You’ve probably heard of semiconductors, although you might not be able to explain exactly what they do. What’s important to know is they’re found in virtually all electronic devices today. Simply put, semiconductors are integral to the technology surrounding you — in fact, you wouldn’t be reading this article without them.
This past August, President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law. Notable for its bipartisan support, this ambitious legislation aims to boost American semiconductor manufacturing, invest in scientific research and create jobs in future industries, from nanotechnology to clean energy and quantum computing. Here’s the scoop on what the act is and how you could benefit.
what is the CHIPS and Science Act?
As its name suggests, the focus is on semiconductors — CHIPS stands for “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors.” That’s because despite the importance of semiconductors to businesses and consumers, the United States only produces about 10 percent of the world’s supply of semiconductors. By contrast, manufacturers in East Asia account for around 75 percent of global production today.
The CHIPS and Science Act is designed to address this imbalance, allocating an initial $52.7 billion for semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development in the United States. The goals of the act broadly comprise the following five areas:
- fueling U.S. leadership in the semiconductor space
- promoting U.S. innovation in wireless supply chains
- advancing the United States as a global leader in the technologies of the future
- catalyzing regional economic growth and development across the United States
- creating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career paths and opportunities
how will the CHIPS Act affect the job market?
The act’s passage has already had a galvanizing effect on the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry, with multiple companies stepping forward and bringing the net investment associated with the act to nearly $150 billion to date.
More investment means more roles to fill. The job market for highly skilled manufacturing and tech professionals is already extremely competitive — and this is likely to become more evident as semiconductor production expands. So talented individuals with the right skills and attitude will be in high demand in manufacturing, distribution and electronics, plus associated industries like automotive and artificial intelligence.
how will the CHIPS Act impact job seekers and professionals?
As well as more jobs being available, workers also stand to benefit in these ways:
Employers will be looking to expand workers’ abilities and close skills gaps through training and development programs. These offer workers the chance to level up their skills along their career path, or even consider a pivot into a new role in a different area.
The act aims to lower barriers to the recruitment and advancement of underrepresented individuals in science and technology, including women, minorities and students in rural areas. Over time, it’s not just these groups who stand to benefit — inclusive workplaces tend to be more creative, collaborative and productive.
Inspired to play a role in this new era of American semiconductor manufacturing? So are we! Take a look at our jobs pages today, where you’ll find relevant opportunities in the STEM, technology, and manufacturing and logistics sectors.