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The competitive etch: Addressing the talent gap


April 26, 2024

In brief

  • For the US to become self-sufficient in the semiconductor sector, they would need to capture an additional 20% of global chip production.

  • US manufacturers invest in foundry and IDM facilities to become a semiconductor powerhouse. However, without state-sponsored support, talent gaps may hinder growth.

  • Further contributing to the talent gap, the semiconductor industry is losing ground not only to hyperscalers, but also to the aerospace and automotive industries now competing for similar skillsets.

  • This paper explores tactics for companies to consider evolving their workplace and applicability across the value-chain.

The effort to strengthen domestic semiconductor capacity is complicated by a talent shortage across the entire value chain and the pipeline remains narrow. Factors like the global chip shortage have put a strain on the industry, but once the supply chain resets there is a significant risk of going from a material shortage to a talent shortage if significant action is not taken.

No single country has the labor force needed to support domestic semiconductor self-sufficiency since each country is part of an interconnected we of highly specialized talent, however we explore three levers that companies should consider to evolve their workforce and applicability across the value chain.


An appealing mechanism to help semiconductor companies re-envision their workforce to free up employees to focus on high-value activities.


A unique perspective on reskilling taking into account the complexities of the semiconductor industry.

Grow Pipeline

Companies adapt recruitment and retention strategies to retain in-demand engineers, considering their position in the value chain. Talent retention is crucial.

Semiconductor executives are learning new ways to make their companies more desirable such as hybrid/remote work environments, but depending on the role, quality and manufacturing engineers working in a fabs may not have the same flexibility for remote work compared to their peers in hardware and software engineering roles. To mitigate talent shortages, semiconductor companies should deploy a combination of strategies outlined in this report.

This is not the first time the industry has undergone a major disruption and it won’t be the last. But it cannot be lost that during a historic surge in demand for STEM talent, if the talent discussion is not elevated it will become the next big disruptor.

We will see a wide variety of requirements coming in for talent, and we have to take steps to make sure that we don’t go from a supply shortage to talent shortage.

Syed Alam


Deborah Garand

Managing Director – Strategy and Consulting, High Tech

Chris Hadley

Managing Director – Strategy, High Tech, North America

Stephen Hardin

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, High Tech

Shaden Alsheik

Manager – Accenture Strategy