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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 08, 20- 26 May 2023

Quantum Technology Future of Industry and Jobs


Mihir Singh

Quantum technology is a rapidly emerging field that has revolutionised the way we approach computing, communication, and sensing. The implications of this technology are vast and wide-ranging, with applications in fields such as medicine, finance, and national security. Quantum technology not only has the potential to transform all industries, but it also has the capacity to generate significant employment opportunities. As the field of quantum technology continues to mature, there will be a growing demand for skilled workers in areas such as quantum computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum sensing. These new jobs will require a diverse range of skills, including expertise in physics, computer science, and engineering. Furthermore, the development of quantum technology will also lead to the creation of entirely new industries and domains, which will create additional job opportunities.

The popular domains of quantum technology in which new career opportunities are being added by the day and are expected to increase manifold in the near future are:

·         Quantum Computing 

·         Quantum Cryptography 

·         Quantum Sensing 

·         Quantum Simulation 

·         Quantum Communication

Aptitude Required for Studying/ Pursuing Quantum Technology

Quantum technology is built on the principles of classical mechanics and electromagnetism. Pursuing higher studies and a career in quantum technologies requires a strong aptitude for mathematics and physics. A solid foundation in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations is essential, as these are the fundamental tools used to describe and manipulate quantum systems. A good understanding of quantum mechanics is crucial, as this is the foundation of quantum technology. Quantum technology requires a good understanding of computer science, particularly in algorithms and programming languages. You should be familiar with languages like Python, C++, and Java, as well as with data structures, algorithms, and software engineering principles. To work in quantum technology, you should be able to design, perform, and analyse experiments. This requires skills in laboratory work, data analysis, and scientific communication. In addition to technical skills, a strong aptitude for problemsolving and critical thinking is also important. The field of quantum technology is still relatively new, and many of the challenges faced by researchers and engineers require creative and innovative solutions. As such, individuals pursuing a career in quantum technology should be comfortable with taking on challenging, open-ended problems.


Popular Industrial Applications of Quantum Technology

·         Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): These two domains have emerged as pivotal technologies that have disrupted industrial automation. However, traditional computer systems may struggle to handle the accuracy and speed required to implement AIpowered solutions. In this regard, quantum computing technology performs labour-intensive tasks faster than conventional computers.

·         Pharmaceutical Sector: Drug development is a challenging area that can benefit from quantum computing's speed and cost reduction. Quantum computing technology can be employed throughout the drug development process to replace laboratory tests with quantum computer simulations, thereby providing viable quantum application. Computational chemistry can revolutionise molecular mapping through coherent superposition of qubits as either 0 or 1 can fuel molecular mapping and help the pharmaceutical sector.

·         Cybersecurity: As the internet drives companies and organisations to gain international momentum and boost user acquisitions, cyber attack has become a significant threat. Quantum computing applications utilising machine learning algorithms and quantum cryptography can be used to counter cybersecurity threats and impose higher security norms

·         Data Processing: Cloud computing services aim to make automation and performance agility accessible to businesses in all sectors. Integrating quantum computing and cloud computing would be the most natural fit among all technological innovations. Custom-made quantum app development and cloud computing services can break up massive data processing into several manageable bits of data.

·         Finance and Investments: Investors face challenges in finding ideal investment opportunities with high returns and low-risk factors. With the creation of useful quantum computing applications, businesses can carry out these calculations quickly and easily, reduce the time required, enhance the quality, and handle enormous sums of money more simply.

·         Fraud Detection: Industries such as healthcare, banking, and marketing requires reliable solutions for deriving functional entity relationships and data patterns. Quantum computing can make data modeling more efficient and timely.

·         Weather Forecast: Meteorology and weather forecasting is another potential application of quantum computing. Powerful quantum computing solutions that provide quick and easy processing of massive datasets may prove to be a profitable way to model weather systems.

·         Online Traffic Optimisation: Improving organic traffic for organisations is another use of quantum computing applications based on data extraction and pattern analysis. Companies that provide marketing and advertising services need to employ quantum computers to offer quick services with precise outcomes and a perfectly targeted audience.

·         Supply-chain Management: This domain requires improved data analysis and reliable performance modeling to enhance logistics optimisation. Quantum computing can provide strong computational solutions for logistics optimisation, with quantum annealing technology offering powerful answers when compared to conventional computers. Universal quantum computing methods can resolve all computational issues.

