Identify and differentiate quantum talent for future success

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In August, President Biden signed FRENCH FRIES and the Science Act 2022enabling new investments in quantum information science and technology (QIST). This new law builds on decades of accelerated investments to encourage new discoveries and exploitation of new technologies to ensure the economic and national security of the United States. The Act enables activities that will accelerate the discovery of quantum applications, grow the quantum workforce, and enable cutting-edge research and development.

More investment in quantum technology will create increased demand for what is already a small talent pool. Organizations will need to have a clear understanding of how QIST affects their mission of recruiting or upskilling the right technologists to further their strategic priorities.

QIST has the potential to revolutionize every major industry, but the field is still nascent and until industry standards and rules are further developed, it can be easy to overlook important differences. among the major subsets of quantum technology.

Quantum sensing, computing, and communications require different expertise, and an organization may not need expertise in all three areas. Similarly, a single quantum scientist would not be equally suited to the roles in the three technology clusters.


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With that in mind, organizations must carefully arrange people and projects to unleash the full potential of quantum technology.

Distinguishing expertise QIST

Harnessing the transformative potential of quantum technology requires both breadth and depth of talent, which is challenging to recruit and retain. To leverage the potential of QIST, leaders must manage precisely the expertise their organizations need for strategic planning and R&D, and build hiring processes that enable them to scale expansion.

Furthermore, building a team capable of operating the technology requires input from experts in the areas of the target application. For example, to create a quantum financial solution to predict market crashes, an organization would need to combine a quantum scientist with an expert in financial data and modeling.

We can learn some lessons from the implementation artificial intelligence (AI) team. Due to the diversity of expertise in the field of AI, hiring an “AI expert” is not enough. Instead, the language of recruitment has evolved to differentiate AI majors – between computer vision, natural language processing (NLP) and reinforcement learning, for example — to facilitate better connections between people and applications.

As QIST continues to mature, leaders must learn to distinguish quantum expertise from similar specificity. Ultimately, the ideal team will be formed based on the unique mission of the particular agency or organization.

Develop skills enhancement initiatives and strategic partnerships

As we navigate this shortage of quantum talent, leaders should focus on two key efforts: upskilling efforts and strategic partnerships.

Upskilling may not be possible to produce quantum experts without the right skills available, but it can prepare other subject matter experts to contribute to quantum problems. . Effective skills enhancement initiatives focus on the fundamental information mission that professionals need to identify quantum-related problems and engage in quantum solutions.

These initiatives must go hand in hand with intranet connectivity — organizations should aim to train their workforces to recognize opportunities where quantum technology can drive critical impacts. important to the mission. As the goals and needs of the field continue to evolve, organizations must include forecasting in their strategy to ensure that the teams they are building are diverse and interdisciplinary enough to pivot as the industry evolves. application field of quantum development.

This approach improve skills can be extrapolated to external partnerships. It is a tall order for any organization to recruit and retain the diversity of quantum expertise they will likely need to fully optimize their use of technology over time. Internal talent investments will not make sense for every organization, and it can be beneficial to consider external partners who understand the likely timeframes for implementing applications. different quanta.

With the ability to bring together quantum expertise, organizations will be better prepared to identify mission critical use cases and applications for QIST in both the short and long term. In short, external partnerships will allow organizations to maximize the benefits of the QIST adoption potential without unduly expanding their internal expertise.

Quantum bonding with talent and technology step by step

While quantum technology will continue to evolve at its own pace, there must be a clear, consistent connection between internal QIST research and how it will impact business goals. Organizations will need to stay grounded in their missions and clarify how their talent needs align with their priorities. CISOs, CTOs, and other senior leaders must start preparing today to leverage QIST as QIST scales to raise technology standards across industries and sectors.

QIST is not a quick fix. Instead, the many applications of quantum technology – present and future – represent advances in solving specific types of problems. Some applications have a longer deadline, while others require immediate attention.

For example, post-quantum cryptography (PQTC) is an advanced encryption method that every government and commercial enterprise must soon adopt to ensure continuous digital security.

With early support from trusted advisors and partners, leaders can determine which quantum skill sets correspond to their mission-critical use cases and ensure access. right talent.

Jordan Kenyon is senior chief scientist at Booz Allen. JD Dulny is a director at Booz Allen.

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