The management department at Vaughn College welcomed Terry Kilby to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, the live presentation by Kilby—who is a renowned aerial photographer and 3D specialist—focused on drones and the use of 3D scanning for historical preservation and Web3. The event showed Vaughn students new and exciting ways where they can apply their degrees in engineering and technology. Additionally, focus was given to the future direction of the industry as it pertains to the metaverse, Web3, NFT and the blockchain.

About Terry Kilby

For over a decade, 3D capture artist Terry Kilby has been recognized as a leading international expert—both as an aerial photographer and pioneer in the specialties of photogrammetry (3D scanning), panoramic photography (VR photography) and time lapse. Through the use of drones and the application of photogrammetry, Kilby has mastered the higher-level technique of capturing contemporary history and artfully creating photorealistic 3D models for historic preservation, film sets, archaeological sites—and beyond. His groundbreaking work in the documentation of historical sites and monuments is a mind-blowing experience that brings the past to life. Before Kilby found his passion for drones and aerial photography, he worked as mobile software developer and technology lead with a Fortune 50 company.

Aircraft design

Growing up as an avid radio control (RC) hobbyist, Kilby explained how he saw the beginning of the civilian drone industry as a continuation of the RC hobby world. Over the years, he navigated through the drone industry where he witnessed and experienced groundbreaking technology which set the stage for the fascinating work he is known for today.

STEM education

Sharing his love and knowledge for drones and 3D technology led Kilby to become an educator in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). His involvement with foundations and children’s camps was instrumental in spreading the word about drones to the younger generation. Part of his passion with the children was teaching them how to build their first quad copters through the application of 3D printing.

Advanced drone techniques

Blending his creative talents with his experience in software and web development, Kilby developed advanced drone techniques that continue to make a mark in the corporate and historical preservation arenas. Here are some of them:

  • 360o Panoramas: By capturing several 360o panoramic photos and architectural models, Kilby is able to create a working model for a project.
  • Photogrammetry: Through the recording, measuring and interpreting of the images he captures with drones, Kilby is able to obtain reliable information about the object—or environment—to use for his projects.

3D scanning

The highlight of Kilby’s presentation centered on the amazing capabilities of 3D scanning technology. Here are the types of scanning he uses in his work:

Structured Light

structured lightDescribed as an extremely accurate method of 3D scanning, Kilby shared how this technique assisted in extracting a fingerprint from a 3,000-year-old artifact.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and Photogrammetry

LIDARLIDAR is a method of 3D scanning that measures distance through the use of beams of light. For years, it has been used in aviation, being placed under small aircrafts such as Cessnas and terrestrial LIDAR.

Notable projects using 3D scanning

By using photogrammetry, Kilby showcased some of his unique techniques in working with historic structures, one of which was the Berlin Wall. Here are some other fascinating projects that Kilby featured via the use of photogrammetry:

Plantation House

Kilby used a Phantom 4 Pro Drone to capture images that were eventually used to create a 3D animated rendering of a plantation house that had been built in the 1600s. His work was used to help in the restoration project of this historical building.

Mayfield Theatre

Kilby was tasked to create a captivating visual of the Mayfield Theatre in Baltimore—the first African American-owned theatre in the U.S.—which fell into disrepair after undergoing a fire. Through his amazing talents, Kilby created a visual that told the story of the theater, and which ultimately gained the attention of an interested developer who restored the building’s facade.

Slave House

Over the course of three years, a team of archaeologists, historians, engineers and artists used Kilby’s 3D scans of a dig site in Annapolis, Maryland to uncover unique features of slave’s quarters from years ago. They then used that information to recreate an accurate depiction of the building’s interior and exterior.

Who uses 3D scanning?

Kilby addressed the three main areas he works in when it comes to drones and 3D scanning. These are:

  • Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC)
  • Museums
  • Archaeologists/Historic Preservationist

Unique ways to present projects

Just when attendees of the Industry Insights Speaker Series thought they’d seen the coolest applications that used drones and 3D scanning technology, Kilby went on to describe the different forms of asset presentation. Here is the variety of platforms he uses for asset presentation:

  • Sketchfab/Web: Considered by Kilby to be the “YouTube of the 3D,” Sketchfab is leading the way to becoming the go to 3D platform for the web.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and the Metaverse: Kilby built a virtual reality museum in the Metaverse, where those in the “world” can view his exhibit and communicate with each other.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Unlike VR—where one is “sunk” into the experience without any situational awareness of what’s going on around him or her—augmented reality merges assets into the real world around the viewer.
  • In Real Life (IRL) Museums: This fascinating form of asset presentation allows 3D exhibits to be “transported” and shared at museums worldwide.

Technology that is influencing the future

Kilby concluded by discussing how his work will fit into the future of the internet – including the blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse.


This decentralized ledger allows multiple individuals to store records or information on a “block” in the chain that’s secured by cryptography—which is the storing and transmitting of data in encrypted formats.

Kilby’s thoughts on the cultural impact of blockchain technology are that it:

  • Democratizes the recording of history
  • Is a fundamental shift in how history is recorded and will be understood moving forward

Non-fungible tokens—or NFTs—are digital assets that are bought and sold online. In 2021, the NFT market was valued at $41 billion dollars.

Vaughn’s certificate and degree programs

The excitement surrounding Kilby’s work with the use of drones and 3D scanning technology is fueling interest in these futuristic career-driven fields. As a leading institution in engineering and technology, aviation and management, Vaughn College is setting the pace by providing its students with the necessary skills to land jobs in these fascinating industries. Which programs interest you? Check each of them out:

Certificate programs

Associate degree

Bachelor’s degrees

Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of an amazing career with one of our programs. Apply today!


Cybercrime is a lucrative business that is predicted to cost companies—globally—an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2025. With a single cyberattack occurring every 11 seconds, organizations aren’t wasting time in hiring cybersecurity professionals to safeguard their data and computer networks. In fact, experts predict that companies could spend as much as $1.75 trillion for information security. So, who exactly are these professionals that companies are hiring to protect their data?

