Answer by Ramdas Mozhikunnath:
It is a known fact that the number of VLSI engineers job openings are very small if compared to that of software engineer job openings. The skills that are needed for a VLSI job are also different from that of a software engineer and a lot of time the subjects that you learn as part of your courses in college is just not enough.Within the VLSI domain, there are several types of jobs in the industry and some them are 1) Digital Logic Design or ASIC front end design 2) Phyiscal design 3) Circuit design 4) Layout design 5) ASIC verification 5) DFT design/verification etcThe biggest opportunity among these in my opinion for a fresh graduate student is either for a physical design job or a ASIC Verification job though other opportunities exist as well.Here are some of the things I think you should try as a student to increase your chance of getting a job in this domain1) Learn your fundamentals, publish papers, pick a good project assignment etc that gains you valuable knowledge and eventually help you graduate with a good score. This is still very important and a lot of times this is what counts first on your resume.2) Based on your interest, learn some extra courses that will add more industry skills. These days there are a lot of online courses on different VLSI topics on sites likeand other websites. These are good opportunities in terms of learning a new skill as well as getting opportunity to network with other students and professionals through discussion forums3) Have a good linked in profile, network with other leaders/mentors in the industry, seek for advice etc which will help you to build relationship with people in industry. This can also help you either in getting an internship or atleast to know about other job opportunities that might arise. Getting an internship is most of the times best way to get a job for a fresh graduate4) Participate actively in social media or discussion forums related to VLSI topics in terms of raising questions or answering and sharing. There are lot of industry experts also part of this and this will help increase your visibility and others noticing your passion and knowledgeHope all this helps and good luck !You might also be interested in my answer on following to see how to prepare for interviews
How does one break into ASIC design?