While quantum computing may seem like some futuristic Hollywood movie script like the plot of Avenger’s Endgame, it’s a real skill set and job opportunity today. It’s an emerging field that uses physics to solve problems that are challenging for the traditional computer. Quantum computing plays a key role in data encryption, big data, and artificial intelligence, and all of these technologies have a big impact on the aerospace and defense sectors.
What Does it Take to Get into Quantum Computing?
Not just any degree will launch a quantum computing career. A bachelor’s degree in physics or computer science is a good start; however, quantum mechanics, computational physics, and machine learning are needed. If you’re starting out with just a bachelor’s degree, plan to add a master’s and maybe even a doctorate if you want any longevity in the field. Most organizations want established and experienced researchers or architects to design and build the systems that they need. This is not a career where you learn on the job.
When it comes to skill sets, prepare to demonstrate strong programming capabilities and a handle on mathematics – specifically algebra and probability. If you’re having a hard time getting a quantum computing role, internships with larger tech companies like Microsoft are a great way to get the background and experience you need to be successful. Another way to get noticed is to contribute to open source software development sites focused on quantum computing. The vice president of quantum computing at IBM says this is a good way to get noticed by people working at IBM, which could potentially lead to a job.
Key to a Job in Quantum Computing
The key to a job in quantum computing is to show your skill and invest the time in both technical and practical experience to really learn the craft. You may not find yourself on the set of the next Marvel movie, but you will find growing opportunities to protect and defend the U.S. national security – an Avengers-worthy mission. Experts estimate that investments in quantum technology will hit $10 billion worldwide by 2024. As China pours in resources, the U.S. defense industry will respond accordingly, and they need qualified candidates ready to hit the ground running.