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Viet Nam targets 50,000 semiconductor engineers

Viet Nam will begin implementing its national strategy on semiconductor industry development this year, with the aim of developing it into a key national industry over the next 30-50 years, according to Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. The strategy aims to turn Viet Nam into a regional hub for the semiconductor industry by 2030, focusing on design, packaging and testing activities.

Towards that aim, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) says Viet Nam needs at least 50,000 semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) engineers by 2030, or ten times the current number. This requires universities to increase the size of their workforce by ten times, compared to the gains they have recorded over the past 20 years. This is a challenging but feasible aim, according to experts.

Minister of Education and Training, Nguyen Kim Son, notes that the country currently has 35 tertiary institutions offering courses related to semiconductor ICs. Next year, universities plan to enrol over 1,000 students specifically in chip design, and 7,000 in related majors. These figures are estimated to increase by 20 to 30 per cent each year, as Vietnamese universities will need to increase their training capacity by ten times than their current capacity.

The presence of global tech giants such as Nvidia, Intel, Samsung, Apple, Foxconn, Amkor and Synopsys in Viet Nam emphasises the country's growing position in the semiconductor landscape. According to Viet Nam's Ministry of Information and Communication, Viet Nam also has a contingent of 350,000 information technology and electronics engineers, and that continuous professional development courses for this source of labour force will help fill the gap quicker. 

In response to this critical workforce need, a consortium of five leading science and technology universities has been established. The five universities - Viet Nam National University Hanoi, Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City, University of Danang, Hanoi University of Science and Technology and Post and Telecommunication Institute of Technology - will play a pivotal role in training the next semiconductor workforce.


Semiconductor industry: Ambition and future for Vietnam (16 Feb 2024)

Viet Nam to implement national semiconductor strategy in 2024 (17 Feb 2024)

Ministry of Education and Training organising workshop on semiconductor labour force development: Bộ GDĐT tổ chức Hội thảo phát triển nguồn nhân lực ngành công nghiệp chip bán dẫn (moet.gov.vn) (17 Oct 2023 in local language)

What does it mean for the UK sector?

The growing demand for a skilled semiconductor workforce in Viet Nam presents opportunities for collaboration between Vietnamese and international universities. The UK currently leads the number of transnational education (TNE) programmes in Viet Nam, with over 100 TNE programmes on offer, but only about 13 of these are in computer science, IT and engineering. There is significant potential for the UK to develop more TNE programmes in science and engineering, particularly programmes related to electrical and electronics engineering and materials science.

There could also be an increase in interest in the UK’s master’s courses in science and engineering if the government continues to encourage the pool of 350,000 IT and electronic graduate engineers in Viet Nam to receive continuous professional development to equip themselves with relevant skills and knowledge for this sector.

(Photo source: Ministry of Education and Training website)