CSEM opinion and experiences?

Can someone give me opionions and tell me experiences about working at CSEM (Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology) in Switzerland (Neuchatel)?

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I am and was never working inside the CSEM but got some interaction from outside. It used to be some kind of official institutional research with a bit a administration mentality (25 years ago). It is more dynamic and open today. The high proportion of foreign people make me think that salaries are on the low side. Even if this is true if technically the topic of research which is offered to you is interesting and strategically well positioned I would try the game.
Neuchâtel is a bit a provincial city but quality of life is great.


[Reported from someone to share]
I agree with the guy who replied in your post. I have had a scientific collaboration with people working in CSEM. For me it is a research institution, last time I heard about it it was part of EPFL. So if you are looking for a well paid job in semiconductor industry, might be not your best choice. The salary will be very good, but not that much higher relatively to average income in Switzerland, let’s say, than in other places.

On the other hand if you are not Swiss or EU national, it could be a good way to get into Switzerland. For administrative reasons. If they employ you as some kind research staff officially, you can obtain a residence permit for studies. This is very easy, basically the research institution reports to the canton that you start studying there and they issue you a residence permit for “studies”. If you are married, your spouse is also allowed to work with this setup. And if you want to get a real working permit, your potential employer is competing with all “for profit” companies that want to hire foreign staff.

I would like to share with you some personal feelings. Honestly I feel very confused at the moment. I am really looking for some career advisor or something.

I am around my 30’s and I am working in a startup in Lausanne. Fair Salary around 100K, but with the possibility to scale up the things in few years. Now at Csem they offer me around 110K, but I have to move to Neuchatel or I commute everyday, which means lowering my life quality.

I started the interview process and what worries me more is the fact that they were transparent telling me that the salary is a table factor. Basically they have a 2 entry table and based on the experience you have a salary and the future progression will be based on it. My personal fear is to miss my opportunity in the startup and get a safer job. On the other side the topics at CSEM are very interesting and I don’t know if CSEM is well known in CH so it can boost my career.