In this issue of NanoNews-Now we cover jobs in nanotech in three articles by Bo Varga of the nanoSIG, Callum Sutherland of Working In Ltd., and Pamela Bailey of tinytechjobs.

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Table of contents:
Bo Varga
Callum Sutherland
Pamela Bailey
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A Brief Overview of Nanotechnology Jobs

© Copyright 2004, Bo Varga, Silicon Valley Nano Ventures
Bo Varga nanoSIG
By Bo Varga
Co-Founder & Executive Director nanoSIG

First we need to divide nanotechnology jobs into two domains - the "extension of existing industries" and the "creation of new industries." The entire semiconductor industry, for example, has reduced feature size below the magic 100 nanometer level; that is one definition of nanotechnology, and is an extension of an existing industry. This overview will focus on the "creation of new industries."

Second, we need to understand what is unique about nanotechnology jobs, and what is not.

While some will claim that nanotechnology is closer to biotechnology, I will use a comparison with the Internet to create a basic understanding of nanotechnology jobs.

The fundamental difference between the Nanotechnology "boom" and the Internet "boom" is the nature of the underlying Intellectual Property (IP). Internet IP does not require deep scientific knowledge while Nano IP does. Knowledge of or the ability to relate to deep scientific knowledge is a key component of Nanotechnology jobs at all levels.

The Internet "boom" was and is fundamentally a driver for the "knowledge economy." Associated jobs are driven by marketing concepts and hardware, software, storage, and connectivity capabilities. Beyond the "usual" administrative, business development, marketing, and sales jobs, demand at the commercial level is fundamentally for programmers and hardware engineers, and at the research level for the materials scientists, process engineers, mathematicians, etc. who fed the commercial value chain for computers, storage, connectivity, and software. Differentiation between products, services, and companies is fundamentally based on marketing concepts, with a very limited range of "enabling" technologies that enable you to do something fundamentally new or different.

Further, both software and hardware design & development can be successfully done by people who do not necessarily need a technical education. I have found that musicians, philosophers, and poets, for example, can become superb programmers with a year or so of training and without any academic credentials in this area. And I have both worked with and recruited top quality hardware engineers who were "self taught" or whose academic credentials were in geology or other fields and not Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, etc.

In general, this is not true of nanotechnology today, and is unlikely to be true tomorrow. While there is always room for the genius level, creative thinker, all or almost all of the engineers and scientists working for commercial nanotechnology ventures or projects in the world today have Ph.D.s!

Nanotechnology depends upon IP created at Corporate, Government, Private, and University Research Labs. Because Nano is an "enabling" technology, for every aspect of the physical economy, IP can be created from biological, chemical, or physical sciences origins. These broad groups, in turn, can be broken down in sub-categories. Chemical science & engineering, for example, can be inorganic (not carbon), organic (carbon), or biological (enzymes, etc.).

Without going too deep into this topic, I believe it is clear that Ph.D.s are a job requirement for the science & engineering positions driving nanotechnology ventures. In fact, companies such as Nanosys, Nanoink, etc. boast about the Ph.D.s on their team and their scientific advisory boards. A typical nanotechnology start-up may have 10 Ph.D.s on staff, of a total team of 15! So a Ph.D. can be safely said to be a requirement for the top scientific and engineering jobs in nanotechnology research and development projects world wide.

Where are these jobs - follow the money! While there are country differences - in Japan 80% of nanotechnology funding is focused on commercialization while in the US 80% of nanotechnology government funding is focused on R&D!

Besides a Ph.D. for top nano science & engineering jobs, other requirements are:

  • the ability to understand the capabilities and limits and use of the expensive tools required to measure and manipulate matter at the nano scale, e.g. AFMs, TEMs, etc.;
  • a multi-domain knowledge base - for a materials scientist working for a medical nano-device company, that may include nano-materials, MEMS, and key biochemistry and biology concepts; and
  • the concomitant ability to communicate across multiple fields, including the ability to acquire information across multiple fields and build a knowledge base, and to present multi-domain information in an understandable form to both technical and non-technical people.

And as all aspects of nanotechnology are rapidly evolving, with major discoveries announced every day, it should go without saying that "lifetime learning" is a fourth job and career requirement.

