Upskill for a quantum computing future: Courses worth exploring
Do you have the right skills that would continue to make you an asset to your organisation in the future? Our tech-driven era means that we need to continuously update our current skill set and knowledge to ensure we stay relevant and abreast of the changes happening, especially for those in quantum computing.
Research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that by 2023, 20% of organisations will be budgeting for quantum computing projects. But a lack of skilled talent can impair that.
PwC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey asked companies how they are preparing their workforce for the digital future and their concerns about attracting and retaining talent reflect a world that at that time was preoccupied with a skills shortage.
They found that 74% of CEOs were concerned about the availability of key skills — of those, 32% were “extremely concerned”. They add that CEOs of more advanced upskilling organisations were more optimistic about global economic growth — 34% expecting improvement versus 15% of CEOs just beginning their upskilling journey.
“These CEOs also had more confidence in their own revenue growth, with 38% ‘very confident’ versus 20% of beginners. This may suggest that taking steps to upskill helps organisations build confidence because it shows a clear, practical course of action in an increasingly uncertain world,” said the report.
It’s surprising to see many companies realising the importance of upskilling and offering training and courses for staff, or forming collaborations with universities in the field.
Just last month, tech giant Microsoft announced that it was creating a new programme to build quantum computing skills and capabilities in the academic community in India. It’s “Train the Trainer” initiative was done in collaboration with Electronics and ICT Academies at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur, and National Institute of Technology, Patna.
It trained 900 faculty from universities and institutes across India to equip academics with the required skills to start building their quantum future.
On Sept. 17. 2020, IBM announced that it was investing US$100 million in programming, credentials, and training for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to drive a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce. The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will also offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaboration on academic, education, and community outreach programmes, read the statement.
Quantum computing courses
With the boom in online learning, there is a myriad of ways for you to upskill in quantum computing.
MIT xPRO offers Quantum Computing Fundamentals, a two-course online programme which lets learners understand quantum computing and how it will transform business. Some of the learning outcomes include describing the differences between quantum and classical computation, assessing the business applications of quantum computation, determining technical requirements for quantum computers to run realistically large quantum algorithms and discerning potential performance gains of quantum versus classical algorithms.
Coursera offers a variety of beginner, intermediate and advanced-level courses in quantum computing. Some of their courses include Physical Basics of Quantum Computing, The Introduction to Quantum Computing (intermediate), Programming a Quantum Computer with Qiskit – IBM SDK (intermediate), to name a few.
Whichever way you choose to upskill, heading the advice to upgrade your knowledge will be essential as we chart further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.