Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has been recruiting business intelligence analysts. Candidates must have a doctorate in politics, economics, international politics or a similar field; more than four years of experience with and an understanding of statistical analysis, data science or market research; and a grasp of the political and economic trends in US-China relations.
That TSMC is so focused on finding talent with a background in international relations and economics must come as a slap in the face to the Ministry of Education, universities nationwide and many company heads.
The question is: Will TSMC be able to find people with this kind of academic background in Taiwan?
First, the cramming, rote learning, exam-oriented model of education in Taiwan is a major problem, as well as the nature of the content taught.
Second, heads of companies in traditional industries are obsessed with coupling politics and business to maximize profits. In this context, what use would a company boss have with business intelligence analysts?
The high-tech sector is more interested in techies who are continually innovating and the market demand for what they come up with. It does not bother with changes in political trends and economic policies.
As a result, there is next to no demand for business intelligence analysts, and Taiwan’s education system would be hard-pressed to produce this kind of talent even if there were.
Until parents no longer demand that their children get straight As, schools stop clinging to standard course curricula, teachers cease cramming impractical information down students’ throats, politicians stop buying off talk show hosts to spout their untruths and propaganda, and the media desist from distracting from what lies behind political events in Taiwan and abroad, nothing is going to change.
For Taiwan to be able to produce the kind of skillset that TSMC is looking for, society must be more open and enlightened in what schools teach children, and parents must allow them to study what they want, and to accumulate their knowledge and experience according to their own needs.
Otherwise, no matter how many doctorates Taiwan’s universities churn out, the nation will still lack business intelligence analysts with solid theoretical knowledge, as well as practical research on the effects of political trends and economic policies. If schools lack instructors with theoretical knowledge and practical experience, how can society expect academic institutions to cultivate talent with these skills?
Of course, TSMC will find the skilled business intelligence analysts that it needs, because truly exceptional students ignore their parents’ demands, view with disdain the brainwashing that passes for education in schools and reject fabrications in the media.
Such students would have been thinking for themselves from a young age, breaking out of traditional ways of thinking, allowing their creative thoughts to fly, disciplining themselves, rejecting structures forced upon them and striding ever forward.
They would have cultivated for themselves a multifaceted portfolio of knowledge and expertise, waiting for such a time as when TSMC comes calling.
Taiwan should hope that it has more of these exceptional young people, who reject systematic brainwashing in education and who train themselves to be the elite, armed with independent thought.
Society will need them if Taiwan is going to remain competitive in the future.
Tsai Chi-yuan is a retired associate researcher, formerly at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology.
Translated by Paul Cooper
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has created a dilemma that could soon cause him to be hoisted with his own petard, bringing his leadership of China to an end. His threatening rhetoric over the unification of Taiwan with China, in which he has said, “we are willing to draw blood if necessary,” has placed Xi in a corner. Xi is portrayed as a strong world leader, yet he has created a scenario for himself that most likely would have an unfavorable outcome. With the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) scheduled to convene this month, Xi cannot
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Sept. 13. More than 10 overseas Taiwanese organizations had submitted a petition to the UN secretary-general, protesting that 23.5 million Taiwanese are excluded from representation. As president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, I also submitted a letter to the UN, saying that Taiwanese should have the right to be represented under the name of Taiwan. The government has been asking its allies to support Taiwan’s entry into the UN, but under its official name, the Republic of China (ROC). Doing so would have involved the right to represent China, with
I was privileged to meet with many of Taiwan’s leaders and leading thinkers during a study tour visit in August. One theme I heard several times during that trip was that bad relations between the United States and China benefit Taiwan. At first thought, I empathize with the argument. After all, there is a troubling record of America’s leaders negotiating with Beijing over the heads of Taiwan’s leaders. For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt returned Taiwan to China after World War II. President Richard Nixon surprised Taiwan leaders with his 1972 trip to China. President Jimmy Carter unilaterally chose to normalize
Washington’s “one China” policy has not changed and the US does not take a position on Taiwan’s sovereignty issue, a US Department of State spokesperson has said. He said that this has been the principle of US policy toward Taiwan since 1979, and the policy has remained in effect. He also said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has privately made this clear to Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅). The US’ “one China” policy and China’s “one China” principle recognize China as the “representative of China.” The two diverge on the issue of Taiwan: Beijing asserts sovereignty