Drones. You’ve definitely heard about them, you’ve probably seen them, and you’ve possibly even flown one yourself. And if you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last few of years, you know that unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones, are really taking off.
Although the technology has existed since the first World War, the past decade has brought us to an unprecedented precipice of a UAS commercial application boom within the world of aviation.
Why does this matter to you and your school? Because the Goldman Sachs Group, the leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, along with numerous other industry leaders, are predicting that opportunities in the unmanned industry are about to boom; and the industry is going to need a lot of well-trained professionals to meet an imminent demand for pilots.
Here are some facts that might surprise and (hopefully) excite you:
- • The unmanned drone market is expected to reach $100 billion by 2020
- • By 2020, it is projected that 7.8 million consumers will be demanding drones, producing $3.3. billion in revenue
- • 103,776 new jobs will be created by 2025
- • Starting salaries can be as high as $85,000 for remote pilots
So, how can you take advantage of these statistics and give your students the best chance at forging a successful career path in a rapidly growing industry? Introduce a new STEM program that is focused on UAS training!
High school administrators, teachers, and STEM curriculum developers should introduce STEM into schools when there is a win-win-win relationship for the student, the academic staff and the school district. This win-win-win scenario is based on the high probability that exposure to STEM curriculums leads to successful career decisions.
A STEM curriculum should do as follows:
- • Provide affordable classes that interest students;
- • Add value to the student, school and school district;
- • Be relevant and flexible to current industry and business trends; and
- • Have large-scale forecasted value to future industry and business operations.
STEM curriculums that parallel technology growth in business and industry are optimal and academic institutions must properly gauge the appropriate STEM curriculum at the right time. That’s now!
One of the most attractive reasons educational institutions should adopt a UAS drone curriculum is the diversity of industry space in which UAS will play.
For example, in the gas pipeline monitoring market, the cost-savings while using an unmanned aircraft with sensors rather than a manned helicopter are monumental. To monitor pipelines in a helicopter, the hourly cost is roughly $850/hour to $2,500/hour, depending on the type, make, model and crew requirements. Using a UAS, the hourly cost ranges from $35/hour to $80/hour.
As technology improves and the government works to create regulations, there will be few areas in which the use of unmanned aircraft will not be initiated, considering a task can often be performed more efficiently and effectively than with a manned aircraft.
Industries will need a talented workforce of trained and qualified technicians and operators. This includes public safety, infrastructure inspection, crime scenes and forensics, search and rescue, emergency management and disaster relief, wildfire mapping, agricultural monitoring, telecommunications, entertainment, environmental monitoring, oil and gas, freight transport, construction, and real estate, to name a few!
A UAS academic curriculum designed to align with STEM funding can place your academic institution and students in a position to take advantage of this next generation of flight within the aviation industry of tomorrow. While schools can create their own drone training curriculum, there already exists off-the-shelf STEM UAS technology curriculum for high schools, technical and vocational schools, community colleges, and universities; preparing students for challenging, high-paying and in-demand careers.
If your school is interested in such a program, check out Unmanned Safety Institutes Small UAS Safety Certification, and put your students on the path to success!