This month, Vaughn College explores the demand for cybersecurity professionals and the various jobs in this field. Read on to learn how a degree in computer engineering from Vaughn could be your pathway to cashing in on this futureproof career.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts are among the fastest growing occupations in the country—with a projected growth rate of 35 percent over the next nine years. In the U.S. alone, it was reported there are more than 700,000 job openings in the cybersecurity-related field, with approximately 1.8 million positions worldwide that will go unfilled this year. With demand at an all-time high—and no end of sight for the need to protect company data—the future is bright for a career in cybersecurity.

Companies with the greatest need

Every industry—including banking, utility companies, government organizations and healthcare—has come to depend on the world’s cyber infrastructure in order to operate. Last year, the heads of industry giants Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were among the leaders who met with President Biden at the White House to discuss how the nation’s cybersecurity might be improved through a collaboration with the government and private sector. It’s important to note that cybercrime doesn’t discriminate against big corporations. Were you aware that approximately 43 percent of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses? On any given day, owners of these businesses have their hands full in juggling several responsibilities, thus leaving their interests vulnerable to be exploited by cybercriminals. In fact, only about 14 percent of these small businesses are prepared to defend their data.

Cybersecurity careers to meet the demand

As you can imagine, there are several different cybersecurity careers—each with its own set of critical roles—to protect companies from cybercriminals. Here are some career paths to consider:

Cybersecurity engineer

These professionals are responsible for protecting a company’s network and data from unauthorized access—or cyberattack—by designing cybersecurity platforms and building emergency plans in the event of a disaster.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity engineer:
  • Develop and enforce security plans, standards and protocols
  • Collaborate with other teams to maintain overall security
  • Create and install firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Update security software, hardware and facilities
  • Running encryption programs
  • Moving data and information after a detected security issue
Required skills:
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to explain complex issues to management and offer solutions for current security plans and procedures
  • Ability and willingness to work with law enforcement following a cyberattack
  • Risk assessment
  • Computer forensics
  • Secure coding practices
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree—or higher—in computer engineering, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity engineer.

Cybersecurity analyst

Anyone in this role analyzes reports to identify and examine cyber threats that include viruses, worms, bots and Trojans. Cybersecurity analysts develop malware protection tools to ensure that practices are properly implemented and followed. The scope of their responsibilities is expansive.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst:
  • Monitor security best practices, protocols and procedures to detect, contain and remediate threats
  • Control file access and credentialing, network updates and firewall maintenance
  • Perform penetration testing and vulnerability scans
  • Recommend relevant changes to improve security
  • May be enlisted to train employees on cybersecurity hygiene, due to their expertise in security risks and best practices
Required skills:
  • Solid understanding of how data is stored and managed
  • Solid understanding of various kinds of cybersecurity threats
  • Proprietary testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Data encryption
  • Firewall design, configuration, deployment and maintenance
  • Security incident triaging
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity analyst.

Network security architect

Similar to an architect who designs plans for buildings and structures, a network security architect plays a critical role in the design of security structures that are used to prevent malware attacks. In addition to performing vulnerability tests, a network security architect maintains network productivity, efficiency, availability and performance to ensure ongoing security of the company.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a network security architect:
  • Helps translate business needs into functional systems
  • Defines appropriate policies and procedures for the systems
  • Monitors budgetary and operational constraints
  • Undertakes defensive measures such as firewall and antivirus configuration, as well as offensive measures like penetration testing
  • Oversees network changes
  • Stays aware of computer systems’ networking requirements such as routing, switching and trust domains
  • Has knowledge of security best practices, technologies and industry-standard frameworks.
Required skills:
  • Excellent people, managerial and presentation skills
  • Strong IT experience
  • Risk management experience
  • Knowledge of TCP/IP networking and networking security
  • ITIL and COBIT IT process models
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Knowledge of VPN layers and connections
  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): 7-layer model
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is required, although a master’s degree in cybersecurity is preferred.

How Vaughn can get you there

As you’ve read in this blog, the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and computer engineering demands well-trained individuals for a broad range of industries. Vaughn’s degree program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that are necessary, and where they each can play an important role in the technologies that define modern day life and society.

The computer engineering curriculum emphasizes two well-defined concentrations: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). These two concentrations work hand in hand to secure network systems. Although it’s believed that AI will never take the place of cybersecurity jobs, this concentration and machine learning are viable players in the growth of the industry.

Are you interested in an in-demand, high-paying job in cybersecurity? Vaughn’s computer engineering degree program could be your pathway to an exciting futureproof career. Apply today!

Careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are among the top choices of Generation Z (Gen Z) students, according to the 2022 Career Interest Survey, which was conducted earlier this year by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Read on to learn the factors that are driving these high-achieving students to pursue careers in these in-demand industries and how Vaughn College has the degree programs and partnerships to get them there.

Who are Gen Zs?

Members of Generation Z are individuals who were born after 1997. They are considered the most diverse American generation and are larger than any preceding age group. At more than 90 million members, the oldest Gen Z members are 25 years old. So, why is this generation choosing STEM fields as their top career choices? Let’s find out.

Why are Gen Zs choosing STEM careers?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand in STEM fields is projected to grow by 10.5 percent over the next eight years. The survey revealed how students are shifting their focus from degrees in education, the arts and legal studies and opting to major in fields where they can make an impact on the economy and the world—such as in STEM-related jobs and healthcare. Another finding revealed that not only is the STEM field the number one career choice among respondents, but it continues to grow particularly among female and black students. Careers in these in-demand fields bring job security, high-paying salaries and room for advancement, thus making the degrees more appealing.

Check out our blog, “Engineering Ranked Among Most Valuable College Majors,” to learn why engineering and STEM-related majors top the list as being among the most valuable degrees.

