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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Grads With Their Engineering Master Degree From Online Education Programs Welcome In Nanotechnology Arena 

If there truly is a form of research that can be called cutting edge, it’s nanotechnology. It’s mainly still in the research end of development, but the applications are starting to appear as you read this. With the capability of changing everything from space research to fighting cancer, now is the time to enter this form of engineering.

This revolutionary and very young form of science revolves around the creation of nanites. These are machines so small they measure 100 nanometers or less, in other words barely the size of a molecule. This microscopic size allows these machines to literally work on the atomic level.

In other words, nanites are capable of doing things larger machines are completely incapable of doing. Still, like all machines, they have to be assembled and given their instructions. Whether it’s being injected into a person to destroy cancer cells, developing a new biodegradable plastic on the molecular level, or many other similarly previously impossible jobs, the nanotech engineer has an important role in all of this.

Like all other engineers, the nanotech’s main responsibility is to take theory and turn it into reality. Because of the cutting edge aspects of nanites, the specialty is now considered elite. It should be, as a nanotech engineer has to cross computer systems, hardware and software engineering, electrical and electronic, and mechanical disciplines - plus such applied sciences such as CAD, chemistry and even biochemistry - to get the job done.

Anyone interested in entering the nanotech field should be prepared to be a perpetual student. One starts with exceptional grades in math and science in high school. From there, they should enroll in either a brick and mortar or online college renowned for its reputation in an appropriate educational curriculum. To find the right universities, it is highly recommended one consult a college career counselor, the National Science Foundation, and professional organizations relevant to this arena.

Obtaining one’s BS in an appropriate engineering field is good enough to obtain initial employment, generally as a research assistant. With this, one can usually obtain a work-study or internship employment program with the research assistant working by day and studying online at night. Other financial assistance can also be obtained through organizations such as the National Science Foundation and related public and private institutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 85% of practicing nanotech engineers have their PhD.

Because this is a very new occupation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has just started to do research into the profession. What they have released so far is that the median salary for a nanotech engineer is just short of $90,000 a year. Anecdotally, the independent industry group, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, estimates there were 800 nanotech products already in the market as of August 2008, and new nanite-created products entering the market at a rate of three to four a week.

If that projection is true, that means over 1,000 nanite products are already out in the world. That sounds like quite a bit of growth, and the person driving the creation of all those new products is the nanotech engineer. Many in this field will be graduates of online education programs where they obtained their civil engineering degree. In other words, what used to be sci-fi entertainment is now becoming everyday reality, much the way nanotech engineering has become a very real occupation.

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