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The Next Tech Talent Shortage: Quantum Computing Researchers

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Zapata CEO Christopher Savoie is waiting for visa approvals for three foreign quantum computing scientists.

U.S. corporations and universities could be facing a major shortage of qualified quantum computing scientists.

Credit: Tony Luong for The New York Times

U.S. corporations and universities could face a major shortage of qualified quantum computing scientists unless immigration policies and priorities change.

A study by the American Physical Society estimated the number of international students applying to physics doctoral programs in the U.S. declined an average 12% in 2018, and schools and technology companies are worried about the nation becoming less attractive to students.

Quantum computers are expected to crack encryption, sparking concerns about large numbers of foreign experts and the need to cultivate more native-born talent.

Compounding the issue is rival quantum computing efforts from China and Europe overtaking their U.S. peers, with a potential lessening of national security.

Said the University of Illinois' Brian DeMarco, "I see the country at a crossroads with quantum information systems. I can see things not working out, where the balance is not good, and it derails our ability to compete."

From The New York Times
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