What factors matter most

The survey revealed the goals, preferences and attitudes of high achieving high school and college-aged individuals, as well as their feelings toward employment and career aspirations. As stated earlier, the diverse nature of members of Gen Z places them in a unique category where equity for all is a priority. In fact, more than one-fifth (22 percent) of respondents said their own experiences with racial inequality influenced their career choices, and one-third fluently speak a language other than English. Here are some of the factors that matter most to the Gen Z group when looking for their first full-time job is concerned:

Professional growth
  • Provide in-person training
  • Opportunity to learn skills for the purpose of career advancement
  • Pathway to promotion
  • Professional development opportunities
Personal preferences
  • Reflect and respect diversity
  • Fair treatment of all employees across all genders and races
  • Offer employer flexibility
  • Display corporate social responsibility
  • Have a boss who is like a mentor
  • Upper management must have good communication skills

Listen to our latest podcast featuring Vaughn alumna Kirei Watson ’18 (mechanical engineering major) and how she broke down barriers to land and excel in her job as a rotational program engineer at Collins Aerospace.

How can a Vaughn degree get you there?

Another key takeaway from the survey is the discovery of the love of learning among the Gen Z group—especially when it comes to hands-on training. At Vaughn College, our degree programs in engineering and technology, computer engineering and aviation offer students the best of both worlds: Lecture instructions by professors with real-world experience and hands-on instruction where students put what they’ve learned to work. In fact, the rapid advancements in technology are making these degrees some of the most sought-after by today’s college-bound students. And were you aware that aviation degrees can fall under a STEM-related focus in some instances? Today’s staffing shortage crisis in the aviation industry is increasing the demand for jobs across the board.

Check out our blog, “Virtual and Augmented Reality Shape the Future of the Aviation Industry,” to learn how immersive technologies are a billion-dollar gamechanger in the aviation market.

Vaughn provides invaluable industry connections and experiences

Vaughn is committed to the success of its students. By providing invaluable programs like Employer Engagement Days, Open House and Info. Session events, career fairs, speaker series and our Computer Engineering Summer Boot Camp, Vaughn goes above and beyond to ensure that its students have the opportunities and access to industry leaders who are ready to hire. Here are some industry giants, federal agencies and airports that actively recruit Vaughn students:

  • Atlas Air
  • Boeing
  • Cyient
  • Delta
  • Endeavor Air
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Jet Blue Airways
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • LaGuardia Gateway Partners
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Metro-North Railroad
  • NASA
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • SpaceX
  • Sikorsky
  • Textron Aviation
  • United Airlines
  • Volvo

What is NSHSS?

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is an acclaimed academic honor society which recognizes and serves high achieving student scholars in more than 26,000 high schools across 170 countries. These academically outstanding students represent the most promising diverse talent for the emerging workforce and their communities.

About the survey

The survey revealed the opinions and insights of over 11,000 of the highest achieving high school students, college students and recent college graduates who represent Gen Z in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. military bases overseas and U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Are you ready to be a part of the next generation of professionals in the emerging STEM-related industry? A degree from Vaughn can make your dream a reality. Apply today!

Flight cancellations, delays, crowded airports. Sound familiar? If you’ve traveled by air recently, you more than likely have experienced some of these disruptions. With the ongoing national pilot shortage fueling part of what we may call “travel chaos,” airlines are taking control by initiating their own pilot training programs. And just last month, U.S. Senate representatives got on board in response to the pilot shortfall. So, will the problem get worse before it gets better? Buckle up as Vaughn College takes a closer look at how the industry is responding to this demand and explains how its programs and partnerships are the perfect combination to educate and train the next generation of pilots.

An unprecedented demand for pilots

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 14,500 pilot openings are projected each year over the next decade. This unprecedented demand stems in part from the early retirement of pilots during the pandemic, a reduced number of trained military pilots and the high cost of aviation training. To fill this gap in the pilot pipeline, Republic Airways and United Airlines, among other well-known companies, have initiated their own pilot training programs to meet the demand. Let’s take a look at how they operate.

How the industry is responding to the shortfall

Republic Airways

Republic Airways—a regional airline that services Delta Connection and United Express, among others—is on a mission to train pilots, fast. The goal is to teach pilots in a shorter period of time through intense training that is mission-specific to flying commercial airplanes. Republic Airways believes its pilot training program is so good, that it rivals the military by using more technology and better simulation. Instead of the 1,500 flight hours that is required for commercial pilots, Republic Airways filed a request with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting that its pilots be allowed to fly with only 750 flight hours. And, to sweeten the deal, Republic Airways is offering deep discounts and jobs to students who finish this program.

United Airlines

At United Airlines’ training facility in Denver, Colorado, former Blue Angel and Top Gun pilots are training regional and military pilots on how to fly commercial airliners safely and professionally. Pilots who are new to United Airlines spend five weeks training in a simulator, where they learn the intricacies about the specific planes they will be flying. The program is proving successful, having turned out a record of 40-to-70 new hires a week.

U.S Senator’s Legislation Addresses Pilot Shortage

On July 25, 2022, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and five other U.S. senators introduced the Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act (S.4607) to address the massive amount of flight cancellations that has been caused by the ongoing pilot shortage. This legislation will raise the mandatory commercial pilot retirement age from 65 to 67, in addition to:

  • Requiring that pilots over the age of 65 maintain a first-class medical certification, which must be renewed every six months.
  • Requiring air carriers to continue using pilot training and qualification programs approved by the FAA.
  • Not changing or altering any other qualification—beyond age—to become a commercial airline pilot.

How Vaughn can help you earn your wings

With 90 years of aviation history under our belts (and yes, they are fastened!) Vaughn students have gone on to pursue amazing careers in the field of aviation as well as engineering and technology and management. And when it comes to our reputation, Vaughn’s aircraft operations (flight) program is one of only 29 institutions that are currently part of the FAA’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI.) Vaughn students train on the same equipment used by the FAA, which helps accelerate their training upon acceptance to the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. And were you aware that Vaughn has partnerships in the industry which in turn give students a competitive edge when preparing for their careers? Check these out!

