About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3529-3537
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

TAKING FLIGHT: MEETING THE ANTICIPATED WORKFORCE DEMANDS FOR DRONE AND UAV PROFESSIONALS WITH TECHNICAL EDUCATION

B. Eldridge

Emit Labs (UNITED STATES)
Introduction:
Less than a decade ago, the Pentagon had approximately 50 unmanned combat air vehicles known as drones or UAVs. Today there are over 7.000 in the air and with the advent of the commercialization of drones in the United States by the FAA in 2015, there could be over 30,000 commercial drones flying over the skies of the United States alone. This translates into a $5 billion plus industry for a wide variety of purposes including precision agriculture, real estate, entertainment, and security. Industry experts anticipate this lofty number to double in less than a decade.

This anticipated amount of drones entering the airspace over the next three years will create an unprecedented demand for a technically skilled workforce to support all facets of the drone value chain: manufacturing, maintenance and repair, operation, and integration with other technologies and Big Data sources.

Given the existing dearth of knowledge workers with necessary STEM skills, the burgeoning drone market will further stress skills gap in the marketplace.
Some technical colleges have seen are addressing this challenge in by creating degree and employment pathways via short-term certification and degree programs tailored for helping industries employing drone and UAV technicians and operators, such as precision agriculture, populate their workforce.

Background:
Given the historically slow rate that traditional institutes of higher education respond with content changes in their curriculums that address the rapid evolution of technology, this increase in demand will likely be met with the same or even larger skill gap issues that the technology world has been facing already the last several years, with little or no promise of redress from traditional four-year colleges and universities. The dearth of options that result from this ongoing lack of responsiveness creates unique opportunities for those who can respond creatively to the challenges.

Some common challenges include:
• Shallow depth of existing knowledge and subject matter expertise in the area
• Lack of existing training and educational materials on the topic
• Expense of getting the necessary equipment to train properly
• No well-defined industry competency models for key roles within the area – logistics, supply chain management, robotics

Methods:
In order to enable community and technical colleges to not only address the drone industry requirements but to keep up with their certain evolution, an approach based on the principles of Agile is being implemented as a complete replacement for traditional academic stewardship. The iterative and incremental attributes of this strategy allows these schools to start with smaller short-run programs and evolve the independent components very rapidly into dynamic two-year degree programs. The high-growth area of precision agriculture was chosen to pilot this strategy.

The outcome of this approach produces the following offerings:
• Badging –addresses the basic skills of agricultural mechanics, microprocessors, and remote sensors
• Certifications – provides training in key areas for technicians, robotics and UAV/drone operation
• Two-year degrees –envelops all of the badging and certification offerings coupled with hands-on lab courses and semester general education

Conclusions:
Emerging industries such as precision agriculture benefit greatly from participating in collaborative relationships with community and technical colleges.
@InProceedings{ELDRIDGE2014TAK,
author = {Eldridge, B.},
title = {TAKING FLIGHT: MEETING THE ANTICIPATED WORKFORCE DEMANDS FOR DRONE AND UAV PROFESSIONALS WITH TECHNICAL EDUCATION},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {3529-3537}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Eldridge
TI - TAKING FLIGHT: MEETING THE ANTICIPATED WORKFORCE DEMANDS FOR DRONE AND UAV PROFESSIONALS WITH TECHNICAL EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 3529
EP - 3537
ER -
B. Eldridge (2014) TAKING FLIGHT: MEETING THE ANTICIPATED WORKFORCE DEMANDS FOR DRONE AND UAV PROFESSIONALS WITH TECHNICAL EDUCATION, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 3529-3537.
User:
Pass: