"Quorkforce": Developing a National Quantum Workforce

Author: Dr. Elie Alhajjar


Summary 

The Biden-Harris Administration should establish a national initiative to develop a workforce pipeline for the new and emerging quantum ecosystem - call it the “Quorkforce.” Due to the rapid growth in the fields of quantum computing and technology along with fears of losing competitiveness, both the public and private sectors are struggling to find skilled employees. Quantum skills are derived from a mixture of many disciplines such as physics, computer science, applied mathematics and engineering, and there is no unique path to enter the quantum sphere. Through partnerships between the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, and the private quantum industry, the Biden-Harris Administration should establish an educational plan to train the next quantum generation across K-12, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The Administration should initiate an open call to create ten national quantum education centers with a baseline funding of $300M over a period of 10-12 years. The short-term goal would be to train the existing workforce with adequate quantum skills, while the long-term goal would be to provide a steady flow of quantum-literate graduates capable of advancing the field and fulfilling the needs of this growing industry.


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About the Authors

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Elie Alhajjar is a research scientist at the Army Cyber Institute and a faculty member at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, where he teaches and mentors cadets from all academic disciplines. Prior to joining USMA, he had a research appointment at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. His research work is supported by multiple grants and fellowships. Dr. Alhajjar holds a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in mathematics from George Mason University, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Notre Dame University.