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Crazy chip talent crash course, “money” under the guise

Posted by: Yoyokuo 2022-05-29 Comments Off on Crazy chip talent crash course, “money” under the guise

The problem with integrated circuits was initially thought to be money, then technology, and finally people at the core.

The impetuousness of the semiconductor industry is increasing day by day, the aftershocks of the unfinished chips have not been eliminated, and the tide of hoarding and speculation continues to ferment. Now a crazy “play” about the rapid development of chip talents is being staged again.

Under the curtain of the fiery development of the semiconductor industry, chip projects with a financing amount of tens of billions of dollars have been implemented intensively, and the news of high-paying poaching among enterprises has become more and more eye-catching. Under the banner of high salaries and lack of people, a group of training institutions known as “cultivating chip design talents in 4-6 months” have emerged one after another.

Liberal arts students can sign up with zero basics, and college students will be guaranteed employment and have a monthly salary of at least 10,000 yuan. What’s more, it is promised that zero-based students can achieve an annual salary of 300,000 yuan after completing the course. But the real situation is that the salary of the integrated circuit industry is generally not high in the past, and the annual salary of 300,000 is already the level of executives.

However, the “instant students” who came from training courses are not useless. Behind the emergence of a large number of chip training institutions is the contradiction between the increasing demand for talents and the scarcity of supply in colleges and universities.

Times Finance visited various parties and found that some employers have begun to accept “non-professional” talents, or take the initiative to send employees to institutions for further study. However, most of the “talents” cultivated by the accelerated teaching model are still at the level of technicians, and the truly scarce high-end talents are still the key factor restricting the development of the chip industry.

Promotional copy of a chip training institution

  1 Magical training institution: liberal arts students can also enter the industry

 

“I’m a liberal arts student. Can I learn even if I don’t know anything about digital circuits?”

“Humanities students can also learn, and more than 80% of our students have zero foundation.” Faced with the questions of Times Finance, Li Huisen, who is in charge of recruiting from Beijing Zhixinrong Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Zhixinrong”), did not hesitate. answered.

“As long as you follow our course and invest at least 2 hours a day from Monday to Friday, you can learn it completely in 4 months, which is equivalent to having 1-2 years of project experience and reaching the level of independent design projects. Businesses do their jobs independently.”

The national enterprise credit information publicity system shows that Zhixinrong was established in 2019. It conducts scientific and technological research and development in the fields of chip design, artificial intelligence, software radio, CPU, etc., with vocational training and teaching instruments as the carrier, through the chip talent training plan and college new. Construction of engineering teachers to create an “ecosystem” of software and hardware in the chip industry. At present, Lu Ke is the legal representative of Zhixinrong, and has subscribed to contribute 10 million yuan. At present, the actual investment is 0 yuan, and the number of people participating in the insurance is 0.

The official website of Zhixinrong shows that it is partners with Wuhan University, China University of Mining and Technology, Beihang University, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, etc. The products launched include high-speed AD acquisition modules.

“We have three main companies. Beijing Zhilian Fusion Education Consulting Co., Ltd. was established in 2011. Before that, it mainly engaged in chip design and development. Zhixinrong began to develop FPGA (a semi-custom circuit) and IC (integrated circuit) design talents from 2019. training.” Li Huisen introduced.

However, Tianyancha also showed that Beijing Zhilian Fusion Education Consulting Co., Ltd. was renamed from Beijing Very Advertising Media Co., Ltd. in 2014. The original business scope was design, production, agency, and advertising; corporate planning; conference services, etc.

At present, the legal representative of Beijing Zhilian Fusion Education Consulting Co., Ltd. is Lu Ke, and the number of insured persons is also 0. Zheng Yuhong paid 10 million yuan in 2011. Zheng Yuhong will no longer be Beijing Zhilian Fusion Education Consulting Co., Ltd. in September 2020. legal representatives and natural person shareholders.

Another affiliated company is Beijing Smart Chip Technology Co., Ltd., which was established in 2018. Its business scope is technology development, technical consultation, and technology promotion; sales of computer software and hardware and auxiliary equipment, stationery, communication equipment, instrumentation, Electronic products, etc. , the number of participants is 9, the legal representative is Zhuang Xuyong, the subscribed capital is 10 million yuan, and the actual contribution is 0 yuan.

At present, the products launched by Beijing Smart Chip Technology Co., Ltd. include standard PMOD interface cameras, high-speed DA conversion modules, and audio modules.

