Understood, but how the pioneers made it?
To gain experience or at least start learning it practically I need the chance like any other industry.
What kind of talents/skills starters show to the employer assuming it's their first IC design job?
All that matters if how you can get into the industry now.
And although I'm not into the IC design area, I can imagine that it is not unlike component level electronics design.
Yes, I can imagine it would be possible to get a job being self taught, the problem with IC design, like most of electronics, it's ultimately a practical applied field.
There usually two routes in:
1) Formal education and then a grunt graduate job.
2) Based on your practical and/or job experience.
You'll have none of these in the IC field.
Yes, you can learn the theory and use some tools until the cows come home, but unless you fork out big money to get your designs fabricated and have experience going the whole cycle of getting a chip made tested etc, your odds of getting a job are very low I suspect.
You might get lucky and get a job using one of the IC design tools as part of big team, maybe.
If you do have the money to fork out on actually getting chips made, then your odds will be better, but still probably rather low.
Now, someone will no doubt bring up Jeri Ellsworth. As I recall, she got her first IC design job not because she self studied IC design and went looking for a job, it's because she had the experience required in the FPGA side of reverse engineering a particular product that a company happened to want. She had the ready to go IP. Basically, she got lucky that someone found her. She might not have had nearly the same luck if she self studied IC design and then actively went looking for a job.