·         Quantum Warfare: Quantum technology, while not yielding fundamentally new weapons or standalone military systems, possesses the power to substantially elevate measurement capability, sensing, precision, and computation efficiency of both current and future military technology. The majority of quantum technologies are of dual use, offering an abundance of potential for military applications. The technology also has the potential of affecting the intelligence capability of defence forces. This remarkable potential for innovation and advancement in military capabilities is one that cannot be overlooked


Job Roles: As the field of quantum computing continues to grow, there is a significant demand for skilled professionals who can develop, program, and operate quantum computers. This demand is being driven by a range of industries, including finance, healthcare, and aerospace, who are all looking to leverage the unique capabilities of quantum computing to solve complex problems and gain a competitive edge. In addition to quantum computing, there are also growing job opportunities in other domains of quantum technology, such as quantum cryptography, quantum sensing, and quantum simulation. While these domains may not have as many job openings as quantum computing, they are still experiencing significant growth.


Research Scientist: Research Scientists typically hold Ph.D. degrees in physics, computer science, or a related field. They are responsible for conducting research on quantum computing, developing new algorithms, and testing the capabilities of quantum computers.


Quantum Software Developer: Quantum Software Developers are responsible for developing software applications and tools that can run on quantum computers. They typically have expertise in programming languages such as Python, C++, and Q#, and are familiar with quantum algorithms and quantum circuit design.


Quantum Hardware Engineer: Quantum Hardware Engineers design and develop the hardware components of quantum computers. They typically have expertise in areas such as superconducting circuits, ion traps, and photonics.


Quantum Application Developer: Quantum Application Developers are responsible for developing applications that can leverage the unique capabilities of quantum computers. They typically have expertise in areas such as chemistry, finance, or optimisation, and are able to design algorithms that can solve complex problems in these areas


Quantum Information Scientist: Quantum Information Scientists are responsible for developing and testing new quantum information protocols, such as quantum cryptography and quantum error correction. They typically have expertise in both physics and computer science, and are able to design and analyse complex quantum information protocols.


Cryptography: Cryptography is used to protect sensitive information, such as passwords, financial transactions, and confidential communication, from being intercepted or tampered with. The technology finds application in a variety of modern communication systems, including secure web browsing, email encryption, digital signatures, and password storage. It is also used in secure messaging, secure file storage, and secure authentication. Quantum technology has the potential to revolutionise cryptography by providing new tools and techniques for secure communication and to create new cryptographic systems that are resistant to quantum attacks.


Quantum Cryptographer is responsible for developing and implementing secure cryptographic protocols and algorithms. They work with quantum computers and quantum communication systems to develop new cryptographic techniques that are resistant to attacks by quantum computers.


Cryptographic Engineer designs and implements cryptographic algorithms and protocols for various applications, such as secure messaging, secure web browsing, digital signatures, and password storage. With the increasing demand for quantumsafe cryptographic systems, cryptographic engineers with expertise in quantum technology are in high demand


Information Security Analysts are responsible for protecting an organisation's information systems from cyber attacks and data breaches. With the increasing threat of quantum attacks, information security analysts with expertise in quantum cryptography are needed to develop and implement quantum-safe security measures.


Quantum Communication: Satellitebased quantum communication is a rapidly growing field with great potential for both scientific advancement and commercial applications. As such, there are many lucrative career opportunities available in this field for individuals with the necessary skills and expertise.


Quantum Information Scientist/ Engineer: One of the most important roles in satellite-based quantum communication is that of a quantum information scientist or engineer. These professionals are responsible for designing and implementing quantum communication protocols and systems, as well as developing new quantum technologies and applications. They typically have advanced degrees in physics, electrical engineering, or computer science, and may work in academia, government research labs, or private industry.


Satellite Systems Engineer: These professionals are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the complex satellite systems that enable quantum communication between ground stations and other satellites. They typically have degrees in aerospace engineering or a related field, and may work for government agencies such as NASA or private companies such as SpaceX or Boeing.


Business and Management Professionals: In addition to technical roles, there are also many opportunities for business professionals with expertise in satellite-based quantum communication. For example, individuals with experience in marketing, sales, or business development may work for companies that develop and sell satellitebased quantum communication systems, while those with legal or regulatory expertise may work for government agencies or private companies to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.


