Another Aspect to Commercialization of Quantum Computing: Developer Certifications

IBM offers quantum industry’s first developer certification

IBM Quantum is excited to announce the world’s first ever developer certification for programming a quantum computer.

Quantum computing is poised to change the way we solve difficult computer problems, and global interest in it has exploded in the past few years. On the Qiskit team, we saw thousands attend our Qiskit Global Summer School, and more than 600,000 installs of the Qiskit, an open source quantum software development kit supported by IBM. One market research report predicted that quantum computing will be a $65 billion industry by 2030, resulting in an influx of new quantum jobs, as well. With our IBM Quantum Developer Certification, IBM Quantum is offering a path for people with all development backgrounds to earn a certification in programming with Qiskit, allowing them to leverage their quantum coding skills into a potential opportunity in this exciting new workforce.

Qiskit allows anyone to program real quantum computing hardware, requiring only Python and a basic knowledge of linear algebra as a prerequisite. Since IBM launched Qiskit in 2017, thousands of users have developed applications, maintained and improved code, and taken part in both live and virtual hackathons, summer schools, and other educational opportunities to build this vibrant, open-source community. However, we think we can aim our sights even higher.


As we progress along our quantum development roadmap, we’re looking to build a diverse, global, cloud-based ecosystem of developers who can bring quantum computing skills to their own communities and industries. With our quantum developer certification, companies and research institutions will find a clear path to get their workforce quantum ready. The certificate will help those hiring for classical programming and non-programming roles will recognize holders of this certification as forward-thinking individuals willing to skill up for the future of the computing workforce. Those in technical leadership roles are a prime audience for the exam, as it will help equip them to set quantum computing related direction in their organizations. Through the quantum developer certification program, we hope to increase the earning potential of those with an interest in joining this field.

The IBM Quantum Developer Certification is a 60-question certification exam offered on the Pearson VUE platform. Those who pass the exam will have demonstrated experience using Qiskit to create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM quantum computers and simulators, and the ability to perform these tasks with little to no assistance from product documentation, support, or peers. The exam is available globally and is in English.

Today’s release covers the first of several in a series of certifications, and focuses on demonstrating familiarity with quantum computing as well as using Qiskit to build and execute quantum circuits. For example, the sample question below is taken from a section in the certification where the developer is asked for the probability of an outcome, following measurements in various bases, given various rotations applied to a qubit that is initialized in a given quantum state. Answering this question requires familiarity with pure quantum states, quantum gates, and measurements in different bases.

Upcoming certifications will then tap into these skills to demonstrate familiarity with building quantum computing applications to solve problems in optimization, chemistry and finance. The IBM Quantum Developer Certification will evolve alongside IBM Quantum’s hardware and software as we progress — demonstrating that certified individuals are able to use state-of-the-art hardware and application modules.

Sample test question

Given this code fragment, what is the probability that a measurement would result in |0> ?

qc = QuantumCircuit(1)
qc.ry(3 * math.pi/4, 0)

A. 0.8536
B. 0.5
C. 0.1464
D. 1.0

Certify your quantum skills

Building the future quantum workforce is crucial to the IBM Quantum and Qiskit mission. The team is working to equip educators with access to IBM Quantum tools through our Quantum Educators program, while offering high-quality educational material via our Introduction to Quantum Computing and Quantum Hardware semester-long course, and our acclaimed Learn Quantum Computation Using Qiskit textbook. Central to our mission is building a truly diverse and global quantum computing ecosystem, as demonstrated by our IBM-HBCU Quantum Center and our collaboration with The Coding School, both bringing quantum computing to underrepresented groups in the field.

As part of this mission, we understand that cost can serve as an impediment to those hoping to receive credentials; please stay tuned as we plan to roll out scholarships to developers interested in the certification.

Our team is extremely proud to be able to offer the first ever quantum developer certification. We hope its availability will provide a valuable learning path for developers and stakeholders looking to prepare themselves for quantum computing in the future.

Source:  IBM Research Blog.  Abe Asfaw, Kallie Ferguson, and James Weaver,  IBM offers quantum industry’s first developer certification…

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