Atlas Air

Vaughn’s long-term relationship with Atlas Air has proven to be truly valuable, as several Vaughn graduates have landed full-time positions in virtually every department with this renowned American cargo airline, passenger charter airline and aircraft lessor based in Purchase, New York. Just recently, Atlas Air and Vaughn faculty collaborated to develop the “Pathway to Success First Officer Trainee Program.” This exciting pilot pathway program is designed to enable new pilots at the RATP level—upon successful completion of a comprehensive training program—to transfer directly to Atlas Air’s 737 air fleet. This is big news, as the program allows new pilots to forgo the traditional pathway through regional airlines and go straight into a career flying Boeing aircraft. And even more enticing is that this program includes a monthly stipend, medical benefits, a 401(k), transportation and accommodations.

Jet Blue Airways “University Gateway” Pilot Pathway Program

Last year, Vaughn College announced its partnership with JetBlue Airways as part of the airline’s ‘University Gateway’ Pilot Pathway Program. This is the airline’s longest-running pathway program that allows flight students who attend Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)-accredited institutions—such as Vaughn—to apply and interview for positions at JetBlue while completing their collegiate courses. Once accepted, students will follow a defined path to gain experience and build their flight time before joining JetBlue as first officers upon completion of the program.

Heritage Flight Academy

Vaughn’s contract with Heritage Flight Academy gives Vaughn aircraft operations (flight) students the opportunity to put their knowledge into action—at the controls and in the air—by giving them direct access to the latest technology, equipment and skilled flight instructors. Since 2013, Heritage Flight Academy—located at MacArthur Airport on Long Island—has trained hundreds of Vaughn aircraft operations students as part of its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved Part 141 training operation. Check out our blog to learn more about this partnership and how it benefits students: “Vaughn’s Long-standing Partnership with Heritage Flight Academy Gives Pilot Students an Edge.”

The future you

Today’s college students are zeroing in on more career-focused majors that will land them get jobs before the ink dries on their diplomas. Airlines need pilots—and that need will remain for many years to come. Could you be next? If becoming a pilot was ever on your radar, now is the time to act.

The demand for commercial drone pilots is soaring as industries are relying on drones—or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—now more than ever before. According to Research and Markets, the demand for drone pilots is expected to grow by 51.1 percent over the next five years, with sales projected to reach over $16 billion by 2030. And that’s just from select markets. This brings up the question: Which industries are paying the highest salaries for these skilled aviators?

This month, Vaughn College explores this high-flying career as we showcase the top-paying drone pilot jobs and what it takes to put you behind the controls.

The career paths of drone pilots

Before we explore the top-paying jobs for drone pilots, it’s important to discuss some of the factors that can determine their salaries—such as how they choose to work and where. Drone pilots have the flexibility of choosing how they wish to work. Here are the possible paths and what they entail:

  • Self-employed drone operator—These experienced drone pilots operate their own businesses and have a strong understanding of the industry. Self-employed drone pilots possess a strong entrepreneurial drive and can adapt to uncertainty in the workplace. This path may offer the most flexibility—but it also comes with the greatest risk. These drone pilots are responsible for finding their own work, negotiating their own rates and obtaining necessary licenses and insurance for their businesses.
  • Freelance drone operator—The freelance path is popular with many drone pilots since they may work for different companies on a project-by-project basis. Many find freelancing a preferable option since they can set their own schedules and rates. They do, however, have to obtain their own licenses and insurance, as well as secure their own work.
  • Professional drone operators—Professional drone operators are typically hired as freelancers. To build their portfolios and expand their network, most will register on portals such as dronebase, io and precision hawk. The benefit of this practice is two-fold: It allows businesses to hire drone pilots who are local while helping freelancers find work according to their preferences.
  • Full-time drone operators—Those who are seeking consistent income may consider working as full-time drone operators. These UAV pilots typically work as part of a team.

Are you a drone enthusiast? Check out our blog, “Turn Your Love of UAVs into a High-Flying Career.”

Salaries and demographics

According to the latest numbers from Glassdoor, the median total pay for a drone pilot in the United States is $85,159, with an average salary of $54,128. The additional estimated pay of $31,031 may include perks such as cash bonuses, commissions, tips and profit sharing. It’s important to note that salaries vary, depending on the industry and location. For example, drone pilots who work in mapping and surveying top the charts as the highest earners in comparison to those in film and video, which place last. And when it comes to location, drone pilots working in the West earn the most money in contrast to the South, which pays the least. So, that brings us to the UAV jobs that pay the most. Read on to learn which drone pilot jobs are paying over $100K a year.

UAV Jobs Paying Over $100K

Are you a drone pilot or UAV enthusiast looking to start an exciting, high-paying career? Some of today’s hottest industries are paying six-figure salaries for experienced drone pilots. Check them out!

Surveying and mapping engineer—Salary: $115,000

Graphic Information Systems (GIS) specialists are embracing drone surveying to conduct their topographic surveys. By using drones, they can reduce the time and expense of the surveys as well as the burden that’s placed on field professionals who use traditional methods. This industry advantage is putting these drone pilots—surveying and mapping engineers—in high demand.

Real estate photographer—Salary: $107,500

Today’s real estate market is hot. This means that real estate drone photographers are in high demand. Buyers love seeing aerial views of a property since it provides a birds-eye view of its appearance, proportions and surroundings. In fact, according to the multiple listing service (MLS), properties with drone photographs are up to 68 percent more likely to sell than those without.

UAV pilot instructor—Salary: $100,600

Drone pilot instructors teach those who want to improve their flying and operational skills through industry-leading training. They provide valuable insight on the theory and practice of unmanned flight as well as student mentorship and guidance.

