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Career Development

Career development resouces from SPIE

SPIE knows that career development is a lifelong process of managing learning and work, improving your skills so that you can do your job better and progress to better jobs.

As your educational Society, SPIE is committed to supporting you throughout your career in optics and photonics. We aim to provide resources that help you obtain your professional objectives, which could be anything from getting higher pay or receiving incentives, to achieving job flexibility and satisfaction.

Use these tools to build your skill set, advance your career, and become a leader in the field of optics and photonics.

Career Advancement Events

Stay tuned for our next professional development event.

Attending SPIE Optics + Photonics?

Check out the Professional Development options.

Career development resources

Career Development Events

Attend in-person and online events that advance your career

Putting on events, whether online or in person is what SPIE does best. We offer a strong portfolio of career development workshops and networking opportunities to help connect you to your next employer, collaborator, or mentor. We also have recordings of many SPIE.Online events you can watch on your own schedule when it is convenient to you.

Mark your calendars for the next event or watch a recording now.

Learn skills that will give you an edge in your work

SPIE offers courses online and at events that help build your confidence and the skills needed to be successful along your career journey. We partner with companies and instructors who are experts in their field to strengthen your knowledge and keep you up to date in your field. Learn more about these learning opportunities.

Learn Career Skills

Join Career Lab

Join this photonics career discussion group

This lively community of people connected to optics and photonics help each other by exchanging professional advice, questions, and opportunities every week. Career Lab is a Facebook Group for photonics career discussion; a Facebook account is necessary to join.

Learn more about topics discussed and meet the Editorial Board.

Access job listings and even more career development resources

Job seekers and employers alike rely on the SPIE Career Center to find the right fit for a job in optics and photonics. Upload your resume, set email alerts, network with employers at in-person and virtual job fairs, and find even more career development resources to help you along you career path. 

Visit the SPIE Career Center website to learn more.

The SPIE Career Center

Articles on Career Development

Read articles focused on networking and career development topics

SPIE regularly recruits award-winning science journalists, professional engineers, physicists, and researchers to write feature articles covering professional development in the optics and photonics community, useful to readers at all career stages, and across industry, academia, and government.

Find articles about professional development in optics and photonics.

Read books from SPIE Press covering professional development topics

Handbooks from SPIE Press are authoritative professional reference books on topics of special interest to scientists and engineers. Find books on professional development like Sustainable Networking for Scientists and Engineers and How to Write a Good Scientific Paper.

eBook versions of those titles are free to download.

Books on Career Development

The SPIE Global Salary Report

Get salary and wage growth data specific to the optics and photonics community

Every year, SPIE produces the SPIE Global Salary Report, built from proprietary data on more than 5,000 full-time workers in our community. Learn how your pay compares to your colleagues’, how earnings in academia compare to industry, how gender impacts wages, and more.

Download your copy of the 2020 report.

SPIE Startup Challenge and Entrepreneur Program

The SPIE Startup Challenge is a high-stakes, global competition where entrepreneurs with light-enabled products pitch their businesses to a team of expert judges and vie for over $85,000 in cash, prizes, and promotion.

A series of trainings and resources lead up to the event. Learn more.

The SPIE Startup Challenge and Entrepreneurship Program