According to Li Huisen, at present Zhixinrong mainly has three courses: “FPGA Hardware and RTL Design (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced)”, “IC Basic Design” and “RSIC-V CPU Design”, 30% of which are theoretical knowledge learning, and 70% are for Project practice, from Monday to Friday, takes the form of online live broadcast plus recorded broadcast, and recruits students with a college degree or above.

These courses are divided into basic classes, elementary classes, intermediate classes and employment classes. Among them, the intermediate class and employment class can arrange employment. The intermediate class only has “FPGA Hardware and RTL Design (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced)”, which costs 18,000 yuan. The employment class also includes “IC Basic Design” and “RSIC-V CPU Design”. 》Two courses, the fee is 25,800 yuan, which can be paid in installments.

For students with zero basic knowledge, Zhixin Rong will first teach some basic knowledge of digital circuits and analog circuits before officially entering the main course.

“Nowadays, corporate recruitment requires project experience. Our company itself focuses on chip R&D and design, so we can bring trainees to training programs and arrange employment. We have cooperation with more than 100 companies across the country.” Li Huisen said, Most of the graduates of Zhixinrong are employed in technology companies, and they can choose from chip verification, design and other directions. “Industrial control, aerospace, artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things and other fields all need FPGA engineers, and the employment scope is particularly wide.”

Students also need to pass the final exam, that is, to assess the problems that the enterprise will apply in the actual work of the project, and a certificate will be issued after passing. “We have cooperation with Ziguang Tongchuang, Kaistar, Huawei and other companies, such as talent transfer programs. In addition, we also have some project cooperation, such as Huawei will purchase development boards from us.”

However, the most attractive sign of the agency is the salary.

“As long as you follow the whole process, employment will definitely be no problem.” Li Huisen said that the monthly salary of undergraduate students in first-tier cities is at least 15,000 yuan, and the monthly salary of college degree students is 12,000 to 15,000 yuan. If they stay in the industry for about three years, the annual salary is Basically 200,000-300,000. “We have opened 11 teaching sessions so far, with three classes in one session and 30 students in one class, with a total of nearly 1,000 students.”

Similar to Zhixinrong, it is not an isolated case that claims to be able to quickly cultivate chip talents. Wu Guanglun, an admissions officer of Shenzhen Mingdeyang Science and Technology Education Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Mingdeyang”), also told Times Finance that liberal arts students with zero basic knowledge can learn through 6-month offline FPGA course training and master 2 -3 years of work experience.

However, Wu Guanglun’s tone was a little hesitant when he directly signed up for the offline training class. “To be honest, it is not recommended to sign up for training courses with zero foundation. Although we have a lot of zero-level students, there are also many who dropped out of school. Because FPGA has a certain threshold, it requires a lot of knowledge and has a lot to learn.”

But then Wu Guanglun also said that zero-based students can learn their “FPGA Simplified Design Principles and Applications” online first, and get started. The course is 12 hours long and includes 48 subsections on FPGA introduction, development flow, synthesis and simulation, digital processes, and state machine specifications. He said that the course can be completed in about 2-3 days.

“If you feel you can, you can buy a 200-yuan supporting development board for hands-on practice, and then consider the training class.” Wu Guanglun said, “If you sign up for offline training, you must pass the test first. Our course has a set of systematic training. It can standardize the code according to the enterprise standard. Now offline enrollment, the company and the students have signed an annual salary of 300,000.”

  2 30-year-old programmers seek transformation: no bottleneck in future wages

Crash training may seem glamorous, but online complaints about such training courses are not uncommon due to the mixed quality of teaching.

“It’s all trust, under the guise of chip technology fever, playing the game of misappropriation. The final result is only one: wasted money, lost time, and nothing is used.” Some students complained about their own experience on the Internet. , the learning experience is not good.

“The admissions teacher said that 90% are live broadcasts. In fact, they are basically recorded and broadcasted. The quality of the recorded courses is too low. Most of the people who signed up for this course are novices who don’t know anything about semiconductor chips, but the lecturers recorded and broadcasted only for themselves. finished.”

31-year-old programmer Du Feng has 6 years of work experience. At the end of December 2020, he signed up for an offline FPGA course at a training institution in Shijiazhuang. He used to do Linux programming and was also a member of “Zero Foundation”, and his anxiety was time.

