I haven't worked directly with Spectra-Physics (just purchased by Newport, btw), but most laser companies that I have worked with will hire:
* Technicians, most of whom (nowadays) get 2-year associates degrees in optics/lasers/electronics. A number of universities and even community colleges around the US offer relevant associates programs, including several that specialize in lasers.
* Engineers, who can be experienced former techs or hired straight out of school for Bachelors or Masters Degree recipients. The University of Arizona and Rochester University both offer very prestigious optics programs, including both B.S. and M.S. programs. UA allows for online/distance learning. Other colleges, like the University of Central Florida, offer optics/photonics graduate programs if you already have a B.S. in something (electrical engineering or physics, for example). Electrical and sometimes mechanical engineers will be hired by these companies, too, but optics/photonics/laser degrees are rare and thus much more likely to jobs here.
* Scientists, who have Ph.D.s, to design new products, put together contract proposals, etc.
Out on the west coast, most people with physics B.S. degrees will get into the optics field via graduate school, though that certainly doesn't have to be the case.
If your plans involve going to graduate school, I would either go with a B.S. in optics or physics.