As with any new industrial revolution, the initial focus is on research, and the initial products are tools, materials, and software - so this is where most of the jobs are today, in tools development, materials development, and TECHNICAL software development. I stress TECHNICAL as the key requirement, which is understanding the underlying biological, chemical, or materials science and often to the quantum or atomistic level, and NOT for guru level Java programming!

Over the next 20 years as products & services are delivered to an increasingly large number of applications, knowledge of biological, chemical, electronics, and materials applications will be the major areas of jobs growth. Even today Nano-Tex is delivering advanced clothing which resists staining, etc. - clearly many technical jobs with this company will involve knowledge of textile types, fabrics, fabrics processing, etc.

That is, every successful nano company will be working with the established industrial base, ranging from autos to electronics to wallboard, and as time passes more and more hiring will take place from people who have a knowledge of and background in these industries.

Finally, speaking to language skills, my forward looking view is that the most valuable languages today, besides English, are Japanese, German, French, Mandarin, & Korean - in that order. And in a generation I expect the most valuable languages to know, besides English, will be Mandarin, Japanese, German, French, & Korean - in that order.

So is there hope for the rest of us who do not have Ph.D.s?

YES there is. And especially as we move from the current mostly research focus of nanotechnology into the manufacturing, marketing, sales, and support areas. And even today, there are many nanotechnology jobs, some in unexpected places. For example, IP law firms today are hiring engineers and scientists to train as nanotechnology patent agents!

More generally, there are a large number of existing or soon-to-be jobs, some of which are not-obvious at first glance. In my work over the past two years with the Nano Education, Training, Careers Forum and in helping organize the first NanoEducation, Training, & Careers Conference and Job Fair to be held this Fall in Silicon Valley, I have had extensive exposure to the entire jobs field.

Starting with the obvious, for every Ph.D. working in research and development and using advanced tools, someone has to sell those tools, including software (application engineers, field engineers & salesmen), build those tools (manufacturing & process engineers & technicians), and maintain & repair those tools (support engineers & technicians). And as nano companies launch products, the requirement for manufacturing engineers and technicians for design, development, process control, testing & quality assurance, etc. will only increase.

But I do want to stress that it has been my experience that the requirement to understand the deep science will become increasingly important at all levels - a product improvement can come from a TEM laboratory technician, if she or he understand the underlying physics of the device! And that same technician can add significant value to their job, for example by suggesting characterization protocols or recognizing when an anomalous reading is a breakthrough versus a tool or software failure!

A mature high technology jobs pyramid is structured roughly as follows:

  • 1,000 C level executive and entrepreneurs require
  • 10,000 scientists, engineers, mid-level managers, who in turn require
  • 100,000 senior and mid-level and junior technicians

Today most hiring is at the two top levels of this pyramid, but over the next 20 years nanotechnology job requirements will develop to assume this profile.

Following are some current categories of jobs - existing or being created - in Nanotechnologies domains.

Teaching and Educational Research & Development, usually leverage from existing science programs in biology, chemistry, mathematics, materials, or physics.

  • K-8
  • High School
  • Community College
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate Schools
  • Professional & Continuing Educations
  • For-Profit Trainings
  • Web & Multi-Media
  • Toys & Edutainment
  • Books & Other Educational Materials
And communicating with "customers," whether students, parents, entrepreneurs, etc. requires formal marketing & sales programs or more informal "outreach" programs - all of which require people with an understanding of the programs, benefits, and values in order to communicate!

"Commercial" jobs were initially focused on existing large corporations, HP, Chevron-Texaco, etc. but new ventures, new corporate projects, and government are rapidly creating new job opportunities.

To be sure, DOE, NIH, and NSF have had programs supporting "molecular engineering" for a number of years, and program managers or researchers at NIST, DOD, etc. could be counted as nanotechnology jobs. However, new ventures, corporate projects, and new government jobs appear to be the major growth areas.

Some job sources include:
  • Start Up Companies
  • Early Stage Companies
  • Established Corporations
  • Government Research - National Labs, etc.
  • Government Policy - e.g. Congress, EPA, FDA
  • Government Administrative - e.g. EPA, FDA

Finally, the service provider community, broadly defined, is a rapidly growing job source. While the primary requirement may often be an JD, MBA, Ph.D. in Education, etc., the stress on a basic understanding of core nanotechnology principles - and in areas such as Technical Consulting or Technical Due Diligence, the stress on deep science knowledge - is a key differentiator from Internet or prior "industrial revolutions."

