Mon, Jul 05, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Optoelectronics is No. 1: report

HIGH-TECH TALENT Workers in the nation's technology sector say they are most interested in working for optoelctronics firms, not semiconductor makers as before

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's fast growing optoelectronics industry has recently replaced the semiconductor industry as the most popular with local high-tech talent, an online job bank said yesterday.

The rising sector, however, still suffers from a shortage of skilled manpower for business augmentation, the job bank added.

"Taiwan's high-tech talent is flooding into the promising optoelectronics industry," Rocky Yang (楊基寬), president of 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行), said at a press conference.

Based on a survey conducted between June 21 and June 24 among 4,116 job seekers, up to 28.4 percent of high-tech workers regarded optoelectronics as the industry of the brightest prospect, whereas the once-hot semiconductor sector received only 12.1-percent, Yang said.

The survey also found that as many as 41.2 percent of the people who used to plan to join the semiconductor sector would now prefer to be employed by optoelectronics companies, he added.

The computer-related industry was ranked No. 3 and the information technology industry No. 4, according to the survey.

However, the optoelectronics industry still has a shortage of 20 percent to 30 percent of its required qualified manpower, which could amount to as many as 10,000 skilled engineers this year, according to Yang.

The output value of the nation's optoelectronics industry is estimated to grow to NT$838 billion this year, a 26 percent jump from NT$664.6 billion last year, and the figure is expected to exceed NT$1 trillion in 2006, according to figures provided by the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

"In order to catch up with our business expansion, we plan to recruit another 1,000 people, including research and development talents, process engineers, and equipment maintenance and troubleshooting engineers, in the second half of this year," said Ming Chou (周佑民), human resources deputy director with Quanta Display Inc (廣輝).

Quanta Display, an optoelectronics arm of the world's largest laptop maker, Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), already recruited some 1,000 new employees in the first half of the year, Chou said.

Quanta Display is scheduled to hold a job fair in Hsinchu City on July 17 and another one on Aug. 1 in Taipei City.

The company, which expected to boost its revenue to NT$67.26 billion this year, up from NT$27.58 billion last year, planned to double the scale of manpower to over 5,000 employees this year, up from more than 2,000 last year, and to over 10,000 people next year, Chou said.

Quanta Display is among the nation's major flat-panel display makers, such as AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), that are expanding amid surging demand.

A new employee with an undergraduate degree could get a paycheck of between NT$30,000 and NT$35,000 per month, while one with a graduate degree might enjoy extra NT$5,000 at the beginning, Yang said.

Stock bonuses are a strong attraction to the high-tech talent, Yang said. An employee can earn around 5,000 shares each year and can usually enjoy annual salaries of over NT$1 million after hard work for three or five years, he said.

The biotechnology industry is another rising star with its ranking climbing to No. 5 this year from No. 8 last year, according to the survey.

The nation's biotech sector was included in the government's "Two Trillion, Twin Star" (兩兆雙星) investment plan for the next 10 years, along with semiconductors, flat-panel displays and digital content industries.

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