Saturday, June 29, 2013

 

Want to fly a drone? -Schools line up to teach you.

Colleges gearing up to offer drone courses.

College drone courses: The Boeing Phantom Eye unmanned drone
The Boeing Phantom Eye unmanned drone, designed to stay airborne for days, takes off at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
With the use of drones growing, the University of Nevada and other colleges are beginning to offer programs for future pilots and developers.


The Boeing Phantom Eye unmanned drone, designed to stay airborne for days, takes off at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Students at the University of Nevada soon will be able to sign up for drone studies alongside their English literature and calculus.

The school is developing a program to train students in the "drone economy."

That’s shorthand for the expansion expected in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to open U.S. airspace to drones by 2015.

The specifics of the Nevada program, being developed with aerospace companies including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, have yet to fall into place.

The promotional material for a workshop hosted by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced the university was looking to "create Unmanned Aerial Vehicle degree programs with active involvement from corporate industry leaders looking to hire these graduates in the next five years."

The University of North Dakota was the first to offer such a program, with four-year degrees for drone pilots and developers. And the private Unmanned Vehicles University in Sarasota, Fla., offers practical instruction in drone design and operation.

All of these programs operate with the goal of training a workforce for a burgeoning field, and some of the jobs are already out there.

The job-aggregating website indeed.com lists 237 jobs whose descriptions include the acronym UAV.

 Most are for technicians, engineers and pilots, but some also call for sales staff, logistical support, and instructors.

Another site, Simply Hired, returned 155 results on a search for “UAV pilot.”

The drone economy promises to create 70,000 jobs in three years, adding $13.6 billion to the economy, according to a study published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group for the unmanned aerial vehicle industry.

The domestic use of drones is now limited. But according to the industry’s projections, the majority of drone operation will take place on farms, where they’ll dispense pesticides and monitor crops.

Public safety will be the other big use, from firefighting to law enforcement surveillance.

The economic impact likely will reach states with vibrant aerospace, agriculture, and tech sectors, such as California and Washington.

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