Some job sources include:

  • Consultants - business development, technical & marketing due diligence, etc.
  • Investors - angel, corporate, VC
  • Lawyers & Accountants
  • Recruiters & Job Boards
  • Science Museums
  • Foundations & Non-Profits

This overview was not meant to be exhaustive but rather to give a broad survey of nanotechnology jobs, and to make some points based upon my experience with both job seekers and with organizations looking for senior technical and executive talent. It also draws upon a survey undertaken in the Summer of 2003 by the nanoSIG which was completed by 35 start-up and early-stage nanotechnology companies. More detailed information on specific topics of interest can be gained by contacting me.

Bo Varga has recruited senior technical and executive talent for high technology companies since 1979 as part of his focus on the three domains of business development - teams, money, & message. Other work includes funds-raising, catalyzing OEM, joint venture, & strategic alliance relationship, and all aspects of marketing. Recent recruiting includes a CEO for a CNT start up, a Scientific Advisory Board for an early stage nano VC fund, and a CTO search for another CNT start-up. Bo is a Founder and Executive Director of the nanoSIG and Co-Chair of its Nano Education, Training, & Careers Forum. He is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Nano Ventures, a consulting group focused entirely on nanotechnology projects. Over the past 4 years Bo has organized or helped organized 60 nanotechnology related conferences, forums, and symposiums. He is currently organizing a Clean Energy & NanoCatalysts Conference to take place August 20th at SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. Comments and queries should be emailed to or

About nanoSIG

nanoSIG is the leading Northern California based membership organization focused on the commercial development of nanotechnology. Based at Nasa/Ames, the organization is part of a global nanotechnology network and has strong ties with European and Asian counterparts.

nanoSIG delivers education, information, & networking via nanotechnology domain Briefings; Conferences, Meetings, and eMeetings; and Database & Web services. Our Global Activist Network delivers "go to market" strategies for nano business development in Silicon Valley, North America, and globally. Constituents include academic, corporate and government labs; Angel, Corporate, &VC Investors; nanotechnology entrepreneurs & start-ups; large corporations; and service providers committed to nanotechnology domains.

For more information visit our website at


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Big Ideas In Little Things - A Guide to Working In Nanotechnology

Working In Ltd.
By Callum Sutherland
Online Marketing Coordinator Working In Ltd.

According to estimates from the National Science Foundation, during the next decade the United States will need between 800,000 and 1 million workers in the field of Nanotechnology. The corresponding worldwide need for such workers by 2015 is estimated to be nearer 2 million.

Currently the number of employees in this field is approaching close to 20,000 across the globe.

So what do these figures actually mean? Well for starters, when the National Science Foundation is suggesting such exponential growth it's obvious that Nanotechnology is set to become an increasingly important part of our lives. Even now, at the beginning stages of this growing industry, we are starting to see the first signs of the technology filtering through into the marketplace. Those stain resistant pants you've seen advertised on the TV? They have their scientific genesis in the field of Nanotechnology. Tennis balls that last longer? These are constructed from nanoscale materials. As are a range of new car bumpers built to be stronger and more durable.

Yet while these discoveries are all exciting and promising developments, it is important to remember that initial 20,000 figure. It is great that we are seeing some products available already, but we must remember that at this point in time they are the exception rather than the rule. The benefit of Nanotechnology won't appear until "much farther into the future than its proponents think," says Bill Eaten, Materials and Analysis Manager at NP Photonics in Westlake Village, California. If we are to get from where we are now to where we hope to be by 2015 we need to have systems in place whereby we can manage and facilitate the projected level of growth. This is rendered even more important by the fact that most Nanotechnology has such a long lead-in from the research and development stage to final product application in the greater marketplace.

It doesn't help matters that some agencies are scarcely aware of the Nanotech Industry as it currently exists. "That whole Nanotechnology field is so new and specialized and thus far, small, that we're not set up to collect data on it yet. It's still pretty much a recent thing," says Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Jon Sargent. Therefore it is obvious that there is room for networks to be created, maintained and developed. Links need to be established and fostered - not only between employers and potential employees but also between students and institutions offering training courses and learning opportunities in Nanotechnology.

