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The Fine Art of Selling Drone Diplomas

Despite hundreds of institutions, universities, and community colleges getting in on the unmanned-training game, only three US schools offer full drone piloting degrees. Here's how they sell it.

When it comes to drones, the old line that manned jobs are succumbing to robot creep simply does not hold water--for now, at least. In the run-up to what some are anticipating to be untold thousands of unmanned systems populating US airspace by 2022 there are likewise untold thousands of positions opening up in and around drone maintenance, training, and piloting. Don't think all tomorrow's top-tier pilots are just going to learn to fly the things by themselves, or with only having logged a hilariously low amount of training hours. (Who do we think we are, Britain?)

But at what cost? While the Federal Aviation Administration has approved flight authorizations for more than 350 learning institutions (one of which I caught up with in the Raised Up Right Issue of VICE), universities and community colleges to get in on the unmanned-training game, only three schools offer full drone pilot degrees. That'll likely change, of course. Yet a cursory glance at their recruting videos offers a snapshot of the coming tide of sexed-up (or down) drone studies' sales pitches. Are they varied? Very. Nevertheless, here's how they sell it.


Kansas State University

Shit. If these guys don't have it down. Seriously, look at this thing. Sleek, all thing's considered, and with slight militaristic flair. Bra-fucking-vo. A-.

University of North Dakota

OK, OK. A bit more sober. I can see what they're going for here. Less flash, more humble-robo jargon. C.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Florida)

More of a broad overview, if anything, but there they are--3D printed autonomous mini drones. B+.

Reach Brian at @thebanderson