Workforce development

Building the microelectronics workforce of the future

There is an urgent need to meet the manufacturing and innovation needs of America’s microelectronics industry that requires a fundamentally new approach to education and workforce training that emphasizes speed and scale. ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering — the largest engineering program in the country — is partnering with industry to take on this challenge by mobilizing world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and flexible learning modalities for rapid training.

ASU is rapidly evolving its education and training offerings, integrating practice-based with novel educational delivery modalities that enable faster pathways to the workforce, ranging from traditional bachelors and graduate degrees to non-degree stackable credentials. ASU’s offerings include:

Create a customized partnership

ASU is also engaging industry partners to develop customized workforce development programs that respond to market demand. Through the Microelectronics Industry Council, ASU is working to meet the needs of industry leaders to optimize curriculum and delivery to produce workforce-ready learners.

In recent years, ASM and the semiconductor industry have experienced unprecedented growth. Every day, thousands of ASM employees are driving innovation around the world to deliver technological breakthroughs. To help us meet the challenge, our research and development team continues to build a network of authentic partnerships. Local partners, like Arizona State University, are part of a strategic framework that strengthen our ability to engage future leaders through workforce development and stimulate the conversation and collaboration needed to meet the demands of tomorrow

Paul Ma Corporate Vice President, ASM

$35 million per year

invested in new facilities and faculty through the New Economy Initiative


students enrolled

7,000+ students

studying microelectronics-related fields

5,100+ graduates

in 2020-2021

150+ faculty

engaged in microelectronics research and teaching

100+ corporate partners

working with Fulton Schools to offer internships, training and practicums

Industry-driven advanced manufacturing education

Through the recently launched the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks, ASU is strengthening Arizona’s capacity as a global hub for semiconductor innovation and manufacturing. The school offers students hands-on work and learning experiences with industry partners, along with collaborative research opportunities and internships — all of which drive workforce readiness to enable the success of Arizona’s semiconductor industry and advanced manufacturing sector.

On-demand training for rapid, low-cost skills development

Recognizing the need for new workforce development approaches to solve the shortage in high-skilled microelectronics labor, ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering is launching a portfolio of on-demand courses addressing the most critical skills needed at every step in microelectronics production—from materials to tools, design, applications, manufacturing processes and packaging.

Designed to facilitate rapid, low-cost upskilling to meet industry needs, the microelectronics portfolio provides learners the ability to stack credentials into unique pathways to support customized professional development. The microelectronics portfolio comprises nine on-demand specializations, each including multiple courses, offered through Coursera’s online platform. The full portfolio will be available in early 2023. Specialization areas include:

Rapid upskilling and re-skilling for semiconductor workforce readiness

ASU launched its Certificate in Semiconductor Processing to meet the surging demand for microelectronics engineers across local industry. Running the gamut of essential skills for semiconductor manufacturing — from advanced materials characterization to device theory and simulation, data mining, quality control and reliability, and Six Sigma methodology — the certificate allows current ASU students and career professionals to rapidly develop the skills and expertise for Day One-readiness.

Microelectronics-relevant degrees

ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering offers the following degrees as full immersion programs and is rapidly expanding digital immersion formats to increase access and flexibility for learners.

Denotes that some programs are offered in a fully online format

Chemical Engineering

Computer Science

Computer Systems Engineering

Electrical Engineering


Information Technology

Manufacturing Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Professional Programs for Engineers and Technicians

ASU has developed multiple non-degree programs for rapid training and up-skilling of microelectronics managers and engineers.

Lean Six Sigma Certifications:

offered in fully online and hybrid formats, these flexible programs train learners in the tools and concepts of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies to strengthen their ability to solve key organizational challenges such as process and workflow optimization. ASU’s Lean Six Sigma programs are expressly designed to equip workers at all levels with foundational knowledge in process improvement and quality control. The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification focuses on general best practices for advanced manufacturing, and the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification focuses on quality control for technicians. Both have minimal pre-requisites and no prior educational requirements. A fully online Six Sigma Black Belt certification is available for senior personnel.

Design of Experiments Specialization:

ASU offers training in the experimental tools and methods that are critical for evaluating and improving the performance of products and processes – in a fully online, asynchronous format that offers flexibility for the existing workforce. This four-course specialization is taught by ASU Regents Professor Doug Montgomery, who authored the most widely used Design of Experiments textbook in the world. Specialization content is based on Dr. Montgomery’s experience teaching the material over 40 years, including through consulting engagements with 250+ companies including IBM, Intel and Motorola. Click here to learn more about the Design of Experiments Specialization, offered on the Coursera platform.