This is where Working In Nanotechnology comes in. Launched in March 2004 as a subsidiary of Working In Limited, and in partnership with the Foresight Institute, the website is designed to meet the increasing demand for career, education and training information in the emerging field of Nanotechnology. It was founded after the directors of Working In Limited, Scott Mathieson and Hayley Roberts, noticed the glaring absence of large science websites dedicated to addressing the needs of highly skilled science workers and employers. Years of experience building the Working In brand up to the level of a major global player in the international employment field gave them the necessary confidence to expand into the new and uncharted waters of Nanotechnology.

For the job seeker, Working In Nanotechnology offers the ability to search for Nano Jobs by Science, Nano Jobs by Industry and Nano Jobs by Technologies. However, given the vast range of career options within these broad fields, these categories are ergonomically divided even further. Beneath the heading of Nano Jobs by Technologies for example you can find employment opportunities in everything from Dendrimers through to Spintronics. Yet it is not only jobs or job applicants that can be found on the Working In Nanotechnology site. An education and training section lets students from middle school level upwards find information on Nanotechnology programs and courses offered worldwide - from upcoming conferences right through to academic scholarships.

So what essentially is required for a job in Nanotechnology? Of course such a question can only be answered in a general sense, given that each Nano area has its own specific pre-requisites. We can say that the majority of entry level jobs require at least the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in engineering, with the usual majors being either mechanical, electrical or civil engineering. In particularly high demand careers there may also be some openings available to mathematics or physical science college graduates.

There are careers out there for Nano engineers, technicians and researchers in a variety of companies, institutes, universities and organizations. "I've spoken with over 150 employers to discuss our services and all are enthusiastic about the site design and ease of use. Three of our early registered user employers include Zyvex Corporation, Nanophase Technologies, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory" says Nic Mortland, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Working In Nanotechnology. Before the Nanotechnology site was launched, Mortland spent approximately four months in the United States researching which skills were specifically being sought by Nano employers, especially those operating within the general science community. "Probably the majority of Nano jobs are in the academic marketplace, followed by corporate and government labs," Mortland said. He also spoke to potential Nano employees, both post-docs and undergrads, paying particular attention to how they intended to find jobs when they had completed their studies.

Within a period of six months Mortland had built up a Working In Nanotechnology employment register of 3,000 highly qualified job seekers. Nearly 500 of these individually created r╚sum╚s have subsequently been sorted for keywords and linked to a database, enabling prospective Nanotech employers to search for suitable candidates by science and experience. According to Mortland, the Working In Nanotechnology site now has listed "top, middle and entry level jobs."

So what advice can one give to someone embarking on a career in Nanotechnology? Perhaps the last word should go to Marlo Pabst, recruiting director at Ardesta, a Microtechnology and Nanotechnology investor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "Can you continue to use unorthodox solutions to problems you haven't thought of yet? There are no answers out there to these technologies, so can you be the one to dream them up?" is dedicated to providing up to date information on careers, education and professional training in Nanotechnology and related fields. In order to do this we partner with a number of leading organizations including the Foresight Institute. The website has several innovative features, including a new way of presenting vacancies to job seekers. There are three specific job search engines on the site, and for employers there is a complete Resume/Database tool. Other features include an education and training section which enables students from graduate to middle school levels to source relevant course programs offered in nanotechnology worldwide.

About Working In Ltd.

Working In Ltd is based in New Zealand, running employment and education based sites for the past 5 years. Their core business is in employment information for highly skilled and/or talented people that want to move internationally.

For more information visit our website at

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Behind the Buzzword:

What working in nanotechnology really means
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There's no doubt that a career in nanotechnology would be both interesting and challenging. But what, exactly, is nanotechnology--and what would a career in nanotechnology actually be like?

Essentially the ability to control the atomic and molecular building blocks of material, nanotechnology will be applied to change or create chemical, electronic, magnetic, optical, and structural properties in materials or nanostructures. These materials will then be assembled and/or utilized for new processes and devices. Nanotechnology is an enabling technology that will be used in many applications across many industries, including computing, communication, transportation, energy, materials, manufacturing, cosmetics, healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, the environment.

You can therefore work in nanotechnology in a range of settings. If you are not doing basic discovery work in one of the many university-based or government-funded research programs, you could be working in a biotechnology company on a nanoparticle-based molecular system for detecting biological warfare agents or fabricating a miniature terahertz laser for medical diagnostics. The adoption of nanotechnology-based applications by large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as diagnostic companies, means that you could have the opportunity to work on a new therapeutic drug or a novel drug delivery process.

