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Fresher Job Search Guidelines


As a fresher, job search involves lot of effort. Right guidance makes it easy. Below are few inputs which could be helpful in fresher job search.
Divide job search in to two phases, first is ‘preparation’ and second is ‘looking out for job’. Below are few inputs.
  • Preparation before job search
  • Should I join an institute?
  • Which course to join?
  • Precautions while choosing an institute?
  • Looking out for job

Preparation before job search:

  • Very important phase, since for each job, there are at least 20-30 graduates applying. You should be in a position to clear every interview opportunity, which requires a strong preparation in domain of your choice.
  • Ex: VLSI front end requires you to be strong with Digital design basics and advanced, Verilog and SystemVerilog.
  • List down various domains : VLSI, Embedded systems, Software
  • Know your area of interest among above three, list down what is the skill set employers are looking for, in that domain.
  • VLSI: Digital design basics and advanced, Verilog, SystemVerilog, few industry standard protocols(like AXI, AHB, USB), and projects based on these protocols
  • Embedded Systems: Digital design basics, standard peripheral protocols(I2C, SPI, UART, etc), Embedded C, ARM & MIPI microcontrollers, ARM boards( like Raspberry, Arduino), Linux drivers, RTOS, etc
  • Keep a time line for preparation, depending on your current preparation level
  • Ex: if you are already very well prepared with Verilog & advanced digital design, then you can plan to complete remaining preparation in 3 months (joining full time training).
  • List down all the items you need to prepare on for each topic, ideally every topic should be prepared without miss.
  • If you are learning a language, write examples to understand each construct usage, run those examples using a simulator/compiler. This ensures that you gain a solid knowledge on each construct and gives you required confidence to clear any interview. Yes, It takes more time than just reading language constructs, but it will surely give you all the confidence, hence it’s worth spending time.
  • If you are learning a protocol, make a notes covering information about signals, timing diagrams, features, and protocol based architecture. This will help you prepare on various other protocols without getting confused with each other. This will also help as quick reference before you attend interviews and also during job.
  • If you are working on project, list down all the steps from specification to project closure, ensure that you are able to do all these steps by yourself with minimal external guidance(trainer). You can be checked on any of these topics during interview.
  • At this stage, where you have prepared well with all above aspects, you can start looking for job. Any time before if you apply, you would only be wasting opportunities, because companies does not consider a candidate for next 6 months or 1 year, hence it makes more sense to start attending interviews only after you are well prepared with all topics listed above.

Should I join an institute?

  • In ideal scenario, there is no need to join a training institute, if you can list down required skill set and prepare on those with fixed time lines. There are lot of good resources available on internet to prepare on any aspect of VLSI/Embedded Systems, be it Front design, Verification, Physical design, STA, etc.
  • However joining right course can be lot useful, below we have listed a few
  • Helps you put efforts in right direction by guiding you at each stage. Most importantly, helps complete job preparation in relatively short duration, otherwise self-preparation would take a longer duration.
  • You get to meet likeminded students, get to know current requirements, other preparation required, etc. Gives you opportunity to have knowledge sharing group discussions, clarify doubts, etc
  • Helps you get access to industry standard tools for practice and learning.
  • Please note, you don’t join an institute because they give you 100% job assurance; no institute can do it. If they are giving 100%, there is a catch!!

Which course to join?

  • Never join complete course, for following reasons
  • You may end up learning things which actually are not required, however institute will teach you because they can charge you more. For ex: BTech & MTech freshers will never require to learn UVM & OVM, learning some basic concepts of UVM & OVM would be enough. However every institute’s VLSI Training will cover these, they will charge 40,000/- for this, which ideally is not required.
  • Start by taking basic & important courses like Verilog & Advanced Digital design, it will give you opportunity to access trainer quality and also help you decide whether you should continue pursuing career in VLSI or some other domain. By opting for complete course, even if you figure issue with institute or trainer quality, you will not have option to back off from course. Hence you end up losing big money
  • Choose a course that gives practical exposure to the subject learning, that’s the very reason you join an institute.

Precautions while choosing an institute?

  • Talk to a senior who is already working in same domain. They are the people who can give you right suggestion. They will also suggest exactly what all topics to get trained on. Also ask them to suggest what all aspects(languages, scripting languages, protocols & projects) you must prepare on for current industry requirements.
  • Get the trainer profiles, not the institute managing director, since trainer matters more than MD, who anyway is not going to teach.
  • Ask institute about how many batches they have done, ask them to share minimum 20 students numbers from previous 3 to 4 batches. Talk to each of them to get feedback on various aspects of training & placements
  • Get the details of course content covered, compare these with current industry requirements.
  • Estimate the cost of training and accommodation for one year (6,000/- per month minimum). Now keep an idea of how much your parents can support you for one year, then estimate how much you should spend on training. Above estimate is for one year, since longer you stay in job search, better will be chances of finding right opportunities.
  • Facilities & interiors of institute should be of least concern, because all these goes in to fee you pay.

Looking out for job

  • Make a very good resume, since it is the only thing that employer knows about you
  • Write a summary of skills you are comfortable with, divide them in to following categories
  • * Software programming languages
    * HDL’s & HVL’s
    * Protocols
    * Scripting languages
    * Revision management tools
    * Operating systems
    * Write 10, +2, BE & ME percentage only if it is above 60%, else write only year of passout.
    * Put the projects relevant to current job requirements
    * Important projects first
    * Project title is very important
    * Don’t write titles like, verification of a protocol. (You can’t verify a protocol!)
    * Write duration of project, responsibilities, quick summary of project.
  • Create a linked in profile, upload resume to Naukri, timesjobs, Monster and other job portals.
  • Keep yourself open for intern positions in product companies.
  • Upload your resume on companies websites
  • Make a group of friends who are also looking for job in same domain, helps you with walk-in schedules.
  • Keep yourself open for job in any other domain, you can always pursue VLSI job even after getting in to other domain
  • If you are a BTech fresher, prepare yourself for GATE as well, may be you can spare 1 Hr a day.
Summary:
  • Don't apply for jobs without good preparation; you may end up losing opportunities
  • Do a planned preparation; List down all items you need to prepare on; Keep timelines, ensure you prepare as per those timelines
  • Always practice on tool, by learning all examples while practicing on tool
  • When you start job search, always keep 1 year time line, plan you finances with this assumption.
  • Always keep your options open, take up any good opportunity you get in other domains aswell
Hope above information was useful in making a right decision!
VLSIGuru wishes you good luck with your job search!!