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27 September 2018

Digital IC Design Engineers: Why there’s never been a better time to choose the UK

Caroline Pye

Caroline Pye

Principal Consultant

Caroline is a senior consultant heading up the digital IC design recruitment team. After graduating…

We are always on the lookout for top-notch Digital IC Designers. 2018 has seen us busier than ever in our search for developers in the UK.

Specifically, our clients are looking for candidates with the best RTL design and verification skills. This and a real “under the hood” understanding of the workings of IC design flow. Candidates with low-power design, high-speed interface technology, CPU development and CMOS imaging experience are most in demand.

As ever, Bristol and Cambridge are the hot spots of silicon design activity. These hubs consistently create demand for Digital Design, ASIC Verification and Physical Design Engineers. Bristol, in particular, is home to a number of major multinationals. As well as a number of exciting start-ups who are all actively looking for talented chip designers. Innovation in Cambridge continues to thrive and we’re working with a number of entrepreneurial start-ups looking to expand. Machine learning, AI and processor development are undoubtedly the main focus as we move towards intelligent machines. Our challenge is finding the people to drive this fascinating technology forward.


Brexit and the Visa Situation

Of course, it’s early days so we’re yet to see how Brexit will affect the Semiconductor industry. However, innovation is not ceasing and anybody already working here in the UK isn’t going to be asked to leave. The UK still offers the incredible opportunity and technological invention to ensure future stability for IC Design Engineers and their families. Whilst Brexit may deter some people from coming to the UK, there is undoubtedly a steady stream of engineers drawn by the unrivalled career opportunities. This is as well as the career challenges, educational and lifestyle opportunities on offer.

Visas and work permits have been a difficult hurdle for a long time. Whilst a handful of companies do hold licenses to provide sponsorship, for the past few years, this number has been pretty small. Those companies that can sponsor are only able to do so for candidates with exceptionally specific skill sets.

Interestingly, the cap on work permits should rise post-Brexit. Which means that skilled workers should be able to enter the UK more easily. An increasing number of UK companies are looking to obtain sponsorship licenses. This we expect will make it a much easier path for more Digital Designers looking to settle in the UK.

You can find our Semiconductor jobs here.

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