Drones Will Produce Over 100,000 Jobs By 2025
Drones are the next big thing. Many universities are now introducing courses on drones — known in academic world as unmanned planes — that will prepare students for the next-generation drones.
However, in light of recent events, the word “drones” sends shiver down the backs of people instead of dreaming of flying them. Moreover, the government is meanwhile preventing them for domestic, commercial use. New federal rules on drones require operators to have a license, fly only during daylight hours below 400 feet and within site of the operator.
But keeping aside its dark uses, drones can be used ethically for numerous useful purposes. That is exactly why courses are being introduced, since this field is expected to create more than 100,000 new jobs by the next decade with an economic impact of $82 billion, according to a report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
“States that create favorable regulatory and business environments for the industry and the technology will likely siphon jobs away from states that do not,” the report found.
Marty Rogers, director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is starting a course on drones this fall in the engineering department. The course will basically focus on the flying technology of the drones.
The university is already flying nine drones for research into climate change, volcanoes, large animals and marine life. Students will now be able to borrow quadcopters (mini drones) for aerial photography as well.
You think the course on drones is unconventional? Wait till we tell you about a whole university dedicated to drones – the Unmanned Vehicle University in Phoenix. President, Jerry Lemieux, is a former Top Gun pilot of the U.S. Air Force and founded the university in 2012.
It offers a certificate, Masters and Ph.D. for $1,600 per credit. And if you doubt whether it is legit: one recent graduate got hired as a UAV (unmanned aviation vehicle) analyst at an aviation manufacturing company in Florida, earning a whopping $100,000 a year.
The range opportunities for drone graduates is very large, including agriculture, forestry, military service, engineering, computer science, commercial contractors and even the film industry, according to Lemieux. However, its main focus is navigation and flight safety.
“Human error is one cause of accidents,” Lemieux says. “You flip the wrong slip and press the wrong button, you have a crash.”
In fact, a recent report found that over 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed since 2001.
Despite the big numbers involved, it is still – and gratefully – a heavily regulated business. And with the increase in better technology at cheaper prices, the number of drones is expected to increase too, leading to more regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration has only authorized use of drones for “important missions in the public interest,” such as firefighting, disaster relief, search and rescue, law enforcement, border patrol and military training.