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Quantum + X = your dream job

Quantum careers

We live in the Digital Age, a world made possible by computers and information technology. Now, we look set to herald a new ‘Quantum Age’, and the potential applications – and career opportunities – are almost limitless

Quantum technologies harness the world of the very small. We’re talking technologies based on the physics that occurs at the scale of atoms. Computers, the internet and lasers use quantum physics, but not to its full potential – recent discoveries have created a stack of new possibilities and opportunities are growing rapidly. The rise of quantum tech has been compared to the dawn of computing last century. Some technologies are here already and many more are being invented.

There are endless ways to bring your passion to the world through quantum technologies. Here are just a few!

Quantum Tech + Computers = Quantum computing

Your passion: creating cutting-edge computers

quantum careers
Australia has been at the forefront of
quantum technology research since the
beginning. Image: Shutterstoc

Careers and earning potential:
• Technical project manager ($115k to $130k)
• Scientist, quantum ($90k to $120k)
• Software team leader ($120k to $160k)

The lowdown:
Computer companies around the world are looking to quantum for the next big leap. You’ll work in a team to create new software and hardware solutions that make the future possible.

Employers:
Diraq, IBM, Microsoft, Google Quantum AI, Silicon Quantum Computing, Max Kelsen, AWS.

Quantum Tech + Business = Entrepreneur

Your passion: developing technology and taking it into the real world

Careers and earning potential:

• Founder of a startup ($100 to $100M or more!)
• Commercial development manager ($90k to $130k)
• Innovation hub project officer ($100k to $125k)

The lowdown:
You can help a startup company develop a new quantum device – or invent a device yourself and start your own. You’ll talk to customers, improve your products and could create a global company. Or you can work in an innovation hub that supports tech startups. The sky is the limit!

Employers:
Create your own business, join a startup like Q-CTRL, Quantum Brilliance or Archer, or work in an innovation hub like The Quantum Terminal.

Quantum Tech+ Health = Medtech Innovator

Your passion: improving health and wellbeing

Careers and earning potential:

• Project manager – quantum devices ($100k to $120k)
• Product designer ($100k to $140k)
• Medical device assessor ($85k to $100k)

The lowdown:
Keep up with new advances and share ideas about how they can improve people’s health. In the future, quantum sensors could detect diseases earlier – your work is to bring those technologies to doctors and hospitals.

Employers:
Government (Health) or med-tech startup

Quantum Tech + Security = Cyber Expert

Your passion: keeping Australia safe

Careers and earning potential:

• Software developer ($90k to $130k)
• Researcher, quantum cryptography ($90k to $120k)
• Senior consultant, quantum ($120k to $160k)

The lowdown:
Work with banks and defence to develop ultra-secure quantum key distribution networks that can spot hackers who would otherwise go undetected. You could also help develop strategies supporting quantum technology adoption. You’ll stay ahead of the trends and collaborate to use technology to keep Australia safe.

Employers:
QuintessenceLabs, Government (Defence), CSIRO.

5 cool quantum applications

Here are some more examples of fields where quantum technology has had, or could have, a major impact:

1. Ultra-secure communications: The main application of quantum physics in the communications sector is for data protection and ultra-secure information processing and transmission. Hello, cyber security of tomorrow!

2. Next-gen chemistry: Quantum computers could help to model or simulate complex natural phenomena – a huge advantage in developing new drugs and medical treatments.

3. Sensitive sensors: By applying quantum physics, we could vastly improve how we measure, detect and interact with the world around us (and beyond!) – think next-gen GPS, smarter autonomous vehicles and superpowerful telescopes.

4. Tackling climate change: Quantum could play a role in developing climate change solutions, including delivering more efficient energy storage or next-generation batteries for the vehicles of the future, with little or no carbon footprint.

5. AI 2.0: What do you get when you combine superpowerful quantum computing algorithms with the exciting emerging field of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)? Well, our best and brightest researchers are busy figuring it out – and maybe you will join them one day! – Sarah Kellett

This article article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Quantum 2022

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