What kind of jobs are there for someone with a strong, research-level theoretical background in the topic? I'm especially interested in the industry rather than academic jobs.

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    $\begingroup$ Teacher of quantum logic. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko May 19 at 5:12
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    $\begingroup$ I would focus on more generic skills that you posses (analytic thinking, quantitative analysis, ...); I cannot imagine that quantum logic as a topic has any industrial relevance. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker May 19 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ There are a few big companies like Google and IBM that are serious about quantum computers and could be a possibility. Beyond that I'd think you would just look for a job that involves strong analytical skills, for instance in finance. $\endgroup$ – Nik Weaver May 19 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, can't reist posting a link to this ... coolpun.com/topic/quantum+physics#&gid=1&pid=12 $\endgroup$ – alephzero May 20 at 3:41
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    $\begingroup$ Feline veterinarian? $\endgroup$ – avid May 20 at 21:17

Let me try and give you a more focused answer. The good/promising news is this: there are many interesting and rewarding jobs available in the quantum technology industry. These jobs require a new type of skills, familiarity with quantum information processing, and these skills are in short supply. So you are not competing with vast numbers of new graduates from computer science.

Now "quantum logic" by itself is a foundational skill, you will need to build on that and show that you can be productive in the application of the rules of quantum mechanics to information processing. This could take a year of study, not more I think. I am quite confident that this is a viable route because of several students in my own group who have taken this route and have landed exciting jobs either in large industries (Google, Microsoft) or in small/medium-sized companies and start-ups.

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    $\begingroup$ I add to this that you can be confident that the one-year study period you need, mentioned by Carlo Beenakker, will coincide with your first year of work if the employer is enlightened enough. $\endgroup$ – Alessandro Della Corte May 19 at 16:57

It is extremely unlikely that you'll find an industrial employer who needs a problem solved in your particular academic sub-sub-specialty. And if by some miracle they do now, they won't next year. If you want employment in industry, you must be prepared to use your abilities to learn new things and solve mathematical problems in areas that you are not yet familiar with.

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    $\begingroup$ From what I understand, a few keys to success in nonacademic positions are good-enough initial skills, the ability to learn, adaptability, working well with others, and ability to communicate up, down, and sideways. Another answer states "there are many interesting and rewarding jobs available in the quantum technology industry." I don't know about that, maybe that's so, drop an email to a local recruiter to validate that, see what kind of response it elicits. I'd be more included to agree with @RobertIsrael about the paucity and likely ephemeral nature of such. $\endgroup$ – A rural reader May 19 at 20:19

Here is a list of companies working on quantum computing. As this kind of company is a subclass of general IT companies, you will find all the regular roles of commercial IT:

  • Evangelists, Sales
  • Researchers
  • Teachers (i.e. in an "academy" style function within the company, giving talks or courses of a few days each)
  • Consultants
  • Developers, Implementators
  • Operations, Maintenance
  • Management

As of 2021, quantum computing is still quite niche, in commercial terms. With your background you could be a worthwhile employee in all these aspects - fully depending on your own character and interests.

Also, as these companies probably are often small and enthusiastic startups, every person will probably work in more than one role at the same time, which can be great or not so great, depending on what you prefer.

If I were in your shoes, I'd send my resume, together with a clear message of what kind of work you want to do, and go job hunting. Treat it like an information retrieval operation; talk with possible employers, and ask them what kind of jobs they offer currently (or check the job offerings listed on their web sites, of course).

This will give you a very quick insight into what the market offers.


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