Inspection and monitoring—Salary: $100,600

In this field, drones are used for the safe and efficient collection of data for pollution monitoring, powerline inspection, forest fire detection, railway track inspection and disaster monitoring, among other tasks. The UAVs used for these tasks resemble a helicopter that’s able to collect comprehensive data at low altitudes via equipment which is installed under the drone. The high level of detail and accuracy of ground inspection and monitoring make this a valuable and low-cost option, as well as being advantageous for drone pilots in this industry.

Search and rescue—Salary: $100,000

When time is of the essence, using drones in the capacity of search and rescue can be the difference between life and death. These drones provide real-time visual information and data in the aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as being used by firefighters, disaster response and rescue teams. And it’s also important to note that drones have been an invaluable tool for helping to locate missing and lost persons.

What it takes to command a high salary?

Does piloting drones sound like a career you’d like to pursue? The proper certification and training can set you on an exciting path to becoming a UAV pilot. But there are other factors that come into play when you compete for these high-paying jobs, which include:

  • Experience
  • Skill level
  • Industry

As you can see from the high-paying jobs we discussed, drone pilots can expect to not only earn a competitive salary but have well-paying job opportunities for years to come. In fact, some data reveals that approximately 100,000 new jobs could be created in the drone industry over the next 10 years. Will you be one of the industry’s next drone pilots?

How Vaughn can help get you there

Vaughn College is one of the select colleges in the country that offers classes in UAV technology, usage and drone law―all of which will help fully prepare you in every aspect of the field. We also have communities for like-minded UAV hobbyists, such as the UAV club, where students and faculty put their heads together to build, program and compete in top contests around the nation. And were you aware that Vaughn’s UAV Club has been instrumental in getting the word out in the past by hosting the highly anticipated festivities surrounding International Drone Day (IDD) and National Drone Safety Awareness Week?

Is being a drone pilot in your future? Discover the possibilities of how our Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Design, Application and Operation Certificate can help put you behind the controls. Apply today!

While companies are investing billions of dollars to bring a true autonomous vehicle to the consumer market, today’s drivers are enjoying some cool self-driving technology that is available as either standard equipment or as options on newer cars. You may even be driving one now!

So, the question remains: Does a self-driving car really drive itself? The answer is a bit more complex than the question. Let’s just say that autonomous vehicles may in time give new meaning to the term “back seat driver.”

This month, we explore the latest advancements in self-driving cars and the autonomous features that experts predict will eventually shift autonomous vehicles into the fast lane.

Accelerating into the future

According to the Global Forecast report, the global self-driving car market is expected to grow to 62.4 million units by 2030—up from 20.3 million units in 2021. With revenue projected to reach nearly $326 billion by the end of 2030, the automotive industry is laser-focused on developing driver assistance systems that will pave the way for self-driving cars. Although, fully autonomous vehicles are still years away, some car makers have promised self-driving cars to be available to buy as early as 2024.

What is a self-driving car?

Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are driven by digital technology and use driverless assistance systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI). With the growing demand for safety as well as environmental factors, this technology is geared toward producing safer cars that can avoid the risk of accidents and help reduce energy consumption—not to mention insurance costs.

Why safety is driving the market

Consumers are all about putting safety first—especially when it comes to their cars. That’s why safety features continue to be a deciding factor when choosing a vehicle. And this safety concern applies not only to drivers in the U.S., but across the globe. The driver support technology of today is designed to help reduce the workload of anyone who operates a car. Were you aware, for instance, that driver error is the cause of over 94 percent of all vehicle accident deaths? To help assist drivers—and reduce the number of accidents—governments across the world have mandated that certain driver support systems be incorporated into cars. These mandated safety features include:

  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB)

Other popular (but not mandatory) driver support features are:

  • Intelligent or adaptive cruise control
  • Hands-free capability

Levels of self-driving technology

In order to get a better understanding of where the industry stands on the self-driving car spectrum, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has broken everything down by sorting the technologies into six levels (from 0-to-5).

Levels 0 – 2: Driver support features

  • Level 0: Driver must be present to react to a warning or threat. For example, the car may be equipped with sensors, blind-spot alert system or lane-departure warning but has no self-driving capability.
  • Level 1: Driver support technology, such as a lane-keeping system, is considered Level 1 technology. This feature can slightly intervene to help steer the car to the center of a lane.
  • Level 2: Level 2 systems are the most sophisticated technology that’s currently sold on cars in the U.S. Although these cars allow drivers to take their hands briefly off the steering wheel, they must keep their eyes focused on the road at all times and be ready to take control of their vehicles immediately.

Levels 3 – 5: Autonomous capabilities

  • Level 3: A vehicle ranked at Level 3 can drive itself in a restricted scenario. The driver must be present and ready, however, to take over the controls when prompted.
  • Level 4: A vehicle with a Level 4 system can drive itself, but only under “perfect conditions,” such as a fixed loop on known roads. These vehicles may or may not have a steering wheel or pedals. Level 4 rideshare vehicles, such as Waymo’s (formerly Google’s self-driving car project), are in operation with limited use.
  • Level 5: A car at Level 5 will be able to drive itself on any road, in any conditions—and without any restrictions. To date, this car exists only in theory.

Are you revved up about self-driving cars? Pursuing an engineering degree at Vaughn College is a great start to find a career as an engineer in this exciting and futureproof industry. There are many engineering occupations related to the development of self-driving cars including:

  • Electrical engineer: works with anything involving electricity in the car
  • Mechanical engineer: works with vehicle mechanics and design
  • Robotics engineer: works on robots that power the car and integrated technologies
  • Validation engineer: works to test and validate the computing platforms
  • Sensor system engineer: works with sensor systems such as radar, lidar, GPS, sonar and cameras
  • Systems engineer: maintains wireless and aerospace satellite communication systems and cloud computing systems
  • Computer programmer: writes and tests computer programming code

Professionals in the self-driving car industry require strong mathematical, analytical and computer engineering skills and there’s great earning potential. Many companies around the world are actively working on autonomous vehicle technology such as Waymo, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Ford, BMW and Toyota.

