Just as Newton’s laws provided the blueprint for the industrial revolution, the laws of quantum mechanics point the way to new technology that will revolutionize computation, communication, and sensing. However, the coming of this ‘quantum industrial revolution’ is being slowed by a lack of workforce. Currently, quantum science and engineering jobs are filled by students with related training in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Material Science, Math, and Physics. However, no one discipline fully prepares students for this field and there is significant amount of on-the-job training.
To meet this demand, UCLA is establishing an interdisciplinary program in Quantum Science and Engineering (QSE) that provides both a professional Master’s Degree and a separate PhD degree. Because the concepts of quantum mechanics can sometimes be directly counterintuitive, the degree programs will follow an active learning approach. The goal of the professional Master’s program is to produce students who have job offers before they graduate. Therefore, the professional Master’s program will be centered around laboratory classes, which not only explore the difficult concepts of QM, but teach the students real world skills. These skills include optics, cryogenics, high-speed electronics, data acquisition, and data analysis. These are the skills that our industry partners desire and that will enable the quantum industrial revolution.