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QCC is State’s First Community College to Offer Drone Certificate Program

August, 2017
  • Drone - Manufacturing Day.
    Drone - Manufacturing Day.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about drones, those unmanned aerial vehicles that have taken the country by storm in recent years? Considered becoming a drone pilot, or even fantasized about starting your own business, but not been sure where to begin?  

Quinsigamond Community College has answered the growing need for this type of workforce training by becoming the first community college in Massachusetts to offer a drone certificate program.

“Through the Quinsigamond Community College Center for Workforce Development & Continuing Education, we are pleased to be able to offer individuals and companies a complete package of courses addressing the brand new tech careers drones are creating and the skills needed to work in these fields,” said Kathleen Manning, Dean of Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education.

These new tech careers are continuing to evolve and increase with no sign of decline. A report released in 2013 by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International projected that by the year 2025 there will be more than 100,000 new jobs in unmanned aircraft. Currently drones are being used commercially as first-aid vehicles, tools for police departments, high-tech photography and recording devices for real estate properties, concerts, and sporting events.  Additionally, entrepreneurial thinkers are setting up companies offering drones-as-a-service, allowing businesses to afford to rent drones for their business needs and stay competitive. 

“Drones are one example of a disruptive technology that many businesses in Central Massachusetts need to prepare for. There can be no question that technology innovation continues to change the way we work, live and do business,” Ms. Manning said. “As an educational institution, with a mission focused on ensuring individuals have the skills necessary to work in this innovation economy, it is incumbent on us to keep abreast of the innovations that are bringing change to industry and help individuals and companies manage the impact.”

QCC’s drone certificate program will feature a series of online and in-person courses designed to teach students everything they need to know about drones and help prepare them to take and pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Drone Pilot Exam.

Students will learn the basics of getting started with drones, learning the FAA rules and regulations of commercial drones, safety guidelines, models and types of drones, industry trends, jobs and market projections. Additional classes will include aerial photography; test preparation classes, and learning how to start a drone business.

An onsite, 8-hour “Phantom and Inspire” flight training course will enable students to have a hands-on flight training session and learn to fly like a pro. The flight training will be held at the West Boylston Street campus.

For additional information or to register for classes, visit