“Self-study requires a lot of perseverance. After work, time is money. Training can save time. It must be learned in the fastest way.”

In fact, Du Feng studied by himself for 2 months before signing up for the training class, but he felt that the progress was too slow. After screening several institutions, he only spent 15,000 yuan to sign up for the more “passionate” training course for the current teacher. After about 40 days of training, Du Feng has completed all the courses from “basic” to “intermediate”.

Du Feng said that there are many training institutions, but it is necessary to choose the right teacher. “I have also chosen several training institutions before and listened to the trial class, but I felt that it would not work. Some students from the institutions taught the class directly after they finished their studies.”

“Some projects in my work must be jointly developed by FPGA and Linux, so I have to understand it so that I can develop in the direction of project managers. FPGA is more difficult than ’embedded (a special-purpose computer system)’, so I choose to go Training.”

However, Du Feng shouted “nonsense” for the training institution’s promise of an annual salary of 300,000 after completing the course.

“Students of 985 and 211 may enter Huawei with this salary, but ordinary people (students with basic electronics) can only get a monthly salary of 8,000-12,000 yuan from training institutions. However, FPGA engineers have a good follow-up development. , Because there are few people who study, it is very difficult, after 2 years of working, it is very easy to get an annual salary of 300,000.”

Du Feng bluntly said that he took a detour in his career development and spent two years making a single-chip microcomputer (a single-chip microcontroller, a type of integrated circuit chip). “If you make a single-chip microcomputer, the basic monthly salary of 20,000 yuan is the ceiling, and the Linux driver can be 30,000-40,000 yuan. FPGA technology is the bottom layer. These things are not a job that can be replaced after 2 years of work. The older they are, the more popular they are. .”

Du Feng talked about the reasons for choosing to learn FPGA and also mentioned that the fields of image, video, communication, medical, finance, machine learning and so on are inseparable from FPGA and embedded. “Those programmers who will be eliminated around the age of 35, most of them are doing applications or APP front-end.”

“College students majoring in electronics can go for training, so that they won’t take a detour in the society.” He believes that the first job in life determines the later height, and there is no bottleneck in the future salary of FPGA.

   3 Employers: This is not a big-money industry

Starting in 2020, Shen Lisheng, the head of the chip design company’s business, began to contact some candidates who had participated in the “crash course”, and several of them had already received offers, and some of the employees she recruited in previous years were only project experience in the laboratory .

She told Times Finance and Economics that (training experience) is only a plus point, “The chip design industry still depends on academic qualifications.”

Several of the employees who will be hired are also recent graduate students in microelectronics who sign up for three to four-month training sessions before looking for jobs. “Education is enough. It is helpful to study before looking for a job, but if you have zero foundation, it is unrealistic to use this to find your ideal job.” Shen Lisheng said.

“For example, he is a microelectronics major and wants to do digital circuit business, so he will participate in these online training courses, because it is a bit difficult for microelectronics or materials majors to get started with digital circuits, but it is also a related major, so after the training, basic skills will be Be clear.”

But compared to the training course experience, Shen Lisheng is more inclined to candidates with internship experience. She said that the theoretical knowledge in the training class is not the focus, and it is basically carried out in the form of small projects, and the internship can be closer to the specific skills of the job in the industry.

Beijing Shizhuo Technology Co., Ltd. is engaged in the research and development, production and operation of instruments based on extremely low-light monitoring technology. Its chairman Zhang Jingxiu told Times Finance, “Without the foundation of analog and digital electricity, it is impossible to be a good FPGA engineer. The training is only useful if it is specifically aimed at electronics-related majors.”

Zhang Jingxiu said that those who have basic electronics knowledge will be recruited without training, and those without basic knowledge will not dare to recruit even if they have participated in these training courses. “Electronics-related majors, those with a bachelor’s degree or above and are very sure that their future career will be research and development, are suitable for participating in similar training courses. As for people with zero foundation and non-electronics-related majors, they can learn about it through the introduction of the course, but it is of little significance.”

There is also Bu Rixin who holds the same opinion as Zhang Jingxiu. He is a consultant of Tianjin Integrated Circuit Industry Association, and his undergraduate and master’s degrees are related to electronics. He told Times Finance that integrated circuits are not an industry that can make a lot of money, and the annual salary of 200,000-300,000 is considered a high salary. “My classmates who have worked in this industry for more than ten years now earn a monthly salary of 20,000 yuan, which is normal. This is why many students of this major, after graduating from research and development for a year or two, switch to sales, and those who can persevere are not not much.”

