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Drone degree looking to take Las Vegas students to new heights

Posted at 5:13 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 21:34:57-05

It seems like every big company you can name is looking to drones as a way to make their business more efficient.

The College of Southern Nevada is working to get incoming student ready to capitalize on the growing industry.

The Engineering Technology Program is launching a new degree in the fall of 2018 called Unmanned Aviation Systems Technology.

Professor Art Eggers is one of the leaders spearheading the program that most will call a drone degree.

"The idea was originally to just feed and bolster the electronic field," Eggers said.

The program quickly became more than that as those tasked with designing the course load realized that companies in the drone industry were eager to get their hands on potential employees with knowledge of the programming and inner workings.

"They've said, you create these people and this pipeline and we will hire them," Eggers said.
That’s one of the reasons Eggers is making it clear the degree is not all about flying the aircraft, even though it will be part of the courses.
"The first thing you are going to do is [indicates a crash]. Then we are going to go back in the classroom over there and we are going to repair it and you are going to see what broke," Eggers said.
One of the CSN students helping Eggers fine tune the program is James Spear, a veteran who is currently working as a drone instructor among his many jobs.

Spear is hopeful he will be one of the first people to get the new degree, because he loves to learn.

Being in the industry he knows how many jobs there are coming down the pipeline, and he plans to share that with his fellow students.

"The design side is where the money will be made," Spear said.

With the program set to begin in 2018, Eggers is says they have funding for three scholarships through a generous donation.

Eggers said the scholarships are on file with the CSN Foundation.