MSPQC Career Toolkit

The MSPQC Career Toolkit is designed to be used by current students throughout the one year intensive master’s program. While you take coursework and explore research opportunities at UW-Madison, it will be important to prioritize your  career development along the way.

The resources below take you through things such as identifying your values, priorities, and interests, the transferable skills you will learn in the MSPQC program, along with skills that are highly sought after by employers. The toolkit provides resources related to the job search process ranging from finding position openings to writing your resume and cover letter to preparing for the interview and negotiating the job offer. Additionally, the job board contains current postings for jobs in the field of quantum computing. For additional help and resources, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Employment Opportunities, Networks, and Events

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Job Boards

Professional Organizations and Networks

Events and Professional Development

Check out our MSPQC Newsletter Archive for the latest events and professional development in the quantum computing industry!

Recorded Events and Presentations

QSC Quantum Panel Discussion: Empowering Quantum S&T Innovation – May 20, 2021

The Quantum Science Center (QSC) hosted this panel discussion on the motivations, impacts, and needs for the quantum workforce. The panel included Travis Humble (Moderator, Oak Ridge National Lab), Shreyas Ramesh (Accenture), Vlad Shalaev (Purdue), Stefan Wernli (Microsoft), Jason Alicea (Caltech), Susanne Yelin (Harvard), Nick Bronn (IBM), Dana Anderson (ColdQuanta/UC-Boulder), Chris Monroe (IonQ/Duke), Daniel Bowring (Fermilab), and Sasha Boltasseva (Purdue).

MSPQC Quantum Technology Industry Panel – June 25, 2021

UW-Madison Program Coordinator Jackson Kennedy and MSPQC Program Director Bob Joynt hosted a panel with UW-Madison alumni about the quantum technology sector. The panelists were Sam Neyens-Intel, Matt Beck-IBM, and John Gamble-Microsoft.

SPIE Workforce and Educational Panel – July 19, 2021

The Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) hosted a panel on workforce education as part of its 2021 Photonic for Quantum conference. The panelists were Lincoln Carr (Colorado School of Mines), Chris Monroe (Duke and IonQ), Matt Versaggi (Optum Healthcare), and Kevin Knabe (Vescent Photonics).

QED-C Workforce Webinar HR Manager Panel – July 20, 2021

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) hosted a panel of HR hiring managers in the quantum industry representing the U.S. Department of Energy, IBM, StrategicQC, and Montana Instruments.

QED-C: Introduction to Quantum Annealing – August 4, 2021

Cathy McGeoch from D-Wave Systems presented a high-level overview of quantum annealing processors and related software. She described how this approach to quantum computing differs from the gate model approach, discussed what types of problems are best-suited for quantum annealing, explained the problem-solving work-flow, and surveyed what is known about performance.

Job Search Tips

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Assess Yourself: Values, Priorities, Interests, and Skills

  • When entering a job search, it is essential to understand your own values and priorities as they relate to the workplace. By making sure you understand yourself, it will be easier to identify companies that align with your values, assuring that you fit in with the company culture. You can then focus your time tailoring applications to workplaces in which you could see yourself being successful.
  • Be sure to identify all of your priorities before starting your search.
    • Is location important? If so, where do you want to be?
    • Do you prefer-
      • lab work?
      • software?
      • administration?
    • Are you looking for job security or quick advancement?
    • Do you prefer a small company or a large one?
    • Do you want the atmosphere of a start up company or a more established enterprise?
  • As a master’s student, your skills are not limited to quantum physics knowledge learned through coursework. Throughout graduate study, you have also learned what employers sometimes call “soft skills. or as educational fields may refer to as “higher-order thinking” skills. These skills are those that allow you to be a successful employee in any field. These transferrable skills may include competency in time management, problem solving, interpersonal communication, organization, adaptability, leadership, technology literacy, work ethic, etc.
  • Take time to list your previous work experience and duties at those positions. Detail  higher-order thinking skills you used during in each role, how they helped you develop professional, and how you expect to use them in roles moving forward.

Quantum Physics: Key Words to Use During a Job Search

  • Quantum computing and networking
  • Quantum sensing
  • Quantum materials

Sample Job Titles

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Networking Strategies

  • Networking is a strategy used to connect with people in your field. Widening your network of contacts means that more people will be able to keep their eyes open for positions for you, recommend you for jobs, or give you tips on how to break into their company. Networks are intended to be mutually beneficial. Networking for the sake of growing a network will not always yield results—make sure you are connecting with others who are able to attest to your abilities and who are willing to help you, or if you can offer them something.
  • Networking tips resources
    1. Prepare your pitch or ‘elevator speech’
    2. Contact people you already know
    3. Informational interviews
    4. Attend career fairs
    5. Be active
    6. Join professional organizations
      1. American Physical Society (APS)
      2. Wisconsin Quantum Institute
      3. Chicago Quantum Exchange
    7. Research!
    8. Build relationships
    9. Send thank you’s
    10. Maintain your network
  • Build meaningful networking relationships

Online Resources

  • Handshake—Available to all degree-seeking students at UW-Madison, including graduate students. Handshake allows you to set up a profile, explore job and internship postings, develop and track your goals, and find events or workshops to attend near you.
    1. Handshake how-to’s:
      1. Search for jobs/internships
      2. Set saved searches
      3. Set up your profile
      4. Make your profile searchable
    2. LinkedIn—a social networking website built with business professionals in mind. Share your work-related information with others in your network and find job opportunities, and other professionals to connect with.
      1. Free accounts are available, with opportunities to upgrade your account for a monthly fee.
      2. UW-Madison offers a free LinkedIn Learning subscription with your NetID
      3. Create the best LinkedIn profile possible to attract others to your profile and expand your network
      4. Tips on writing job descriptions on your LinkedIn profile
    3. UW CareerLocker thru My UW—a living, online resource for job seekers. User options include self-assessments, job postings, career assessments, learning plans, interactive resume and budget builder.
    4. Glassdoor—a website dedicated to providing job-seekers information about companies, including salary examples, reviews, interview questions the company favors, and employee testimony. You can either create a profile or utilize anonymously.

Writing a Cover Letter & Resume

Interview Prep