Or you might be part of a small start-up company that is developing revolutionary, light-sensitive products using nanomaterials that absorb sunlight and convert it into electrical energy-or of an electronics company that is creating a molecular photosensor that could be used in the fabrication of a miniscule camera.

Nanotechnology will also have a major impact on computing. This means you could work in a start-up company or for one of the giant corporations such as IBM, Intel, or HP on microprocessors consisting of nanotubes, nanowires, and other nanostructures, molecular electronics, or quantum computing. Another possibility would be to work on the combination of biotechnology with nanoelectronics to self-assemble electronic devices.

Put simply, the possibilities are legion. You could be working on an interdisciplinary team in a research environment in a university or government lab, in traditional industry using, investigating, or developing new technologies, or in a small, start-up company that is producing novel products or technology. No matter where you end up, the structure of the research and development functions and the kinds of tasks they perform will be similar and will require similar skill sets.

Researchers do basic discovery and generally work in university or government labs or participate in the basic research efforts of start-up companies or of very large companies, such as IBM and Dupont, that have whole departments that focus on basic research. A senior researcher usually contributes to developing novel principles and concepts; initiates, directs, and executes scientific research; and makes major contributions to scientific literature and conferences. S/he might participate in the development of prototypes or perform characterization and/or feasibility testing. In addition, s/he might be involved in writing patent applications and/or regulatory submissions and may serve as a project leader, consultant, or spokesperson for specialized projects or programs, even to the point of assisting in sales efforts in start-up environments. A senior researcher might supervise a small group of researchers and usually has an advanced degree such as a PhD or a Masters with several years of pertinent experience in a field relevant to the research being carried out.

Basic research is usually a team effort carried out by a group of researchers under the guidance of a senior researcher. The nature of nanotechnology research is so diverse that interdisciplinary teams are much the norm. A team could be composed of a molecular biologist, a computer scientist, and a chemical, electrical or mechanical engineer or any another combination of professionals with well-developed skills in different areas. A lower level scientist or engineer, working with others, undertakes research, develops experiments, and prepares technical reports, summaries, protocols, and quantitative analyses. S/he might attend and/or participate in external seminars and scientific conferences and interact with other researchers on routine matters. This type of position usually requires a Bachelors or Masters degree with a few years of relevant experience. Entry-level people usually perform more routine tasks and usually under closer supervision or guidance.

Typically, once a concept or a prototype has been proven to work in the basic research area or a process has been developed to produce a product in small quantities, development people take over to scale-up and optimize the process to production quantities; develop Quality Control specifications, tests, and documentation; and transfer the technology to a manufacturing group where it can be produced in larger quantities in preparation for commercialization. Development people might contribute to regulatory filings and participate in the generation of SOPs and manufacturing batch records and might even be involved in evaluating packaging or delivery routes. As in research, development people usually work in teams, very possibly interdisciplinary teams. The leader is typically responsible for providing the overall strategy and technical expertise for the group and initiates enhancement and cost reduction strategies, while setting and supervising production schedules.

The lower level personnel in development might help maintain production equipment, research new methods and analytical techniques, write documentation, and validate production processes. Development people frequently come from a research background, but they may also have engineering expertise. Development activities require more immediate problem solving and hands-on troubleshooting skills than do research activities. In some cases, employees at this level may be involved in instrumentation and/or calibration, as well as in aseptic processes.

Nanotechnology R&D generates tremendous amounts of data that need to be manipulated, analyzed, and communicated. Researchers want to do imaging, modeling and even simulation of events and objects at the nanoscale. People with skills in computer science, bio- and chem-informatics, molecular modeling, computational chemistry, statistics or biostatistics, programming, and software development will be in great demand to perform analyses, interpret data, generate graphs, program custom software, and generate tables, reports and graphs for patents and/or regulatory filings. Educational requirements for these positions will vary depending on the position, but at minimum, a Bachelor's degree is necessary.

