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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Fulsome conundrum: solving the nation's shortage of photonics personnel with education
Author(s): Steven D. Moore

Paper Abstract

Nationwide, photonics technicians are in short supply. Even with the recent downturn in the nation's economy, thousands of technicians are needed by traditional optics manufacturing companies, telecommunications providers, defense contractors, and other industries that rely on photonics technologies. Though many reasons have been offered to explain why the shortage has occurred, the lack of technicians remains a fulsome conundrum. This paper addresses ten hypotheses commonly cited to explain the shortage of qualified technicians. Then, the evidence that supports or disconfirms the hypothesis is explored. Direct and indirect actions are identified that photonics industries could take to help alleviate the shortage of trained personnel. Direct actions include (1) collaborating with appropriate experts to study the problem in more detail; (2) conducting outreach programs with local schools and informal education centers; and (3) helping produce K - 12 educational materials that integrate photonics concepts into all areas of the school curriculum. Indirect actions include (1) collaborating in building educational systems that encourage young people to pursue technical careers: (2) becoming part of the K-college educational enterprise; (3) lobbying federal and state governmental agencies; and (4) engaging in partnerships.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4588, Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, (28 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.468748
Show Author Affiliations
Steven D. Moore, Ctr. for Image Processing in Education (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4588:
Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Tuan-Kay Lim; Robert P. Breault; Arthur H. Guenther; Arthur H. Guenther, Editor(s)

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