Quantum Sensing: This is a rapidly growing field with significant implications for various industries. Its applications range from medical imaging to mineral exploration to navigation systems, and its potential for high-precision measurement has caught the attention of researchers, engineers, and investors alike. As the technology continues to advance, the demand for skilled professionals in the field, such as quantum engineers and quantum materials scientists, is on the rise and the professionals who fill these roles are poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of technology.


Quantum Sensing Engineers: The expertise of Quantum Engineers in the development of high-precision sensors, quantum signal processing algorithms, and low-noise electronic systems is critical to the success of the technology. With degrees in physics, engineering, or computer science, they possess the technical knowledge and experience in quantum mechanics, electronics, and software development necessary to excel in this role.


Quantum Materials Scientists: They explore the properties of materials at the quantum level to develop new materials with specific properties relevant to quantum sensing. They study physics, chemistry, and materials science, and are adept at the synthesis and characterisation of materials, and their research has far-reaching implications for the advancement of quantum sensing technology.


Quantum Sensing Researchers: They develop new sensing technologies that harness the power of quantum mechanics. They conduct experiments to test the feasibility of new quantum sensing approaches and develop new theoretical models to predict their behaviour. They have the necessary skills in experimental design and data analysis to contribute to the cutting-edge research in the field.


Quantum Sensing Product Managers: These professionals working closely with customers, engineers, and researchers to define product requirements and prioritise development efforts. Degree in engineering coupled with degree in business or a related field and experience in product management, marketing, and sales, are required to lead the charge in bringing quantum sensing technology to the forefront of various industries.


Quantum Sensing Applications Engineers: They play a crucial role in the integration of quantum sensing systems into various applications, such as medical imaging, mineral exploration, or navigation systems. Apart from being engineers, these professionals also need to have a sound understanding of IT and customer-centric mindset that are necessary to design customised solutions that meet the needs of a diverse range of customers.


Where to Study Quantum Technology in India?

India has emerged as a significant player in the global quantum computing landscape, with several institutions offering courses and training programmes in this rapidly evolving field. Here are some top Indian Institutes for quantum computing:

·         Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), different campuses countrywide 

·         Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru

·         International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad 

·         Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad

·         National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal 

·         Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 

·         Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal 

·         Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai 

·         Calcutta University, Kolkata 

·         Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata


General Course Structure (M.Tech in Quantum Technology):

Typically, the first year of M.Tech in Quantum Technology will cover the following topics:


·         Quantum Mechanics 

·         Quantum Computation and Information 

·         Quantum Optics and Photonics 

·         Quantum Algorithms and Complexity 

·         Quantum Error Correction and FaultTolerance 

·         Advanced Mathematics for Quantum Applications 

·         Quantum Cryptography and Information Security 

·         Advanced Topics in Quantum Applications


In the second year, students will have to undergo an advance course structure including a research project/thesis/ internship to finally hold a Master's degree in Quantum Technology.


·         Quantum Hardware and Technology 

·         Quantum Materials and Devices 

·         Quantum Sensing and Metrology 

·         Quantum Communication and Networking 

·         Quantum Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence 

·         Quantum Computing in Chemistry and Materials Science 

·         Quantum Computing in Biology and Life Sciences 

·         Research Project/Thesis

(The above course structure is indicative only and may vary from institution to institution).


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for quantum technology programmes may vary depending on the specific institution and programme. However, some general admission requirements may include:


·         Educational Qualifications: Applicants are typically required to have a bachelor's degree in physics, computer science, engineering, or a related field. Some programmes may also accept applicants with a background in mathematics or other related fields.

·         GPA: Applicants are usually required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

·         Standardised Test Scores: Some programmes may require applicants to submit standardised test scores such as that of JEE -Mains (for B.Tech in Quantum Technology) and GATE (for M. Tech in Quantum Technology).


As we move towards a future where quantum technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives, it is crucial that we invest in education and training programmes that will equip the workforce with the skills needed to succeed in this exciting new field. There is also a need for creating an ecosystem that can assimilate the dynamics of this rapidly changing and expanding field of science and ensure that businesses and organisation are able to optimally utilise its applications. By doing so, we can ensure that the benefits of quantum technology are accessible to all, while also promoting economic growth and job creation. This is the intent behind the recently launched National Quantum Mission.


(The author is a competitive examination coach and co-founder of a popular coaching app. He can be reached at mihirsingh761@gmail.com)


Views expressed are personal.