I am trying to start a career in optics and am looking for advice on what things I can do to get into this industry.
I completed my undergrad degree in physics/chemistry in '19. During my undergrad I was focused on physical chemistry and all of my projects/research were based on instrumentation and analytical chemistry. I did complete one optics related project where I built a GUI for a Newport scanning monochromator in LabVIEW and used it to produce spectra of gas lamps and iodine vapor and performed an analysis of the iodine spectrum to derive spectroscopic parameters. Post graduation I worked for an analytical lab performing various lab tasks and helping to develop some data management software in python.
I made the decision to change tracks and work towards a career in optics, aiming to work in the augmented/virtual reality industry. I am wrapping up the first year of a MS program in physics focusing in optics and am beginning to look for entry level jobs, but feel that I do not meet the general requirements for most that I see. Although I have a fair amount of hands on lab experience (for someone with an undergrad degree), none of it has been at an optics bench. With the past year of my MS being completely remote due to the pandemic, I did not get to spend any time in the lab for my optics and laser courses and I feel that this is a huge hinderance.
Do you have any advice for someone in my position that will help me start a career in optics?
Thank you for taking the time to read/respond.