What once may have seemed like an obscure pastime for tech-enthusiasts has emerged as one of the most unique and prominent career choices in recent history. Drones have long been considered on the fringes of mainstream culture. Now, they are bringing intriguing job opportunities with promising futures to the masses.
How did the demand for and popularity of this odd (and somewhat controversial) technological innovation rise so fast and so high (literally as well as figuratively)? There are many factors that play a part in the job market for drone professionals.
The IoT revolution
The transformation brought about by the Internet of Things could be called one of the biggest factors driving this focus on drone technology as a viable discipline. Yes, drones (like computers) may have once been considered merely crude toys used for leisurely flying (and occasional stalking) but just like personal computers, their applications could be very farreaching.
As more and more tech-leaders began to tinker with the idea that maybe drones could be used to solve various problems across numerous industries. Today, enhanced capabilities through the intersection of software and hardware, coupled with other significant tech-developments like Big Data, have paved the way towards implementation standards that are empowering and comprehensive.
Within the agricultural and farming sectors, drones are used for gathering and analyzing data. Construction, as well as real estate companies, use drones to provide complex aerial views of sites and land prospects. Architects, engineers, doctors, scientists, developers and more are all beginning to understand the true power that drones offer.
With delivery efforts via drone being tested out, a variety of items ranging from retail products to medical supplies could easily reach areas that were once inaccessible (or difficult to access). Even drone racing (an interesting cross between F1 racing and e-sports) appears to be gaining traction.
Thriving job opportunities
Employment, in turn, could also benefit from this. With the discovery of many possibilities for the application of drones, expect to see the establishment of and demand for more drone-related positions.
A certain set of conventional (and unconventional) skills are necessary to pilot, develop, fix, improve and test drones so students and fresh talent that know their way around a video game controller and are good at solving problems could find their place in the drone industry.
Malaysia’s very own AI-powered drone maker, Fourfang, has taken a strong lead in the creation of a highly sophisticated drone option used mainly in commercial and industrial applications. Energy, infrastructure, agriculture and security are just some of the sectors that could become even more impacted by drones within the next few years.
Drone operator jobs are on the rise and many students have already decided to embark on a career path that may not seem as conventional as some others (try explaining your work as a drone operator to your grandma at your next family gathering).
Talented drone operators could add value to companies who require infrastructure inspection or deal with real estate marketing and filming or photography.
If you feel that this might be the path for you, tap into your current skillsets and build on the ones that you think are relevant to working with drones. E-commerce companies like Amazon may soon need UAV operators to help them deliver packages using drones. AI and autonomous features may also lead to aerial taxis and enhanced law enforcement efforts (such as enhanced search and rescue efforts) and the delivery of medical supplies to inaccessible areas.
As promising as they may seem, drone-related careers (much like other futuristic and innovative career paths) can often be fastpaced. As more jobs come about through digital disruption, pay attention to developments related to working with drones if you think that this may be the career choice for you.