MSPQC Toolkit

The MSPQC Career Toolkit was designed specifically for 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 the various aspects of career development along the way. In other words, we want to encourage you to begin thinking about your career when you initially start graduate school.

The resources below take you through things such as identifying your values, priorities, and interests, the transferrable skills you will learn in grad school, along with those skills that are highly sought after by employers. The toolkit provides relevant resources related to the job search process from finding position openings to writing your resume and cover letter and preparing for the interview and negotiating the job offer. Additionally, the job board contains any current postings for jobs in the field of quantum computing. We are excited to have the first graduates in the country from the MSPQC program and assure you it is our highest priority to assist you in landing a great job after you graduate.

Assess Yourself

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Values/priorities/interests in careers/workplaces

  • 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?

Transferrable Skills

  • As a master’s student, your skills are not limited to just the quantum physics knowledge you have learned through your classes. Along the way in your graduate study, you have also learned what employers like to call “soft skills.” Soft skills can be defined as skills that will allow you to be a successful employee in any field. Transferrable skills can include competency in time management, problem solving, interpersonal communication, organization, adaptability, leadership, technology literacy, work ethic, etc.
  • Take the time now to list out your previous work experience and your duties at those positions. Detail soft skills you used during your time in that role, how they have helped you develop professional, and how you expect to use them in roles moving forward
  • Transferrable Skills Checklist

Employer’s core competencies/Top 5 attributes employers seek on resumes

  • Employers look for transferrable skills on candidate resumes. Here are the top five attributes employers sought out in 2018:
    1. Problem solving
    2. Teamwork
    3. Communication skills (written & spoken)
    4. Leadership
    5. Work ethic

Job Search

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Quantum physics key words during a job search

  • Quantum computing and networking
  • Quantum sensing
  • Quantum materials

Sample Job Titles

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Job Postings

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

Negotiating an Offer


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UW–Madison and UW–Madison Physics Networks

Professional Organizations

Job Board/Upcoming events in the field

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Webinars, conferences, talks, etc. that students may be interested in