“Participate in training courses, and after one or two years of study, you can do some basic work, such as writing basic codes, drawing circuit diagrams, and doing tests.” Bu Rixin believes, “After completing the accelerated training course, do repetitive and detailed work. Yes, but this is a mechanic, far from a semiconductor professional. Semiconductor R&D and software development are not on the same level.”

“The annual salary of 300,000 is at least the level of being able to stand alone, but if you have this ability, you can reach this salary level without going to the training class.” Zhang Jingxiu said, “After the training, more than 10,000 a month is still possible, but if you go to Come on, that’s a real skill.”

“It is basically impossible for fresh graduates to find a job with a monthly salary of more than 30,000 yuan through training courses.” Shen Lisheng also said that the salary level depends on the industry standard. “The overall industry salary of board-level design (plate design, hardware circuit) is low. If you can find a position like chip design, the salary may increase.

She advises fresh graduates to do AI because “the AI ​​industry’s revenue is much higher than chip design.”

 4 Behind the training boom: adding tens of thousands of CEOs a year

“The training course with an annual salary of 300,000 is unreliable at first glance, which makes people laugh out loud.”

A practitioner made a similar sigh to Times Finance. But the fact that cannot be ignored is that the overall salary of the semiconductor industry has indeed maintained growth in the past two years, especially for R&D positions. Not only has the salary increased steadily, but the talent gap is also growing. The news of high-paying poaching in the semiconductor industry has aroused the envy of many people. .

The “White Paper on Talents in China’s Integrated Circuit Industry (2019-2020 Edition)” (hereinafter referred to as the “White Paper”) shows that from the second quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, the average salary of the entire domestic semiconductor industry was 12,326 yuan per month before tax, a year-on-year increase 4.75%, of which the average salary of research and development positions is 20,601 yuan/month before tax, a year-on-year increase of 9.49%, and the average salary of executive positions is 37,834 yuan/month before tax, a year-on-year increase of 1.9%.

This is closely related to the rapid development of China’s integrated circuit industry after entering the 21st century.

According to the statistics of Simmou Research, from 2004 to 2019, the output value of China’s integrated circuit industry has increased by 20 times, and the number of integrated circuit related enterprises has increased by nearly 300 times, which is equivalent to an increase of 15 times for each doubling of the output value. This means that in the past 16 years, the growth rate of China’s integrated circuit-related enterprises has exceeded Moore’s Law.

According to the “White Paper”, according to the current industrial development trend and the corresponding per capita output value, by 2022, the demand for talents in the whole industry will reach about 744,500, including 270,400 in the design industry, 264,300 in the manufacturing industry, and 264,300 in the packaging and testing industry. 209,800 people.

The number of integrated circuit practitioners is indeed increasing year by year. In 2019, the number of employees was about 512,000, an increase of 11% year-on-year. With the increasing salary, the talent development environment for the entire industry is gradually improving.

There is a shortage of people in the industry, but it is not easy to cultivate people.

“From the perspective of the current industrial development situation, the total supply of integrated circuit talents is still insufficient, and there is also a structural imbalance problem. Supply and demand mismatch and other issues.” The White Paper shows so.

Gu Wenjun, chief analyst of Simmou Research, said that in the development process of China’s integrated circuit industry, impetuous wind began to affect the development of the industry. It is difficult to find talents and engineers, and it is difficult to have patience and meditation.

“Anhui cement companies, Beijing restaurants, and seafood companies all make chips. Every year, tens of thousands of companies make chips. China’s chip industry has added tens of thousands of general managers and CEOs within a year. In the past, two or three hundred CEOs could be invited to a meeting, but now it is too easy to invite hundreds of CEOs at any one meeting,” he said.

“With the development of the situation, the training of talents has entered a new historical period. The integrated circuit industry has always had the ‘two-eight principle’. This principle is also reflected in the operation of enterprises, that is, basic work requires more People participate.” Wang Yangyuan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out before, but the most critical 20% still requires the participation and guidance of leaders, which is often the decisive factor for acceleration, and even promotes the realization of the “from 0 to 1” process.

(Li Huisen, Wu Guanglun, Du Feng and Shen Lisheng are all pseudonyms in the text)

 

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