As Nevada’s drone industry takes shape, companies seek to hire local talent.
“Local employers came to us in 2013 and said, ‘We need students,’” said Art Eggers, an engineering technology lead instructor at the College of Southern Nevada. “The industry is going to exponentially grow and explode.”
Students are on their way.
Two years in eight weeks
The course will begin by covering the basic Federal Aviation Administration requirements for flying a commercial drone, then cover engineering and information technology, all in preparation for students building and then flying their own drone.
The first class of students is slated to graduate with a full degree in 2020.
Bob Potts, research director at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said it’s difficult to forecast how many jobs will be available for graduating students since the industry is so new.
“What gives me comfort with this program at CSN is that it’s an emphasis on UAS as part of their engineering technology program. So it has far reaching credentials that are stackable and transferable. Even as the industry starts getting legs under it,” Potts said.
Even though the drone industry is still in its infancy, a full disciplinary program “puts Nevada on the front line” for both growing talent and engaging in policy discussions to shape the industry as it continues to develop, he said.
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Classroom equipment includes:
3 Savant Fixed Wing drones, $172,900
This drone can fly forward, like an airplane, or upward, like a helicopter, Eggers said.
“What we want to use these aircraft for is to teach the people who maybe want to go into, say the power industry to inspect power lines,” Eggers said.
3 mixed-signal oscilloscopes, $14,353
“They’re used universally across our degree program,” Eggers said. “They can use them for repaire, testing and alignment, There are lots of functions.”