The only question right now is, what is your goal as a (verification) engineer? Goal thinkers have a specific goal they want to achieve. A goal could be a salary of x dollar or euro. A different goal, for example, is verification lead or verification architect. Something like that. I started with ASIC verification a few decades back. And I was a goal thinker too. My goal was a career, become a project lead and then project manager. After a few years, I reached that milestone. Then what? The manager track requires a lot of paperwork, a lot of meetings, phone calls, and email management. So, by then, I switched from goal thinking to system thinking.
System thinking means I want to keep learning and improve. Essentially, build a talent stack. And this is totally scientific too. Statistics is an important part of mathematics. All engineers need to master math in their college education. So, how does this apply to system thinking? Well, by broadening knowledge and experience you build a foundation. By working in different sectors (consumer electronics, industrial,…) and for different international companies, you become a broad expert in your field. You can compare different ways of working, and that is a valuable skill. The more in-demand skills you get, the higher the chance that you will always have an income. Boom! Statistics!
The partitioning in the digital VLSI sector, in design versus verification, follows the Pareto principle. 80% of the time spent in verification means 20% of the time one spends in design. Basically, you have 4 verification engineers for every designer. Thus, verification is in high demand. And VLSI will be critical to the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning for years to come. So the demand will increase even more in the following years. Conclusion? Verification as a niche of VLSI digital design is an excellent choice.
Similar to design, a verification career starts executing what others have decided. Over time, when expertise grows, you will get to write verification plans, lead verification (sub) teams, setup advanced verification systems, or become a verification architect. Ultimately, you define the whole verification strategy and let the team implement it. If you want to, there is also the project lead to project manager to director route. Commonly referred to as climbing the ladder. Endpoint? CEO of an international giant.
You see that there are lots of possibilities.
But the question remains, what do you want to do in life?
Never forget that YOU are the architect of your own life.