You can also check out our blog, “Engineering Ranked Among Most Valuable College Majors” to discover even more possibilities of a Vaughn engineering degree. Apply today!

The race is on for the return of supersonic air travel. With the reality that supersonic jets could once again be “on the horizon,” aviation corporations and travel enthusiasts alike are gearing up for an exciting ride.

This month, we take a closer look at the latest developments in supersonic air travel and how soon it may be before you could be whisked away to your next destination.

History repeating itself

It’s been nearly 50 years since Concorde—the first supersonic commercial jetliner—began flying passengers across the Atlantic in 1976. Built by a joint venture between aviation manufacturers in Great Britain and France, the historic supersonic plane had a maximum speed that was over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (Mach 1 is the speed of sound), or 1,354 mph at cruising altitude. Concorde—which had seating up to 128 passengers—was retired in 2003, leaving travelers wondering if they would ever experience the thrill of supersonic flight again. Until now.

A supersonic future

Last month, Canadian jet company Bombardier introduced the Global 8000 private aircraft—the world’s fastest and longest-range purpose-built business jet that is also equipped with the industry’s healthiest cabin for safety and comfort. As a global leader in business aviation, Bombardier announced the Global 8000 aircraft as the only true four-zone cabin business jet to have a range of 8,000 nautical miles (9,206 miles) and a top speed of Mach 0.94—making it the fastest business jet in the skies. Eric Martel, president and chief executive officer at Bombardier stated: “The Global 8000 aircraft leverage the outstanding attributes of the Global 7500 aircraft, providing our customers with a flagship aircraft of a new era.” Last year, the Global 7500 broke through the sound barrier during a test flight when it reached a top speed of Mach 1.015, while accompanied by a NASA F/A chase plane. The Global 8000 aircraft is expected to enter service in 2025.

Commercial travelers will have to wait a few more years before flying the supersonic airways—but it will be worth it. Imagine flying from New York to London in less than four hours, or from San Francisco to Tokyo in six? Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based company, is designing the Overture—the world’s fastest commercial airliner that will cut travel time in half—for the price of a first-class ticket. Boom Supersonic is committed to designing Overture for the purpose of meeting industry-leading standards in speed, safety and sustainability. This historic airliner will be carbon-neutral, using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). And when it comes to speed, the Overture will break the sound barrier—and then some. With speeds expected to reach Mach 1.7, the Overture can accommodate up to 88 passengers and take them on a supersonic journey to explore more of the world via more than 500 transoceanic routes. Blake Scholl, founder and chief executive officer of Boom Supersonic stated: “We believe in a world where more people can go to more places, more often. Sustainable supersonic travel unlocks new possibilities for business relationships, prospects for vacation and opportunities for human connection.” Overture is expected to begin flying commercially by 2030.

Getting on board with supersonic

In June 2021, United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to enter into an aircraft purchase agreement with Boom Aviation when it ordered 15 supersonic planes with a goal of having them be able to carry passengers in 2029. Additionally, United Airlines agreed to an option to purchase up to 50 more supersonic jets—once the company has achieved successful production of a plane that can fly faster than the speed of sound. Mike Leskinen, vice president for corporate development at United Airlines stated: “At 60,000 feet with big windows, it’s going to be an amazing experience.”

Lowering the boom

Despite the excitement surrounding supersonic air travel, one of the biggest challenges manufacturers will face is reducing the sonic boom, which is the strong sound wave that is produced when an aircraft flies faster than the speed of sound. Today in the U.S and other countries, commercial supersonic flight is banned over land, although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on changing that. In 2020, the agency established a designated corridor over Kansas where civilian supersonic aircraft could be tested. Sonic booms are not only loud and disruptive to civilians, but they are known to shatter windows and cause injuries. It is for these reasons that the Concorde was restricted to flying above oceans.

Who can fly a supersonic airliner?

Currently, there are no supersonic airliners approved to fly over the land. Any new aircraft would need to meet current airworthiness and noise certification requirements set forth by the FAA. That being said, training required of pilots to fly supersonic airliners is still being confirmed, however, military fighter pilots would likely be the most qualified to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Do you have a passion for flight? The ongoing pilot shortage is making this career one of the most sought-after in the industry. Vaughn College has degrees in aviation that can help you earn your wings for a futureproof career. Apply today!

If you use wireless services, you’re most likely experiencing the amazing benefits of the new 5G frequency. But were you aware of the impact that 5G is having on the aviation industry?

On January 19, 2022, the United States launched 5G services in 46 markets that use frequencies in a radio spectrum called the “C-band.” Since this rollout, there’s been widespread concern in the aviation industry that these frequencies could interfere with the aircraft’s radio altimeter, which is an important piece of equipment that can help serve as the pilot’s eyes on takeoff and landing. So, how is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) keeping the skies safe through it all? We take a deep dive into this important topic, so you know what to expect if you’re traveling this summer.

What is 5G technology?

Essentially, 5G technology is the fifth generation of mobile networks that is now considered the global standard. With unprecedented speed and higher bandwidth, 5G is transforming the way we communicate by adding higher flexibility and scalability. Why then is this affecting the aviation industry? The answer lies not with 5G technology itself, but the spectrum it is being used on; specifically, the C-band, which is deployed at a frequency band of 3.7-3.98 GHz.

How is 5G posing a disruption risk to aviation?

According to the FAA, the frequencies in the radio spectrum of the C-band can be “close to those used by radio altimeters.” This vicinity is causing interference issues with the radio altimeter radar. To mitigate this potentially hazardous interference, the FAA issued an airworthiness directive (AD): “…revising the landing requirements of certain Boeing 737 aircraft where 5G interference could occur.” According to the agency, this specific series of aircraft relies on the radio altimeter, including auto throttle, ground proximity warning, thrust reversers and Traffic Collision Avoidance System.

