Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photonics education; where to begin?

For the April issue of Laser Focus World, we will feature an article on "Photonics Education" that was envisioned to complement the new education resources that appear on our OptoIQ home page. If you haven't visited OptoIQ lately, go to and select the Photonics Education tab. There, you'll find the following:

Particularly helpful is the Resource section halfway down the Photonics Education page, which includes an education locator, courses and tutorials, and information on how to find a job in photonics.

And now, back to the discussion on the feature article. We struggled with the topic for a while, considering that there are hundreds of academic institutions that offer courses specific to optics/photonics/optoelectronics and of course, basic physics or engineering degrees with an emphasis in optics or optoelectronics. And although we have decided to focus the April article on profiling some of the best photonics institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, we would like your feedback on future blogs, columns, and feature articles related to photonics education and any suggestions on how to improve our Photonics Education website.

Specifically, if you are a student interested in pursuing a career in optics/photonics, just how did you get interested in the photonics discipline? What tools did you use or would you like to use in order to select an academic institution? Have you considered a technician degree rather than a BS, MS, or PhD? What resources would be valuable to you to advance your career in photonics?

If you are already employed in the photonics industry, is your company currently working with any academic institutions in the way of internships, recruiting, or other educational initiatives? Do you have feedback on your own educational experience in photonics that would be valuable to students considering this career path?

Customer feedback is extremely important to Laser Focus World. As we launch these new initiatives, we would like to understand how to add value for our customers. Don’t be shy! Please contact if you think you can help answer any of the questions posed above. And for inspiration, check out the many videos on photonics careers and education on YouTube by searching "photonics careers" or "photonics education". Here is a good one from SPIE:

We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions very soon!

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