The impact UAV’s will have on both commercial and government operations in the coming years is sure to be significant. A recent study conducted by AUVSI concluded that the drone industry alone will create more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, and have an economic impact of $82 billion. Universities across America are preparing their students for rewarding careers in this new industry by offering degree programs in both piloting and engineering.
Below is list of the colleges leading the drone training charge.
Spartan’s Aviation Electronics Technology program (AET), is one of the first to specialize in UAVs, taking an electronics approach to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Graduates of the AET program are qualified to work in a variety of positions and industries ranging from Aerospace, Communications, Simulator Development, Robotics, UAV and beyond. The program is certified by the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT). Graduates are also prepared for Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) and Certified Electronics Technician (CET) certificates and licenses.
More Information: https://www.spartan.edu/programs/aviation-electronics-avionics/
Embry-Riddle’s Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science degree equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to seek employment in a wide variety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) related fields, including UAS pilots, sensor operators and ground technicians. Students enrolled in the program explore coursework in aeronautical science, unmanned aircraft systems, computer science, robotics, and engineering, providing graduates a wide breadth of knowledge to become industry leaders. The program also highlights issues such as the integration of unmanned aircraft into existing infrastructure and requires students to make reasonable predictions of how the current system will accommodate the addition of cutting-edge technologies.Additionally, Embry-Riddle has paired with local organizations to establish land use for academic flight operations. Students, under faculty guidance, have the opportunity to operate a host of unmanned platforms in actual environments, which further broadens capabilities and exposure to industry standards.
Oklahoma State University
The UAS option at Oklahoma State, available for both the degrees of MS and PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, provides students with a recognized emphasis in graduate level work in the area of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. It provides students with hands-on analysis, design, construction and flight testing of UAS platforms. Flight testing and operations to be conducted at OSU UAS airfields in Stillwater and at Ft. Sill, Okla.
More Information: https://unmanned.okstate.edu
Indiana State University
The University offers a bachelor of science (B.S.) in unmanned systems.This degree program prepares students for entry and advancement within the aerial, land, and water vehicles/robotics workforce of the future. The program is one of the first of its kind in Indiana and one of only a few in the United States.Coursework includes a 21-credit unmanned systems core, a 28-credit aviation core, and the University's Foundational Studies Program, which provides the knowledge students need in critical thinking, leadership, and interpersonal and communication skills. Students are encouraged to purse a minor field of study, especially in areas where unmanned systems will play an important role. Suggested minors include: aviation technology, criminology and criminal justice, geographic information science, computer engineering technology, computer science, communication, and business administration. Students also may choose to obtain a double major.
More Information: https://www.indstate.edu/academics/undergraduate/majors/unmanned-systems
Kansas State University
As the unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones, industry continues to break new ground, Kansas State Polytechnic is at the forefront of this revolution. They understand the importance of providing students with research opportunities, cutting edge technology and equipment, and an exclusive education. That’s why they built one of the largest enclosed UAS flight facilities in the nation and were awarded the country’s first approval to provide commercial flight training. In their UAS program, students log flight hours by piloting a diverse fleet of unmanned aircraft through our structured multirotor and fixed-wing training courses. After completion, students act as instructors in entry-level flight classes.
More Information: https://polytechnic.k-state.edu/academics/degree-options/uasflight/
University of North Dakota
With 50 years of experience in Aviation education, training, and research, UND was the first to offer a UAS degree in 2009, and their program has led the way ever since. You'll gain expertise to work in a crew environment as a Pilot operator, sensor operator, or other key team member of unmanned aircraft systems. You'll also gain a clear understanding of National Airspace System safety and operations procedures. UND offers a comprehensive UAS Aviation degree including relative topics such as: human factors, crew resource management, autonomous systems, counter UAS applications, experience in small, medium and large UAS, safety management, and aircraft systems. Their Grand Forks campus has been called "the Silicon Valley of unmanned aircraft systems" by the New York Times. UND students are given the opportunity to interact with small and large UAS companies such as Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, and Customs Border Protection. Flights are conducted regularly where UND flight students are jointly flying next to Unmanned Aircraft in the National Airspace System.
More Information: https://und.edu/programs/unmanned-aircraft-system-operations-bs-aero/
Through the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics: Unmanned Aerial Systems at Liberty University, you’ll become a professional unmanned aerial system operator by earning a Private Pilot certificate and an Instrument Flight rating. Learn to operate small unmanned aerial vehicles safely and ethically. With this degree program, you may also have the opportunity to earn a full industry certification on the medium-sized Aerosonde vehicle (U.S. citizens only). You may also have the opportunity to become a UAS instructor. This exciting opportunity to fly and become fully certified on the Aerosonde is available to you through a partnership with a UAS industry leader.
More Information: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/aeronautics/index.cfm?PID=38713
With a sixty year legacy of providing exceptional flight and maintenance training, LeTourneau University is well-equipped to train aviation professionals to meet the needs of this high-growth industry. At LETU, their goal is for their Unmanned Aircraft Systems graduates to become effective and exemplary aviation professionals who will become leaders in this new and rapidly expanding industry. Classes include: Introduction to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Flight Control Systems, Aviation Safety Factors.
Troy University became the first university in Alabama to offer a program in unmanned aerial systems when the new minor launched in the fall of 2014. The minor is part of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Management and Technology and falls under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry and Physics.
More Information: http://spectrum.troy.edu/uas/index.html
Lewis is one of the only schools in the nation that offers direct experience and the degree you need to launch your career in this high-paying and dynamic field. By earning a Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems from Lewis University, you will be prepared for the plethora of opportunities available in the growing field upon graduation. At Lewis you will learn how to design, develop and operate individually-tailored UAS to meet objectives through an interdisciplinary curriculum in which you will:
Understand and apply the fundamental skills of UAS operation to project design
Successfully apply Crew Resource Management (CRM) concepts in a collaborative UAS team environment
Apply foundational computer science and engineering skills in developing UAS algorithms
Apply foundational aviation maintenance, electrical and avionics skills to UAS devices
Discuss ethical issues of UAS
More Information: https://www.lewisu.edu/academics/unmanned-aircraft-systems/index.htm