Every company is now a technology company

By Neil Dickins


When you look back into the history of businesses, they have all had to adapt and learn how to integrate technology into their processes. Mining companies used to be ‘hard’ equipment / mechanical companies, and now they deploy IoT sensors (analog) which send data (RF) back to a central data processing point (digital/AI). 

It is not surprising that in 2022 we saw the highest intra-galactic demand for analog, mixed signal and RF IC design engineers since the Alliance ordered all those x-wing fighters from Incom Corp, a very long time ago!

We are living in an age of innovation...

where the current digital era is allowing technology to become the driving force behind improving our quality of life, economic growth and transforming productivity within society. We use technology in every aspect of our lives from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep. We set our alarms on our smart alarm clocks or mobile phones, we drive our cars to work, we use computers in the office, a satellite navigation application to get us to our destinations, kitchen appliances to cook our meals, washing machines to clean our clothes, televisions to unwind in the evening and online marketplaces to do our shopping. 

Over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in online communications and a significant decrease in face-to-face interactions. Whether it be through emails, SMS, video conferencing, instant messaging services or on online forums these types of modern communication have allowed us to connect with our colleagues, friends, and family in a way that we could never have imagined. It has also allowed the recruitment process to run smoothly, regardless of distance and time zones.

Since 1999, when IC Resources was founded...

the technology in our offices alone has changed. We no longer have a fax machine to receive our lunch menus or signed contract terms, we no longer have dial up internet, and long gone are our Nokia 3120’s. We now have Voice over IP, a paperless office where we don’t print out every CV, a wireless network connection for our computers and smartphones.

The previously seen pattern in the UK and across Europe was of traditional analog IC companies seeking multiple engineers at varying levels of seniority, alongside several previously ‘system’ companies wanting to design their own RF, Analog or Mixed Signal IC’s, therefore seeking small teams or engineering leads / managers. 

During the last year, IC Resources has seen an unprecedented growth in the global demand for skilled Analog IC Design Engineers. We have noticed that with this growth in demand, companies have been offering engineers better basic salaries, better bonus packages and more flexibility with working remotely.

This skills demand was further increased by companies in new 'hot markets' starting to focus on chip design and by government recognition that semiconductors are crucial to economic activity.

We saw no reduction in demand for IC designers (indeed technology professionals across the board) in 2022

The exciting thing for our industry, and therefore you as an IC design professional, is that the need for analogue, RF and mixed signal ICs in spreading into so many new industries. Space exploration and communications, low power remote IoT monitoring, the fight to save the planet through electrification and smart cities, 5G rollout and ubiquitous access to data in developing nations....these are the 'hot markets' that are driving skills demand and ensuring that semiconductor design should remain an excellent career for many years to come.

The real world revolves around analog signals and the main innovative industries all need Analog IC Design Engineers to create new technologies. From the satellite and space industry to the Internet of Things, Smart Cities, and the automotive industry, they all rely on analog devices for technological upgrades. 

Perhaps the biggest development in the last twelve months...

was that governments realised something that everyone in semis has known for years: SEMICONDUCTORS RUN THE WORLD. 

This has also led to governments in the UK and Europe recognising the value of a semiconductor engineer and how fundamental they are to their economies. There has been a rise in visa sponsorships and an influx of engineers migrating across to Europe or the UK.

In 2022 we saw many new opportunities arising across the UK and Europe and it suggests that this period of demand for Analog IC Design Engineers is not going to slow down or decline in 2023.  The market demand for Analog IC Design Engineers is creating a vast array of market opportunities that have never been seen before.

The real-world impact is that in the UK and across Europe, work visas for semiconductor designers are becoming easier to obtain. So if you have friends in IC design that you'd like to be your new neighbour, this is a good time to encourage them to relocate. Our city guides are a good starting point if you need to sell them the dream!

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