Question & Answer: Career in Nanotechnology


I am in Year 11 and will be doing IB next year and the year after and would like to pursue a career in Nanotechnology. I am confused as to what science subjects to choose for my IB course. I am only allowed 3 sciences and out of the 3 Math is compulsory. Also can you suggest universities in the UK and USA that offer courses in this field?


Dubbed as the technology of the future, it is believed that nanotechnology is the panacea to most of our problems. More than a managerial profession nanotechnology is a research field, engaged in finding out new structure and studying the properties of nano particles. It is the technology based on the scale of “nanometers”. To put it in perspective a nanometer compared to a meter one nanometer is the same proportion as a golf ball is to the Earth. With nanotechnology atoms and molecules can be worked upon in creating computer chips and other devices many times smaller than what is currently available using contemporary technology.

Career as Nanotechnology

The main divisions would include – nano material, nano electronics, nano biotechnology and nano medicine. Two interesting inventions in the field of medicine would be nano robots and nano tweezers. All sections of society be it telecommunication, aerospace, environment, energy, computers, electronics, forensics, military, movies, video games etc are affected by nano technology. By the year 2015, Nanotechnology is estimated to have grown to a $1 trillion industry.

ETo study Nanotechnology, you should have a good background of physics and chemistry. Skills in mathematics and computer programming will be an asset. As you are a student of IB you could take physics and chemistry from division 4 and math’s from division 5. You do not need three sciences.

Being a relatively young science the subject is more readily available at the post graduate studies rather than a graduate level. Universities in UK that offer the subject at graduate level would include Sussex, Leeds, UCL, Leicester and Herriot Watt. Across the Atlantic, in the US the course is offered by Penn State, University of Wisconsin, University of California, San Diego, University of Central Florida and University of Pennsylvania.

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