Workers with different levels of education find employment opportunities in the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry. Entry to engineering occupations generally requires at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although those with 4-year degrees in physical science, computer science, or other technical areas can sometimes qualify as well. Some positions, however, may require a master’s degree or higher, or relevant work experience. Computer systems analysts or scientists usually need a degree in computer science or a related field and, in many cases, they also must have considerable programming experience. Because companies often are founded by professionals with technical backgrounds, opportunities for advancement into executive or managerial positions may arise for experienced workers who keep up with rapid changes in technology and possess the business expertise necessary to succeed in the rapidly changing economy.
Training for engineering technicians is available from a number of sources. Although most employers prefer graduates of 2-year postsecondary training schools-usually technical institutes or junior colleges-training in the U.S. Armed Forces or through proprietary schools also may meet employer requirements. Engineering technicians should have an aptitude for math and science. Entry-level technicians may begin working with a more experienced technician or engineer. Advancement opportunities for experienced technicians may include supervisory positions or movement into other production and inspection operations.
Though assembly workers generally need only a high school diploma, assemblers in the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry may need more specialized training or experience than do workers in other manufacturing industries. Precision assembly work can be extremely sophisticated and complex, and some precision assembly jobs may even require formal technical training. A 1-year certificate in semiconductor technology is good preparation for semiconductor processor operator positions; for more highly skilled technician positions, an associate degree in electronics technology or a related field is necessary. Again, advancement opportunities depend not only on work experience, but also on the level of technical training and the ability to keep up with changing technology.