While the controversial concept of molecular manufacturing is beyond the scope of this article, manufacturing will definitely be needed to produce nanomaterials or nanostructures and products that incorporate either nanostructures or nanodevices. Manufacturing environments are likely to be very structured. Production tasks might be carried out wearing a bunny suit in a clean room and/or cold room environment and could bear some similarity to traditional semiconductor or biotechnology manufacturing. Specific tasks performed under close supervision might include setup, operation, and monitoring of manufacturing, labeling, and packaging equipment; optimization of processes and trouble-shooting of production problems; adjustment and repair of equipment; documentation of manufacturing operations to comply with regulatory requirements; weighing and verification of raw materials; preparation of media or buffers; and helping with in-process testing and quality control checks. An entry-level production position usually requires a high school diploma, a certificate in bio- or nano-manufacturing, or an AS and 0-2 years relevant work experience in a manufacturing environment. Senior positions require a BS in a relevant discipline.

A Word About Engineering
Engineers of all sizes, shapes, and colors will find employment in nanotechnology. Although manipulation of materials at the nano level requires a thorough knowledge of quantum mechanics, it is basic macro-engineering principles that will enable production. Mechanical engineering is the broadest engineering discipline. Mechanical engineers are responsible for anything that's mass produced. They design, produce, and test machines, products, instruments, controls, engines, and mechanical, thermal, hydraulic, or heat transfer systems of every type. They also work on robots used in manufacturing, as well as tools for other engineers. They specialize in areas such as research and development, design, systems planning, management, manufacturing and production operations, technical sales, or consultation.

Chemical engineers design and initiate processes for manufacturing chemicals, perform synthesis; functionalization, characterization, and optimization of materials; develop nanomaterial assembly processes; create test protocols; and prepare reports.

Sometimes called modern-day alchemists, materials engineers design methods to change natural substances into new, stronger, and more resistant materials with unique properties. By manipulating the atomic and molecular structure of substances, they create metals, ceramics, plastics and semiconductors and then use these materials to create products. Many of the materials they create are "composites"-a unique material composed of many of substances to meet a specific mechanical, electrical, or chemical requirement.

Materials engineers extract, develop, process and test such materials. Metallurgical engineers specialize in metals, while ceramic engineers specialize in ceramics. Polymer engineers create and manufacture polymeric materials such as plastics, coatings, and adhesives. The materials used in electrical, magnetic, optical, and superconducting devices are designed by electronic, photonic, and, magnetic materials engineers. Entry-level engineering jobs require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree; however, many jobs require advanced degrees, and Master's degrees and doctorates are often necessary for advancement.

If you're interested in nanotechnology, but don't want to be a scientist or an engineer, there will be plenty of opportunities in areas such as sales, marketing, business development, customer or technical services, legal and administrative areas. However, a Bachelor's degree or higher with a good solid science background, including some biology, chemistry and physics, will be very helpful and may even be required in some of these areas.

As you can see, nanotechnology is a combination of many disciplines. If you intend to work in nanotechnology, you would do well to either choose one of the many nanotechnology degrees that are becoming available these days or choose a science or engineering degree, but get a good, broad science background that includes math, life sciences, physics, chemistry, and information science.

Here are some helpful links to information on nanotechnology research and education.

Pamela Bailey is the President and co-owner of tinytechjobs, a unique global career web site focused on jobs in nanotechnology, microtechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. Pam's background includes 12 years of biotechnology industry experience in Information Services and Human Resources and seven years of experience in the Internet arena operating a biotechnology career web site. Pam has an extensive background in online recruitment processes and systems, staffing, marketing and sales, and web site development.

About tinytechjobs

tinytechjobs is a unique global career web site focused on jobs at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. It provides FREE services to job seekers. It allows job seekers to search through a large database of industry jobs and apply online and it offers effective targeted advertising opportunities to employers. The site also contains many resources for those interested in nanotechnology, including education and research information and links, company information, a calendar of industry events, and links to journals, associations, and societies.

For more information visit our website at


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The industries that nanotechnology will likely have a disruptive effect on in the near term include the following:
(Amounts are Billions of US Dollars)




Long Term Care








U.S. Chemical












Hospitality / Restaurant


US Insurance




Corrosion Removal


US Steel




Diet Supplement


















Blue Jeans




Fluorescent Tagging

Figures are from:

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business. J Uldrich & D Newberry. March 2003
Read our review

The Mother of All Minds - Dudley Lynch
The Mother of All Minds

Dudley Lynch

NANO - John Robert Marlow. Hardcover January 2004
Our Review
The Superswarm Interview
The Superswarm Option
Nanoveau - This column will cover the science, the speculation, and (occasionally) the politics of nanotechnology and related topics. If you want to know what nanotech is about, and how and why it will change everything we know-Nanoveau is for you.

