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University of North Dakota Now Offers Class on Starting Your Own Drone Business

Depending on your perspective, you’re likely to think this is either cool or creepy.

The folks over at Reason inform us that the University of North Dakota is doing something a little different as far as preparing undergrads for the job market of the future. The school is now offering a course in how to succeed at starting up a drone business.

That’s right…I said drone business.


The class is the brainchild of Matt Dunlevy, who teaches it along with co-instructor Rick Thomas. As it turns out, although the subject matter might seem a little curious, at first glance, the course proved to be enormously popular from the get-go; according to Reason, although it became available only two weeks before the beginning of the fall semester, space filled up in a hurry.

Make no mistake…this is a serious course. It’s divided into three phases: In the first phase, students bone up on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations on drones, and also become certified drone pilots. In phase two, students become versed in the drone industry, learning about what it is that businesses seeking to utilize drones are looking for from companies that supply unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services. In phase three, students must come up with their own serious drone business plans and ideas that they will present to venture capitalists.

Lest you think this is all pie in the sky (pun fully intended), the drone industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years. Reason tells us that the trade group Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems is predicting that there will be 100,000 new jobs and $82 billion added to the U.S. economy by 2025, but instructor Dunlevy sees that estimate as somewhat conservative, saying that the 100,000 jobs could well be added as soon as in the next five years.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr Editor At Large