Skip to content

Leaders in Professional, Continuing and Online Education

Benchmark This!

Latest Trends Impacting Marketing and Higher Education
from Director of UPCEA's Center for Research and Strategy, Jim Fong

The Future (and Educational Impact) of Drones

As technology increases, drones have become increasingly more affordable in both the private and public sectors, and in turn their use has increased dramatically. This presents opportunities for both businesses and higher education across the country. Businesses will be able to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for transportation, promotion, and communication to increase productivity and quality. Like many emerging industries, rules and regulations are often times undefined or under defined. Due to this being a new industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been slow to institute commercial regulations and make permissions available.

The first detailed U.S. rules for flights of small commercial drones went into effect August 29, 2016, including nationwide licensing requirements for pilots and a ban on nighttime operations. Currently the permit process regulated by the FAA is hindering growth and commercial applications nationally. “FAA officials are focused on ensuring that testing facilities are able to cope with the expected influx of tens of thousands of pilot applicants. Through the end of the next decade, business use of drones is projected to attract millions of new operators across the U.S annually, ranging from inspecting buildings and bridges to spraying crops to searching for downed power lines.” Commercial industry fields are utilizing UAVs in agriculture, environmental science, and digital photography among many others. Although there has been substantial growth in the commercial sector, the military has benefited from this new workforce as well, by contracting drone handlers in foreign regions where it’s hard to find people with specific drone-oriented education.

The advancement of drones will impact transportation and other industries, as short-range deliveries will likely be more efficient. If this happens, and major companies like UPS, Walmart, Amazon and Domino’s are all testing delivery technologies, we are likely to see ecosystem changes with employment shifts likely to occur with maintenance, operations and manufacturing of drones, components going into drones (molding, cameras, GPS, wifi, etc.) and drone technology (collision avoidance, image recognition and camera stabilization, etc.).

Snapshot of Key Findings

  • Occupations related to drones are projected to see more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025.5
  • On average, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pilots earn between $85,000 and $115,000.
  • With the increasing use and capabilities of drones, universities across the country are now offering bachelor’s degrees focused on UAVs.

 

UPCEA Members: Click here to login to CORe to download the complete PDF of the report.

Not an UPCEA Member?: Call 202-659-3130 for more information.

Jim Fong, UPCEA

Lead consultant Jim Fong, the founding director of UPCEA’s Center for Research and Strategy, has extensive background in marketing at Penn State, as well as experience in private industry. Jim brings a rich understanding of the dynamics driving today’s higher education leaders, providing research-driven strategy and positioning. Jim often presents at UPCEA’s regional and national conferences, sharing vital information with attendees.

Whether you need benchmarking studies, or market research for a new program, UPCEA Consulting is the right choice.

We know you. We know the challenges you face and we have the solutions you need. We speak your language and have been serving leaders like you for more than 100 years. UPCEA consultants are current or former continuing and online higher education professionals who are experts in the industry—put our expertise to work for you.


Data that tells your story.

Whether you need to assess the viability of a new program, find out how you stack up with the competition or would like a program portfolio review, we can assist with research and data that will help move your unit forward. Your decisions impact the quality of your operation, as well as the bottom line. We’ll provide data that does more than sit on a page—it’s data that tells the story.

The UPCEA Center for Research and Strategy offers a variety of custom research options through a variable pricing model.


Click here to learn more.

Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs

Emboldening Student Driven Learning in the Online Environment

By SmartBrief Editors This post is produced in partnership with UPCEA.   The world of professional, continuing and online education is in constant flux. Former associate dean of academic affairs at Syracuse University and current University of North Carolina at Greensboro division of online learning dean, Dr. Karen Bull provides her perspective in this online…

Read More

Why Smart Cities Need Liberal Arts Graduates

As a lover of science fiction, I find myself picking movie genres that depict a future society fighting against the tyranny of unfair rulers protecting what they think is a utopian society. Ultimately, the masses win and freedom reigns. What our future society will look like depends on many things. Whether it will be dystopia…

Read More

Overdue Urban Solutions: Smarter Houses and Buildings

In reflection of my reading or movie choices, I just now realized that my genre of movies centers around how society must survive in the future.  There is a clear adversary and the inhabitants of the future city have an opportunity for freedom from tyranny.  It’s a struggle for potential utopia or the choice of…

Read More

Policy Matters | Sen. Alexander wants to pass scaled-back HEA (September 2019)

Welcome to the fourth installment in our monthly public policy primer, Policy Matters. Each issue has the latest updates and actionable items in public policy for adult and nontraditional education stakeholders.  Major Updates Senator Alexander Announces Intent to Pass Scaled-Back Higher Education Act Reauthorization Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stated he wants to attempt to update broad-based…

Read More

Smart Cities and Transportation, and the Impact on Higher Education

Despite the increase in distracted drivers, the number of accidents has declined. While a number of factors may be at play, better technology and engineering are certainly having an impact. While accidents have declined, fatalities from large vehicles, vehicles to pedestrians and vehicles to pedal-pedestrians has increased. Will the self-driving vehicle help improve safety? To…

Read More

Deconstructing the Economic Factors Affecting Professional Learning

By SmartBrief Editors This post is produced in partnership with UPCEA. The desire to advance in a career field or life in general is not enough for individuals who are ready to learn more and better their circumstances. Disparity exists when it comes to post-secondary education, including traditional college, certification programs and other forms of…

Read More

The Nation's Top Universities Choose UPCEA Consulting

Informed decisions. Ideas that work. The data you need. Trusted by the top universities in the nation.