It’s important to note that the AD does not apply to landings at airports where:

  • The FAA determined the aircraft radio altimeters are safe and reliable
  • 5G isn’t deployed

Other safety restrictions the FAA has imposed to mitigate the interference issues include:

  • Ensuring radio altimeters are accurate and reliable
  • Imposing restrictions on flight operations that use certain types of radio altimeter equipment that are close to antennas in 5G networks

In order to understand the impact this might have on flights, it’s important to understand the function of a radio altimeter.

Here is what radio altimeters do:

  • Provide highly accurate information about an aircraft’s height above the ground
  • Relays data to other safety equipment on the plane, including navigation instruments, terrain awareness and collision-avoidance systems

How radio altimeters help pilots and co-pilots:

  • Serve as their eyes on take-off and landing
  • Gauge landing gear on both take-off and landing
  • Gauge when and how hard they hit the brakes

The FAA continues to work every day to reduce effects of this disruption as we make progress to safely integrate 5G and aviation.

Why some airports have temporary buffer zones

Since the rollout of C-band this past January, a temporary buffer zone was placed around 50 U.S. airports to ban the new 5G coverage for six months. Wireless companies—including AT&T and Verizon—have been working closely with the FAA by switching off their transmitters and making other adjustments to the C-band 5G signal in the frequencies around airports in these buffer zones. For now, these temporary zones—which encompass about one mile around landing runways—ban this frequency, thus giving planes a 20-second signal-free window as they make their approach for landing.

How the FAA is protecting travelers

According to the FAA, aviation in the U.S. is the safest in the world. Here is how this agency backs up its statement:

  • They rely on data to mitigate risk
  • Never assume that a piece of equipment or a given flight scenario is safe until this can be demonstrated
  • Obligated to restrict flight activity if there is a risk to the flying public—and only resume activity if they can prove it is safe

The agency reports it is working with manufacturers to determine which altimeters are accurate and reliable in the U.S. for 5G deployment, and which ones need to be retrofitted or replaced. The FAA is working to ensure that radio signals from newly activated wireless telecommunications systems can coexist safely with flight operations in the United States, with input from the aviation sector and telecommunications industry.

Are you interested in a career in aviation? Vaughn College has a range of aviation bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs to choose from, experienced faculty, small class sizes and a stellar reputation. Schedule a meeting with our admissions team today!

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionizing the aviation industry as immersive technologies shape the future of aviation and aviation training as we know it. With wide applications in the global aviation market, growth in VR and AR is projected to reach in the billions over the next decade.

This month, Vaughn College explores the excitement surrounding VR and AR and how these technologies are rapidly becoming valuable assets for today’s aviation giants.

Billion-dollar game changer

According to a new aviation report by Visiongain Research Inc., where the aviation market is concerned, the industries of AR and VR are set to grow to $4.6 billion by 2030. This impressive growth is setting the pace for unprecedented training and maintenance practices that are streamlining operations and making the industry safer—not to mention reducing costs.

Virtual reality vs. augmented reality

Before we dive into the amazing advantages of virtual and augmented reality, it’s important to understand the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality.

  • Virtual reality: VR allows users to be fully immersed in a virtual world where everything they see is virtual. For example, in a flight simulator, a pilot-in-training will see the runway, the sky and flight controls all in a virtual world.
  • Augmented reality: AR involves providing the pilot, for example, with real-time data and digital elements on condition such as terrain, weather, navigation and traffic—all via a headset. This technology can significantly improve aviation safety during takeoff and landing.

Technology on the ground brings safer skies

Airline travel is considered one of the safest methods of transportation. But did you ever wonder what it takes to earn this reputation? From pilots to aircraft mechanics—and every job in between—the lives of millions of people rest in their hands on every flight, each day, around the world. Today, VR and AR are taking a front seat to traditional aviation training methods of these critical jobs. Here are some of the ways in which VR and AR aviation training practices are transforming the aviation industry to keep travelers safer in the skies:

VR flight simulator training

There’s no denying that pilot training is a costly, risky and time-consuming process. Today, simulating the pilot experience using VR and AR is providing pilots with “in-flight” training where they don’t need to leave the ground, thus making the process safer and more cost-effective. For example, VR flight training can simulate difficult and dangerous scenarios without putting anyone’s life at risk. In the past, traditional pilot training in a real aircraft would put lives and millions of dollars at risk in the event of pilot error. Today, with VR and AR, pilot error is considered an on-the-job teachable opportunity. Have you been considering a career as a pilot? At Vaughn, you can “take off” in our $1 million flight-simulator lab with a member of our professional and experienced flight faculty by your side. You’ll experience a fleet of training devices as you watch your career take off in this exciting and rewarding field.

System design AR training

Building and maintaining an aircraft is no easy feat. It requires highly skilled engineers, designers and aircraft mechanics (link this as well) who possess extreme precision and concentration. After all, there is no room for error, as one mistake can have devastating consequences. AR smart glasses are proving to be a real industry game changer for improving performance and minimizing losses. Aviation companies are getting on board as they are integrating AR with human support. Boeing, for example, is experimenting with AR glasses that are designed to assist technicians with interactive, hands-free, 3D wiring diagrams that can adjust in real time. On the engineering side, AR technology is being used to improve aircraft wiring repairs, which can keep a plane in the air longer and grounded less. Even Lockheed Martin has developed AR technology that is assisting NASA to fasten the construction of the Orion spacecraft! Check out our blog to learn more about how AR and AI is transforming the aerospace industry.

