College of Engineering News Room

USF to upskill soaring tech workforce with Semiconductor Technology & Manufacturing Graduate Certificate Program

The USF College of Engineering is partnering with Innovative Education to equip tech-sector professionals with specialized knowledge and skills in the rapidly growing field of semiconductor technology and manufacturing through a fully online graduate certificate program.

The semiconductor and microprocessor industries play a vital role in the global economy, powering numerous technologies that shape everyday lives. Professionals and recent graduates in STEM sectors interested in entering this exciting field can take the first step with USF's Graduate Certificate in Semiconductor Technology and Manufacturing (STeM) program. 

The 15-credit-hour program is fully online and is formatted so that participants can take courses and participate in classes on their own schedule. Those who complete the STeM Graduate Certificate with a minimum GPA receive priority admissions to USF's face-to-face electrical engineering master’s degree program.

“Semiconductors have been referred to as ‘the new oil’ and ‘the brains of modern electronics’ and America is looking to boost its position in this critical industry,” said USF College of Engineering Professor Chris Ferekides, who spearheads the program. “Manufacturing them requires complex technology and substantial capital. Students will learn some of the most important technology in the fabrication of these devices, understand the underlying engineering background and gain the manufacturing expertise that can help them launch a career or re-career into this industry.” 

The importance of semiconductors was laid bare when manufacturing operations across multiple sectors came to a near-halt due to chip shortages. In response, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act, strengthening American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security through investment in research and workforce development as the country seeks to be a leader in nanotechnology, clean energy, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence. 

Semiconductor technology and manufacutring plays a central role in that mission. USF's fully online graduate certificate program provides professionals the tools they need to re-career and enter this growing field.

"The USF Graduate Certificate in Semiconductor Technology and Manufacturing is designed to meet the industry's evolving needs and equip professionals with the necessary skills to succeed in this exciting and dynamic field. Our program combines rigorous academic training with practical experiences, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead," Ferekides added.

There are also soft skills workshops that will help prepare students for the workplace via a project management, process improvement and situation leadership badges.

Projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics affirm the growth potential in the semiconductor industry. According to the latest BLS reports, employment in the field is expected to grow by 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations and USF leaders expect that Florida will grow its presence in the industry. This projected job growth highlights the immense demand for skilled professionals who possess specialized expertise in semiconductor technology and manufacturing. 

The SteM graduate certificate launches in the fall. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.