It's not often that an entirely new career track is created out of thin air. In just the last decade, nanotechnology has gone from being science fiction to reality. While nanotech in the news has focused on the medical aspects, this technology can be applied to other areas of life such as food safety, computing, and electronics.
Because of the new nature of this field, finding a college to take nanotechnology courses can be difficult. Only a small number of colleges and universities offer related courses, and as you explore institutions offering nanotech programs, you'll see they fall under a wide variety of degrees including associates, bachelors, doctorate and master's degrees.
While some colleges offer nanotechnology as a “specialization" or minor to a larger program such as physics, materials science or electrical engineering, some colleges offer full-blown degrees in nanotechnology. College Factual is a good place to start when seeking your undergraduate degree in nanotechnology. Be sure to check the “Most Popular" rankings to see Nanotechnology programs ranked by the number of graduates.
Nanotechnology careers are centered on using technology at an extremely small scale - at the nanoscale to be precise. The applications of this technology are vast, and it is now used to build faster processors and semiconductors, in the medical field to deliver medicine to targeted cells, in waste disposal, robotics, and more.
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology, you may be exposed to classes in science, biology, mathematics, physical and computer sciences. You must have an inquisitive nature and be able to work in a fast-paced environment - frequently research is driven by profits so the first to the finish line wins.
Careers are varied and can exist in any number of industry verticals. Food science, medicine, technology, cosmetics - all are practical nanotechnology applications. Because the field is so new, it is difficult to put numbers on average salaries and the number of positions available. Because the demand is strong and the stakes are high, you will likely need higher levels of education to make it in the nanotechnology field.