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Career prospects in nanotechnology

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posted on May, 3 2006 @ 12:51 PM
Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask such a question, but I am sure that if it isn't, a mod will happily move it to the correct place

Anyway, I am at a cross-roads where I have to decide what I want to do as a future career. I enjoy the various sciences and will be taking advanced Physics, Biology and ICT to enable me to go on to university. I was looking at some courses at my local university and I saw a course for Nanotechnology.

My believe is that this is an up and coming technology, which may have some great career prospects for the right people. My primary career would be something geared towards teaching/research.

Is there any members here with experience in the Nanotechnology field who could shed some more light on this fascinating subject, or maybe some members could post some other career options geared towards research/teaching, preferrably from those with experience in that field?

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 01:58 PM
I haven't worked in the nano field, but I did take a couple of courses on the subject during university. I took electrical engineering. There's also research done by mechanical and chemical engineers in the field of nanotechnology. As you say, physics and biology are also good choices if you want to get into nano, and chemistry would also be a good choice.

I'm not really sure which would be the best choice for you, as I know that, at least at my school, research was done by people in all of the above-named fields, although electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemistry seemed to be the three that had more researchers than the others, at least around here.

There's probably a lot of other choices, as well; wait and see what some other members post, and do some research yourself too, to figure out the options. Good luc!

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 02:52 PM
I haven't worked anywhere near that field.

You're not going to be able to pre-determine too much while still in high school.

If you know you want to ultimately be doing research, then its very important that you start doing it so you can get used to it. Your best bet is to contact some professors at some local universities that you might be applying to, and see if you can do any research with them.

They will probably say 'no', because, who'd want to have to have some high schooler messing around in their lab.

But you might get lucky, or maybe one of your high school teachers can write up a good recomendation for such work, or knows someone that can take you in.

You'd want to research the professors and see what kind of stuff they are doing and figure out something that you can do there, and they might have stuff for you to do also. This way you can do research on, say, the weekends and the like, or over the summer after work or whatever.

Its unlikely, but possible.

The big thing is, once you get into a university, to be able to start doing scientific research right away, while also maintaining a high GPA. If you are in the US, you will also need to get great scores on your GRE's, to get into a good graduate school where people are doing that kind of work you are interested in.

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 03:02 PM
Thank you for replying.

I gathered that there maybe little response to my question, mainly because I have been unable to find much information on Nanotechnology, either - I`ve spent months researching it.

I am interested in a career in the sciences, particular research. I would go for a Physics degree, but I`m quite poor at advanced maths, although my basic maths is excellent. BTW, I am British, so these are British qualifications I am talking about.

The reason I pose this question here, is because there is a large member base here of people with varying backgrounds - many I have noticed in the science arena, so it would be nice to see what others have to say - as they say, every little helps, and a degree isn`t something you can just pick on the whim of a hat (?).

Please, any further information would be excellent.

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 04:04 PM

Originally posted by James Daniel
I am interested in a career in the sciences, particular research. I would go for a Physics degree, but I`m quite poor at advanced maths, although my basic maths is excellent.

If you advanced math is lagging, it's not a showstopper. You'll just have to work harder than your classmates, however that per se does not preclude a successful (or semi-successful) carrier in a hard science such as physics. You might be good with electronics, for example, and contribute greatly to whatever research you are involved in.

There is a Center for Functional Nanomaterials now being constructed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory here in the US. Since BNL is open to "summer students", it might be a good idea to explore such possibility to visit and work in a top-notch facility for a summer or two. I think the CFN will be completed later this year. Do your research on the internet, and you'll find all the necessary contacts. Good luck.

posted on May, 3 2006 @ 06:00 PM
If your math is a bit weak, you may want to pick up some study guides on the subject. Speaking from my personal experience in university, I took four calculus courses, a linear algebra course, a statistics course, a differential equations course, and a numerical methods course. Depending what kind of stuff you want to be researching, I can think of applications for all of those in nanotechnology in one branch or another.

Also, just because you may be struggling with math now, does not mean there is no hope. When I was in high school, I did quite well in physics, except for two units: electric circuits, and optics. Yet I went into electrical engineering and just graduated this April. I also took a fourth year optics course and got an A-, despite not understanding a single thing in high school on the topic. How? Because I worked quite hard in university, and barely put any work in during high school.

I firmly believe that if a person works hard, they can do well on any subject. Some subjects will come more naturally than others, as my university marks will attest, but with the proper work ethic, you should do fine.

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