Want to make an exciting and money-spinning career in photonics? Browse through this piece and explore the opportunities, education, and courses in India for becoming a photonics specialist.

Careers in Photonics

Ever wondered what and how those little light particles called photons alter our lives into a more relaxing and comfortable world? How the transfer of light through very thin glass fibers enables us to see things with absolute clarity? How the minute refraction of light can influence the end result of what we see? Well, if this sounds impossible to decode, its photonics - the technology of light energy that the above questions deal with. A perfect blend of laser, fiber optics, and light manipulation, photonics changes our way of communicating. Regarded as the next generation technology, photonics is a hi-tech subject resulting from the fusion of optical technology and electronics. To put it into simple words, photonics is a scientific subject that encompasses generation, emission, transmission, signal processing, amplification, modulation, switching, detection and sensing of light. It includes the study of photons and deals with the instruments required, like laser guns, optical fibers, optometric instruments, etc. Individuals, who are passionate about science and its intricacies, and are eager to sort answers to questions revolving around science, can make a successful and flourishing career in photonics.

Course Details
To become a photonic specialist, courses can be undertaken at both graduation and post graduation levels. At the Bachelorís level, programs in photonics and optoelectronics can be pursued upon qualifying 10+2 examination in science stream, with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. Photonics or optoelectronics can also be studied at post graduation level after obtaining a Bachelorís degree in Physics and Mathematics, Applied Physics, or Electronics. Besides, individuals can also seek admission in M.Tech, MPhil, and PhD programs in photonics, after completing a Masterís degree in Physics or Photonics. Furthermore, photonics can be studied through various diploma courses, particularly the two-year technician program that lets one become a photonic technician.

Career Prospects
Photonics and optics are two of those fields in physics wherein jobs available are more than the applicants. The global shortage of photonics specialists has made these skilled professionals highly in demand. Candidates who have obtained a degree in optics or photonics can look for suitable positions in national research laboratories and industries, some of them being lasers, nanotechnology, radiation treatment, telecommunications, optical materials, and medical imaging. Since the curriculum of photonics comprises of pursuing technical skills in physics, programming, networking, and mathematics, careers revolving around these subjects can also be explored in the market. Even though graduation in science can help one find work in related fields of photonics, but a degree with photonics always provides a higher edge. The leading recruiters in the field of photonics include Advanced Photonics (Mumbai), J2 Optronics Pvt. Ltd. (Cochin), Kwality Photonics Pvt. Ltd. (Hyderabad), Eagle Photonics (Bangalore), Optiwave Photonics Limited (Hyderabad), Sahajanand Technologies (P) Ltd. (Surat), and Sterlite Optical Technologies Ltd. (New Delhi). Photonics specialists are hired by science and photonics companies as engineers, technicians, and scientists. Besides, they can take up the post of professional officers in universities and government offices.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
India is home to some prestigious and esteemed universities and institutions that offer various degree courses in photonics. They are: International School of Photonics, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Cochin; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at New Delhi and Chennai; Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal; Periyar EVR College, Tiruchirappalli; Department of Photonics, Rajarshi Shahu Mahavidyalaya, Latur, Maharashtra; and Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Pilani.

Salary of a photonics specialist varies largely depending upon the qualification and experience of the individual and the nature of the hiring organization. A photonics researcher or scientist is usually offered a monthly salary ranging from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000, apart from additional perks and benefits. The pay increases with experience and knowledge. The annual pay package in foreign countries is extremely high and very attractive compared to what is offered in India.

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