In 2017, USU started offering its drone minor to students and due to high demand, they started working on a major in it as well.
Drones are a growing technology with many uses. As some students at Utah State University started going through the drone minor program, they quicky realized there are many opportunities in the field.
Professor Baron Wesemann, USU Pilot Program Director, has been working towards creating this major option for students.
“Within 24 hours, 11 students signed up for the unmanned aerial systems and for for the aviation operations,” said Wesemann.
Even though this major will be officially offered next fall, two students will be graduating next month with the degree, Spencer Whitehead being one of them.
“I just kept pushing forward kept bugging Baron a lot. And it was just work on it little by little, he would tell me, this is what's going to be expected out of the program, take these classes,” said Whitehead.
There are a variety of jobs that students can get with a drone degree such as commercial video and data gathering.
Wesemann said,“[the students are] replacing a lot of jobs that used to be done by man pilots, for example, pipeline inspections, building inspections, surveying the ground, learning how to analyze crops, a lot of this was done by either manned pilots or from satellite,.”
Just like in any major, there are students that are adding the drone degree option ontop of their current program, just like Anthony Marino is.
“I know that drones are a huge thing now and worse comes to worse, the aviation doesn't work out for me for some odd reason and say a medical problem or something, I can always fall back on drones,” said Marino.
“We had an amazing spectrum of students coming from all majors into our minor," said Wesemann." and [we] expect the major to continue to grow with students from all over campus.”
This fall, USU Eastern will also start offering the drone major and minor.