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Are you positioned for success?

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Karen A. Newman, [email protected]

The one thing that is never far from our thoughts these days is the economy and, closer to home for many of us, the state of the jobs market. The latest US jobs report told the grim story of only 80,000 jobs added in June, far below the number needed to significantly lower the jobless rate. Of course, the situation is not just a US problem.

Despite the somber jobs numbers, there is hope. “Job growth has lagged somewhat behind the recovery, but remember that employment is a lagging, not leading, indicator,” writes longtime photonics industry recruiter Howard Rudzinsky of Louis Rudzinsky Associates in this issue. “It is getting better. People are hiring. Keep this in mind.” In search of even a glimmer of a silver lining, we asked Howard about the future of photonics jobs, and he told us that, despite economic woes, there are bright spots for photonics job seekers. Read what he has to say in “Where the Jobs Are,” beginning on page 52.

And if you’re looking for a job – or want to keep the one you have – be sure to check out Howard’s sidebar on “Positioning Yourself for Success” on page 53. He offers a list of things you can do to enhance your skills and marketability, including improving your skills, your résumé and your search tactics.

As you may have guessed, education and the jobs market are a big part of our second annual “List Issue,” a compendium of your thoughts and other information that concerns you and your work in the photonics industry.

This year, we asked you via social media what you would tell a person who may be considering photonics as a course of study or a career option. My favorite answer came from Rajeev Ranjan, who wrote: “It’s going to rule the technology in the world.” Now that sounds like a good reason to study photonics! Read the other great contributions on page 48, and thanks to all of you who answered our questions.

Our good friends on Facebook, Twitter and are commenting daily on hot industry research and topics. If you’re not already sharing your thoughts with the photonics community through these channels, we hope you’ll join us soon. Industry newsmakers should get involved, too. Readers at often post comments and questions to our site about your research stories, and your responses would strengthen the conversation.

Prism Awards

The 2013 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, the global competition sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE, is accepting nominations through Sept. 14, 2012. The awards recognize innovative scientific products, processes, software, devices, materials, systems, instruments and technologies that are newly available on the open market. Winners will be announced at a gala awards banquet held during SPIE Photonics West in February in San Francisco. Details and the nomination form are at Be sure to check out finalist videos from the 2011 Prism Awards at I hope you enjoy the issue.


The credit line was omitted from the chart in “Aspheres Deal with Bigger Deviations” (July 2012, pp. 62-65). The chart, titled “Comparing Asphere Metrology Methods,” appeared on p. 64 and was provided courtesy of Optimax.

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2012
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
2013 Prism AwardsAmericasaspheresEditorialhiring in photonicsHoward Rudzinskyimagingjob growthjob marketKaren A. NewmanLouis Rudzinsky Associatesmetrologyopticsphotonics careersphotonics employmentphotonics job seekersphotonics jobsphotonics jobs marketPrismsUS jobslasers

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