Aviation maintenance

Aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs)―also known as airframe and powerplant (A&P) technicians―work around the clock for the safety of travelers by ensuring every plane passes inspection before leaving for its destination. Up until now, AMTs would gain experience by working on the actual aircraft that was in need of repairs. Today, VR and AR training simulators allow aviation mechanics to learn and inspect parts of an aircraft remotely in a completely immersive environment. Airbus mechanics, for example, are using VR technology via a VR headset, touchpads and infrared cameras to inspect and repair their aircrafts. Did you know that over 626,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years according to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2021–2040? If becoming an aircraft maintenance technician is your calling, then the ATI Program at Vaughn is the perfect launching pad where you can earn your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved A&P certificate to prepare for a high-paying career. Vaughn offers many degree programs in this exciting, high-paying field that can open many doors for students interested in aviation careers. You can also read about many Vaughn student journeys to becoming aircraft mechanics including Angela Wright ’20, Mahdi Machahi ’13, Daniel Cianov ’21 and others.

Ramp handling training

You may never have given the ground crew too much thought—until your luggage gets lost. The reality is that ramp handling is so much more than just cargo handling. This specialized staff is responsible for the plane while it’s still on the ground. Here are just a few of the responsibilities of ramp handlers:

  • Ground handling—Boarding services, catering, cleaning, etc.
  • Ramp services—Involves everything related to aircraft maintenance, including drainage, refueling, deicing and cargo handling that encompasses luggage loading and air freight, among other tasks.

So, how can VR and AR assist with the training of ramp handlers? Workers can wear headsets that immerse them in a visual airside which allows them to interact with virtual aircrafts and various scenarios.

Cabin crew VR training

An airplane’s cabin crew does so much more than serve refreshments and demonstrate safety instructions. They are responsible for your safety and ensure that all the equipment on board—such as life vests and extinguishers—are present and in working order. Additionally, members of this crew are required to monitor the cabin for any suspicious behavior. Now, imagine VR training where cabin crew members can immerse themselves in medical emergencies or dangerous or difficult real-life situations, such as hijackings or an imminent crash? This technology can be a true lifesaver, as VR flight training technology allows for virtual mistakes—with no harm done—and provides the needed experience when it counts the most.

Interested in a cool technology job? Check out our blog, “Top Technology Trends: The Jobs to Look for.”

Make your futureproof career a reality. Discover how a degree in engineering and technology, management or aviation from Vaughn College can set your on a path of success. Apply today!

There’s something in the air that is revolutionizing aircraft production. Advances in 3D printing—or additive manufacturing (AM)—are catapulting demand for lightweight 3D printed components to such a high degree that the aerospace market is projected to grow beyond $3 billion this year and reach $6.75 billion by 2026. So, what is driving this unprecedented demand for AM components in the aerospace industry?

Here, we will explore the latest advancements in AM and discuss the reasons why 3D printing is transforming the current trends in aerospace and space manufacturing.

Technology beyond tradition

Additive manufacturing is not a new concept. In recent years, in fact, aircraft manufacturers have seen how this technology has advanced beyond its traditional scope and reached a stage for aerospace applications. Industry giants that include Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are regularly producing tens of thousands of 3D printed aircraft. Having seen an increase for AM in 2021, the space industry is right there with these companies. Jordan Noone, co-founder of Relativity Space, said using 3D printed components is the new baseline for engines. He estimated that every new rocket engine that entered the market last year had 3D printed components on it. Also reaping the rewards are engineers who are discovering how 3D printing can solve some of their most complex issues. The hope for 2022 is that Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)—the process of adjusting a design to make it less expensive, faster and more effective—will go by the wayside and yield more design freedom. Engineers have been tasked with conceding to the manufacturability of a product instead of designing the best part possible. Industry experts believe one of the keys to moving 3D printing for aerospace and space forward is to give engineers the design freedom to print the parts they need and want—including lighter ones—that perform better and even consolidate into a single component.

To summarize, here are some of the key reasons why aircraft makers are embracing AM technology:

  • Design freedom
  • Ability to create complex, customized and one-of-a-kind parts
  • Cost reduction
  • Lighter in weight

Investing in the future

As aircraft production experiences its greatest transformation, aerospace original equipment manufacturers have met the demand by investing in large-scale AM machines and projects to achieve the revolutionary part consolidation requirements for new generation aircraft. In 2021, Boeing, along with many of its competitors, kept its AM division busy by establishing a fully controlled and distributed 3D printing network. Boeing produced parts for its aircraft remotely and securely on EOS 3D printers directly, along with 3D printing aerospace-grade materials to make their components.

Achieving a sustainable process

Industry experts agree that sustainable, biodegradable and bio-social printed materials will play a major role in the future of AM. That’s because additive manufacturing uses considerably less material than traditional manufacturing processes. This means the upfront process of mining raw materials, converting them to a printed material and transporting them to the point of printing is greatly reduced. Optimizing the part makes it weigh less and also enables its functionality to operate on a smaller space. The final result is a vehicle that is more streamlined, has less drag and requires less fuel. Although an increasing number of manufacturers have adopted sustainable 3D printing practices, some are raising the bar. Boeing, for example, recently implemented an AM sustainability initiative to examine the benefits of different manufacturing process scenarios. Boeing has also focused its attention on sustainability by adopting sustainable 3D printing practices such as:

  • Recycling its powder and filter condensate
  • Expanding the use of sustainable titanium powders in 3D printing processes
  • Recycling support structures
  • Designing parts so support structures are not needed
  • Using simulations and predictive modeling to ensure quality and first-time success for AM builds, reducing build iterations that create waste
  • Producing lighter-weight parts that can perform the function using less fuel

Join the next generation of 3D innovators

Do you have a passion for computer-aided design (CAD)? You could be trained and working in the field quickly. Our certificate in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) for Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing is designed with a strong career orientation that trains students to become experts in their fields, preparing them for entry-level jobs upon graduation. We also offer a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering: Computer-Aided Design which would give you the ability to design components of a mechanical system using the industry’s latest computer design programs. Vaughn also hosts annual manufacturing conferences where the latest industry knowledge, information and tools are shared across the community.

Looking for a career in engineering and technology, management or aviation? Vaughn has the degree programs that can help prepare you for a lifelong futureproof career. Discover the possibilities. Apply today.