M.Tech with VLSI from any IIT?
    Will it help me to enter in VLSI industry with some gud post?

    1. Yes Why Not.. even if you have done masters in VLSI--- chances are very bright.

  17. which has better carrer option vlsi or digital comm? my mtech is from non iit/nit

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  19. Sir, can you please suggest any good magazine for VLSI?

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  24. Not impressed with the blog.
    The real reason why companies dont hire much freshers is
    1. Cost to train. It takes 2 years for anyone from any college in the world in VLSI to get to minimum understanding of the job.
    2. What we do in VLSI industry can never be thought in School. It comes from hardcore experience.
    3. And finally its millions of dollars invested in a single chip for R&D. Unlike software companies wont take much chance with the quality and timelines. So they go with experienced engineers who has grown up doing many projects, finishes of the project in time without any bugs. A fresher will hardly fit here.

    Now how freshers can get into VLSI.
    1. Get your basic electronics right. Its no scripting or expertise in verilog that companies look for in a fresher. But basics of electronics and programming and how fast one can pick up new languages and technology.
    2. Dont be greedy. Get into any company that requires freshers. It may be small budget projects with less pay. Never ever think about pay for first two years.
    3. Luck!. Well its true that depending on times of economy, industry requirements change. If you are in a unlucky year, you miss it.


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