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Career in quantum computing

  1. May 16, 2015 #1
    Hi. I am an undergraduate physics student and I really like the field of quantum computing. Can someone please tell me how good are the opportunities to work and research in this field? As I understand, there are not many places that do research in quantum computers as compared to something like astrophysics or nano-tech. Is this accurate? If you are not some Harvard or MIT graduate, what are your chances of making in this field? And what are the courses that I should focus on if I want to continue this path? Any help will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2015 #2
    My school has a developing physics department and is no where to the level of MIT or Harvard. A classmate of mine was able to get to a top 5 PhD program from a college that has little recognition of the physics department (you could say my school is more of a business school). He majored in physics and computer science, did research with two professors: one being a CS professor and another being a plasma physicist. He's getting his PhD now and seems to be doing just fine for himself, so no.. you don't need MIT or Harvard (though they never hurt obviously). Show an impressive GPA in programming and physics, particularly quantum mechanics, and show your versatility being both a physicist and a computer scientist through research and you'll be in great shape. Never let a lack of reputation from your current school get in the way of your dreams. Even if you don't make it, you've probably gained enough skills to be a pretty good engineer which is how I found myself in optical engineering and LOVE it.
  4. May 18, 2015 #3


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    You have to be much more specific. The field of "Quantum computing" encompasses many, many different areas of physics. Not only because of the (usual) theory vs. experiment, but also because so many different ways of implementing QC are are currently being investigated, There is huge difference in what you would be doing on a day-to-day basis between say working on a superconducting QC (cryogenics, microfabrication etc) and one based on trapped ions (ultra high vacuum and optics/laser).

    Hence, unless you are interested in algorithms (which tend to be agnostic when it comes to the hardware) you are better off trying to figure out which field of physics interests you, and then look at possible QC implementation in that field.
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