UAVs coming to Oregon lead to increase in demand for CS majors (and in UFO sightings)

OSU and a group called EDCO recently came to an agreement to collaborate in the unmanned aerial vehicles industry. The UAV industry is growing fast and might become one of the biggest aeronautics industries around.

image of the Predator UAV, by General Atomics

One of the better-known UAV—the Predator is used by the US, English and Italian militaries for several surveillance purposes.

The thing about the UAV industry is that—right now—it’s dominated by military contracts. Which means that the scope of jobs is fairly limited. What does a military like to do? Watch stuff, blow stuff up, and maybe watch stuff as they blow it up. That means the people making the UAVs have to make stuff-watching and stuff-blow-upping UAVs if they want to sell them.

But here’s the cool thing. EDCO is not the military. It’s for private businesses in central Oregon. That they’re investing in UAVs means the industry is spreading to non-stuff-blow-upping realms, like collecting data on natural resources or weather, and monitoring wildlife. The kind of stuff that can be hard to do if you want to scope a remote location.

And if you haven’t guessed it, UAVs—by virtue of the fact that they’re unmanned— need to be piloted remotely or by a computer. One thing both of those methods have in common is that they require someone to program the system that makes it work. Which means a job for someone.

What’s this mean for you? Well, since OSU is collaborating with EDCO, it means that there will be people at OSU who are either piloting or monitoring these UAVs. If you go to OSU in the next seven years or so, you could be a part of this program. And when you get out of college, there will be a newly-bolstered UAV industry waiting for you to start working in it.

Read what I read, from


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