(Insights.dice) There’s a great interest in the tech industry whether quantum computing will actually produce jobs at scale.
“The large tech companies and research laboratories who are leading the charge on R&D in the pure quantum computing hardware space are looking for people with advanced degrees in key STEM fields like physics, math and engineering,” said John Prisco, President & CEO of Quantum Xchange, which markets a “quantum-safe key distribution” that supposedly will bridge the gap between traditional encryption solutions and quantum computing-driven security. “This is in large part because there are few programs today that actually offer degrees or specializations in quantum technology.”
There’s every chance that increased demand for quantum-skilled technologists could drive even more universities to spin up the right kind of training and education programs. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is evaluating post-quantum cryptography that would replace existing methods, including public-key RSA encryption methods. Time is of the essence when it comes to governments and companies coming up with these post-quantum algorithms; the next evolutions in cryptography will render the current generation pretty much obsolete.
Combine that quest with the current shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals, and you start to see where the talent and education crunch will hit over the next several years.
Herman Collins, CEO of StrategicQC, a recruiting agency for the quantum-computing ecosystem, believes that sourcing quantum-related talent at this stage comes down to credentials. “Because advanced quantum expertise is rare, the biggest sign that a candidate is qualified is whether they have a degree in one of the fields of study that relates to quantum computing,” he said. “I would say that degrees, particularly advanced degrees, such as quantum physics obviously, physics theory, math or computer science are a good start. A focus on machine learning or artificial intelligence would be excellent as part of an augmented dynamic quantum skill set.”
Some 20 percent of the quantum-related positions, Collins continued, are in marketing, sales, management, tech support, and operations. Even if you haven’t spent years studying quantum computing, in other words, you can still potentially land a job at a quantum-computing firm, doing all the things necessary to ensure that the overall tech stack keeps operating.