Nanotechnology and
Homeland Security
New Weapons for New Wars.
Dan Ratner, Mark Ratner. Nov. 2003

Got Nanotechnology?
If not, read this:

Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics, and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World.
Douglas Mulhall, March 2002
Read our review

When words such as flat and grim describe today's market for technological careers (the Technology Association of America reported tech jobs have fallen 5 percent), where's the hope for future career opportunities in engineering?

A career in nanotechnology could be the answer. "Nanotechnology is engineering based on theory much like microtechnologies," said Marlo Pabst, recruiting director at Ardesta, a microtechnology and nanotechnology investor in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Most nanotechnology companies right now are looking to fill senior scientist and executive positions. They already have extensive access to Information Technology, administrative, and technical personnel due to the widespread publicity and hype of most of these companies (at least, the ones who have money to hire these people).

In most cases, these companies are currently being very selective. In particular, they want specific knowledge of nanotechnology methods and procedures that can be documented.

This means that, in order to maximize your likelihood of consideration for these positions, you really need to educate yourself as much as possible in the nanotechnology fields, and you need to emphasize that on your resume.

All new hi-tech fields may benefit from the opportunities offered by nanotechnology. An education within this field is going to be in great demand on the job market. The fields of application are multiple and employment opportunities are rich, both in the business sector and at scientific institutions.

When I talk to Oregonians about nanotechnology, I talk in terms of money and jobs. There is a lot of money coming in nanotechnology. In the next decade or so the global nanotechnology market should be worth about $1 trillion.

I tell my constituents ˝ Think of the jobs America will create as the world lines up for smart drugs to treat cancers, cheap flat-screen TVs the size of living room walls, and self-repairing concrete highways.
—Senator Ron Wyden

If scientific disciplines were dishes on the menu of a Chinese restaurant, nanotechnology would be accompanied by five red starsˇthe field is hot. It should come as no surprise then, that along with headlines and boatloads of government funding and investment dollars, nanotechnology is also grabbing the attention of jobseekers.

"Nanotechnology offers the potential to bring high quality jobs, investment and prosperity to the UK. It also has the ability to deliver a cleaner environment and improvements to human health, information and communication technology, and transportation." —Lord Sainsbury, the Minister for Science and Innovation

Nanotechnology is rapidly moving from the laboratory into the marketplace. Over the next decade, the National Science Foundation estimates, the United States will need 800,000 to 1 million nanotechnology workers. "This will be a core of the American economy," says Dr. Mihail Roco of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, a program established two years ago to support research. By 2011, Roco estimates, the global nanotechnology market will be worth $1 trillion.

In the basement of a science building on the North Dakota State University campus in Fargo, Dean Grier, assistant director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, leads the way into a clean room. The clean room is designed to filter out dust particles that interfere with nanoscale manufacturing.

"The clean room was put in place for the sake of a program we are working with, a corporate partner named Alien Technology," says Grier.

The research in this room is already translating into jobs. NDSU's corporate partner, a company called Alien Technology, is building a manufacturing plant near campus. Alien will create 300 new jobs and anticipates expanding to 1,000 in 10 years.

One element that may be restraining the region's growth is a workforce that, while well trained in information technology, lacks engineers and physicists, said Nathan Swami, director of the Initiative for Nanotechnology in Virginia and a director of research development at the University of Virginia.

"D.C. has a workforce that is not in sync for what's needed for nanotech. You can't just have a workforce that is literate in IT," said Swami. "They don't all need to be nanotech gurus, but they have to have the basic training in physics and biotech and engineering. . . . And that can be changed of course, but it takes some work."

"The funding for nanotechnology research and development will fuel the growth and maturation of the industry, and will lead to the three most important priorities in Silicon Valley-jobs, jobs, jobs," said Rep. Honda. "Nanotechnology has the potential to become a $1 trillion global market in a little over 10 years, and as such, countries around the world are in a race to develop their nanotechnology industries. It is imperative that in this race, the U.S. must be first across the finish line."

Why study Nanotechnology?

