Published On: Fri, Sep 20th, 2013

College students can now earn a master’s degree in ‘Drone Warfare’

A growing number of US universities now offer degree programs for students hoping to study the military technology of the future: drones.

Flying the unmanned aerial crafts are now a viable career in a world of growing surveillance and fewer job options.

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile 2010 photo Brigadier Lance Mans, Deputy Director, NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile 2010 photo Brigadier Lance Mans, Deputy Director, NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida became the first American university to offer postgraduate education in drone warfare this fall, opening a program that promises students job security right after school.

Students who complete the six-month training program at Embry-Riddle will graduate with a master’s degree and job prospects offering a starting salary of US$150,000 a year.

“We’re trying to prepare our students so they’re ready to operate at the highest levels,” Dan Maccharella, department chair of aeronautical sciences at Embry-Riddle, told AP. “It’s going to take off like a rocket. We had students go through the program as fast as they could to get out there.”

Drone pilots can earn anywhere between $50,000 and $120,000 a year, said Jeb Bailey, who trained at Northwestern Michigan College.

A spokesman for Unmanned Applications Institute International, an aerial technology advocacy group, said the “pilotless aircraft industry” is expected to create more than 23,000 American jobs over the next 15 years.

Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have yet to approve laws that would allow private drones to fly freely over American soil – but if and when they do, drones proponents say the job market will explode.

Drones are most often in the headlines for eliminating suspected terrorists in Yemen and regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and more controversially for inadvertently killing civilians in those countries.


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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