A Monstrous Misconception

Jobs portal Monster.com has an article on how to get a job in the Nanotechnology Industry, but perhaps that should that be the yet to come Molecular Nanotechnology Industry?

Ominously, the article starts with Michael Crichton’s definition of nanotechnology as “the quest to build man-made machines of extremely small size, on the order of 100 nanometers, or 100/billionths of a meter.”

It gets worse from here with the author suggesting that a good way to get a nanotech job would be to join an organisation such as Foresight. It’s hard to think of a worse idea, as most nanotech related jobs are concerned with real world applications, not pontificating about possible nanobot related scenarios. In fact the mere mention of nanobots is enough to bring most job interviews to an speedy conclusion, whether in industry or the academic world.

It brings us back to the twin issues of the non-existence of any kind of nanotechnology industry, and the fact that nanotechnologies cut across a wide variety of academic disciplines and industries. While there are many jobs that may involve the application of nanotechnologies, there are very few companies entirely concerned with nanotechnologies, and even those will have specific requirements for chemical engineers or material scientists.

The mistake commonly made in this type of article is to assume that there exists some kind of industry often described as the digitisation of matter where anyone fascinated by computer games and science fiction can find a job. The harsh reality is no different from any other sector, you have to have the skills and experience that an employer wants, and a predilection for sci-fi usually comes low on the list of priorities.

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