This is a new degree program at the University of New South Wales, that has been designed to provide not only balance, so that students receive training across a wide range of science and technology disciplines, but also depth, as students will be expected to perform a major original research project in their final year. It has been introduced not only in response to the rapid development of this field, but also from the presence of innovative research programs undertaken at UNSW.

Graduates from this program will be very equipped to become involved in this new and rapidly growing field. They will have the opportunity to develop and commercialize products that are currently being generated though research in nanotechnology.

The program will also allow you to study the commercial aspects of nanotechnology. Significant emphasis will be given to economics, management and legal issues such as intellectual property and raising venture capital.

As everyone hears knows, to say that nanotechnology holds promise for future economic growth and job creation is a gross understatement.

Let's assume a $1 trillion dollar market within a dozen years, what would this mean in terms of jobs? If we look to IT-producing industries for guidance-and I think this is appropriate since IT-producing industries provide an average wage more than twice that of all private sector workers-and if the $1 trillion estimate holds true, we could estimate the number of jobs created by nanotech products to be approximately 7 million.
—Phillip J. Bond, Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology, United States Department of Commerce

A more cost-effective method of manufacturing microchips will gradually replace multi-billion-dollar foundries with table-top boxes, marking the end of the silicon era and the potential death of many factory-floor jobs, a nanotechnology expert predicted Wednesday (3/24/2004).

The White House sees nanotechnology as providing a breakthrough to revolutionize the way people detect and treat disease, monitor and protect the environment, produce and store energy, and build complex structures as small as an electronic circuit or as large as an airplane. The administration says it expects nanotechnology to have a broad and fundamental impact on many sectors of the economy, leading to new products, businesses, jobs, and industries.

(Dr. Frank Underdown Jr., founder of Keweenaw Nanoscience Center) Underdown anticipates nanoscience to ultimately affect all occupational areas, especially automotive, aerospace, medicine, computers and electronics. The garment industry is currently using nanoscience in the area of stain resistance. The Michigan physicist also predicted that within the next 10-15 years, there will be approximately 2 million nanotechnology related jobs. But, don't expect all those jobs to be in the United States.

From Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics, and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World, by Douglas Mulhall:

  • What happens to the monetary system when everyone is able to satisfy his own basic material needs at very low cost?
  • How would we use cash when digital manufacturing makes it impossible to differentiate a counterfeit bill or coin from the real thing?
  • What happens to fiscal policy when digital information, moving at light speed, is the major commodity?
  • How fast will monetary cycles move compared to, say, the ten- or twenty-year cycles of the late twentieth century, when products and patents go out of date in a matter of months instead of years?
  • What happens when we don't have to worry about trade or social services for our basic needs, because most of what we need is provided locally with digital manufacturing, and the biggest trade is in information?
  • How do we control the excesses of the ultrarich, the overabundance of the molecular assembler economy, and the challenge to intellectual property laws created by intelligent, inventive machines?
  • What happens if half of all jobs are made redundant every decade?
  • What happens to the War on Drugs when there's no import, export, or transport of contraband because drugs can be manufactured in a desktop machine using pirated software downloaded from the Internet?
  • What happens to democratic controls when individuals can get as rich as small governments in a year or so?
  • What's the relevance of insurance if many things are replaceable at very low capital cost, but liabilities from software are potentially unlimited?
  • How should organized labor react when molecular assemblers and intelligent robots eliminate most manufacturing jobs?
  • What is the nature of work going to be?
  • What happens to land prices when an individual can build a tropical farm under a bubble in North Dakota, and get there from New York in an hour?
  • What happens when everyone can go everywhere, whenever they want, and work from wherever they want?

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Issue #15 will cover Life Extension. It will land in your mailbox September 6th, 2004.

Infamous Quotes:

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." Western Union internal memo, 1876
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Physicist and mathematician Lord Kelvin, President of the British Royal Society, 1895
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899
"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." - Robert Milikan, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1923
"Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility-a development which we should waste little time dreaming about." - Lee de Forest, inventor of the cathode ray tube, 1926
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." IBM's Thomas Watson, 1943
"Landing and moving around on the moon offer so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them." - Science Digest, August 1948
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Popular Mechanics, 1949
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olsen, Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

And the lesson is? It's a tough game to call.

Need advice? Check out NanoStrategies

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