At different times, students have asked me how to best prepare for a career in micro or nanotechnology. To be honest, there are many ways one can go about this and plenty of resources available for those who expend the effort to pursue them.
My advice would be to begin contacting and meeting with local professionals who are in a relevant field while also staying informed about recent happenings and keeping one’s professional and communication skills up. Industry professionals can give a feeling for what a day on the job is like, the industry itself, and how to ready yourself for a career it. Staying informed about the industry can be a matter of subscribing to the right newsletters or publications, as well as talking with professionals. Seminars and webinars are also useful for this purpose. In fact, there are also several good webinars and workshop resources posted online. Three are listed below:
- NACK Network webinars http://nano4me.org/webinars.php?offset=-6
- NISE workshops for outreach http://www.nisenet.org/About_Professional_Development
- ACS webinars: https://acswebcontent.acs.org/acswebinars/webinars.html
Also, do check out local chapters of professional societies and consider paying them a visit. Several of the largest ones which have covered different aspects nanotechnology and microsystems are listed below:
- ASM International
- ACerS – American Ceramic Society
- AIST – Association for Iron and Steel Technology
- TMS – The Minerals Metals and Materials Society
- AVS – American Vacuum Society
- IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- SPIE the international society for optics and photonics
- BMES – Biomedical Engineering Society
- ISPE – International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering
- ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- AIChE – American Institute of Chemical Engineers
- ACS – American Chemical Society
It is never too early in your studies to start preparing for a career or to get out and meet people in the field. The sooner you start, and more of a go-getter you become, the better prepared you will be.
As a nano student, you have your entire career ahead of you. So, what are you waiting for?