DADE CITY, Fla. — Drones have come a long way from just being a fun hobby. More and more companies from various industries use them on a daily basis.
Pasco-Hernando State College decided to incorporate them into its curriculum.
The name of the program is Unmanned Vehicle Systems Operations, but it’s way more than just playing with drones, the fact that you can now achieve a degree means these students are the future leaders of a booming industry.
The college is preparing its students with everything they need to know over the course of a two-year program.
“How to build it, how to design it, program it, hack it, keep it from getting hacked, every portion of it so that way these guys go out into this industry as competitive as they can be,” said instructor Megan Kostelnik.
Kostelnik said companies want to hire people who are ready, day one, to hit the ground running.
“They’re turning away millions of dollars in revenue right now because they don’t have enough operators,” said Kostelnik.
The college is one of the only institutions in the state offering degrees in the unmanned vehicle systems field.
"A lot of companies are really starting to turn to two years plus of experience, they don’t want six months, or 12 months, they want a good two years at least,” said student Lorenz Olive.
Olive always looked at drones as more of a toy until he realized he could make it his major.
“Get in now because in 10 to 15 years it’s going to be a game-changer for the world,” said Olive.
The success stories are already gaining speed. Colin Olivencia graduated with an associate's degree last year and he soon found himself with a very exciting job.
“I’ll be operating underwater drones 10,000 to 13,000 feet down on pipelines,” said Olivencia. “I never expected to be hired for a career such as that but here I am.”