Job Hunting? The Quantum Industry is Hiring for Diverse Positions: New Assessment by the Quantum Economic Development Consortium Shows Many Traditional Skills Will be Important

Career Climbers / 7th October 2021

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) recently released an assessment based on a survey of U.S. quantum businesses outlining the diversity of jobs in the quantum industry requiring various skills and education levels. The study provides guidance to educators, policy makers and students to help grow a quantum-ready workforce. The analysis identified skills, several of which are not quantum-specific, relevant for multiple jobs.

“This study provides timely insight into the wide variety of jobs required to support the emerging quantum industry. The study results will help the U.S. grow a quantum workforce with the relevant skills,” said Corey Stambaugh with the National Quantum Coordination Office in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The paper includes recommendations for educators preparing students for the quantum industry and advises those developing new degree programs should provide both quantum-specific and general science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. It also guides educators to consider adding broad quantum courses for students pursuing non-quantum degree programs, equipping them for multiple quantum-related roles. 

The report acknowledges business skills will become increasingly important as the industry continues its progress from research to commercialization and suggests universities seek ways to prepare students for roles in sales and marketing.

“The QED-C workforce study highlights the opportunities and challenges for employers and prospective students for the quantum industry. The study also provides guidance to policy makers and educators on how best to prepare the future quantum workforce,” said Alan Ho, Google Quantum AI product manager and QED-C steering committee member. 

Information gathered from 57 QED-C member companies detailed specific work roles expected to be filled in the next five years and for each role, the associated skills and degrees required.  Respondents were representative of the entire quantum supply chain, including hardware and software developers, component suppliers and end-users.

An assessment by QED-C and Hyperion Research forecasted the quantum computing industry could grow to $830 million by 2024 with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 27 percent. Such growth – in quantum computing and other areas of application – requires thousands of additional scientists, engineers, technicians and other employees to fill the variety of jobs, including those identified in the new survey. Skills sought by the employers surveyed include quantum algorithm development, circuit design, systems architecture, and technical sales and marketing. The preferred degree varies by job category—from PhD to associate degree.

Growing the quantum workforce has been identified as an enabling factor to ensure the industry’s success. The new report reveals the breadth of jobs and skills needed and can aid both educators and students to prepare for careers in this emerging field.

About Quantum Economic Development Consortium 
The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) is an industry-driven consortium managed by SRI International and established in response to the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act. Membership includes more than 120 US companies from across the supply chain and more than 40 academic institutions and other stakeholders. The consortium seeks to enable and grow the quantum industry and associated supply chain. For more information about QED-C, visit quantumconsortium.org 

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