Engineering Project Management Certification:

ASU’s Engineering Project Management Certification, developed and delivered by world-renowned faculty of the Fulton Schools of Engineering, equips workers with foundational knowledge and understanding of project management fundamentals and best practices. The program is offered in a convenient virtual, synchronous format over five weeks, followed by an applied project in which learners are mentored and supported by expert instructors. Learn more about the Engineering Project Management Certificate here.

Microelectronics coursework designed for industry needs

ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering offers high-impact coursework across an expansive array of microelectronics-related topics. Examples include:

CSE 325 Embedded Microprocessor Systems

EEE 439 Semiconductor Facilities and Cleanroom Practices

EEE 512 System-Level Design for Heterogeneous Multiprocessor Architectures

EEE 520 VLSI Design for Reliability

EEE 525 VLSI Design

EEE 526 VLSI Architectures

EEE 529 Semiconductor Memory Technologies and Systems

EEE 530 Advanced Silicon Processing

EEE 531 Semiconductor Device Theory I

EEE 532 Semiconductor Device Theory II

EEE 533 Semiconductor Process/Device Simulation

EEE 534 Semiconductor Transport

EEE 536 Semiconductor Characterization

EEE 537 Semiconductor Optoelectronics

EEE 625 Advanced VLSI Design

EGR 304/314 Embedded Systems Design Project I & II

IEE 570 Advanced Quality Control

IEE 573 Reliability Engineering

MSE 519 Growth and Processing of Semiconductors

MSE 514 Physical Metallurgy

MSE 516 Mechanical Properties of Solids

MSE 515 Thermodynamics of Materials

MSE 518 Integrated Circuits Materials Science

MSE 548 Fundamentals of Microelectronics Packaging

MSE 550 Advanced Materials Characterization

UET 305 Introduction to Microelectronics

UET 331 Electronic Materials

Building a STEM pipeline to college

Developing a robust microelectronics workforce not only requires educational pathways for college students and training for existing workers, but also preparation of learners at the K-12 level to build microelectronics awareness, strengthen foundational STEM literacy and engage the workforce of the future. 

ASU is meeting these needs by creating opportunities for K-12 students to learn about and prepare for microelectronics careers. The university has developed a network of K-12 programs, schools and partnerships that create accessible college pathways, and a team of ASU interdisciplinary experts is adapting these assets to support the microelectronics sector. With guidance from members of the Microelectronics Industry Council, ASU is exploring new approaches for strengthening the microelectronics talent pipeline starting in K-12 through applied learning opportunities, raising awareness of college pathways among young learners and strengthening STEM education.

Applied learning opportunities

Building on years of strong partnerships with school districts in Arizona, Leverage AZ is a diverse student/learner workforce development and career exploration initiative that provides employers with access to the early talent pipeline at the K-12 level. Leverage AZ serves as a pathway to connect diverse talent to post-secondary and career opportunities and meet workforce needs by providing K12 students with access to hands-on workforce experience, career exploration and soft skill development. Leverage AZ also works with current ASU students, recent community college transfer students and workers looking to upskill via certificates and licenses. Leverage AZ is currently working to develop learning opportunities to build a diverse microelectronics workforce pipeline that creates strong economic returns for individuals and communities.

Opening college pathways

Many students in Arizona high schools lack the information and resources needed to pursue higher education. Access ASU bridges this gap in communities across the state through family engagement, strategic K-12 education, workforce development programs and community partnerships. Access ASU’s impact is designed to ensure all Arizona students graduate high school ready to thrive in college and the 21st century workforce.

Through family education, ASU’s WeGrad program empowers families from all backgrounds with the tools to ensure their child’s academic success. More than 100,000 families and students have been served through WeGrad since the program’s inception in 2006.

Strengthening STEM education

ASU provides K-12 students with critical STEM skills at its ASU Preparatory Academies(ASU Prep). This innovative network of public schools serves Arizona students at 11 immersion sites and through ASU Prep Digital

At ASU’s Polytechnic Campus, ASU Prep Poly STEM Elementary and High Schools offer rigorous, STEM Certified learning experiences that develop essential scientific and technical skills. All of Prep’s offerings, immersion and digital, offer early college and experiential learning focused on solutions to real world problems. Prep scales their world class STEM learning strategies through state and national partnerships and by offering virtual STEM instruction to districts and schools facing teacher shortages.