I hope the answer is too few... I'm a student concentrating in analog and started working in the semiconductor industry concurrently a few months ago. A lot of my coworkers recall when the industry was booming... YEARS ago! Someone even told me "I don't recommend becoming a design engineer. There's too many of them and they're the first to get laid off." Yikes.
Sorry, I don't buy most of this. I remember being really annoyed early on in my career, when I heard managers over-specifying the skill set that diffrent types of engineers have. It's not right, it doesn't or shouldn't work that way, so forgive me for not seeing the problem here, except for one being created by the hiring managers themselves.
Ultimately, engineers have to mold themselves into whatever job they do. And more than that, any engineer who has worked for more than a handful of years MUST have noticed that even if they haven't changed jobs, their own work has changed over time.
Ultimately, analog design is part of digital design, for engineers actually involved in designing the circuits, even if in silicon. I can't see a problem here. Even if an engineer worked only with discrete components previously, why this urge to pigeon-hole? You simply update your skills, and the company shouldn't assume otherwise.
Really too few. It is hard to find them. Everyone likes to make apps and websites because investors love them. You get those big valuations and fast exits in months and not years. Also, analog seems hard for modern students. The fact you cannot automate it makes it not cool. So, we are not filing the pipelines well and as the legends retire, we may have challenges in the industry.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.