What's likely the best higher education value in the Country is being offered right here in the Valley.
Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, will begin offering classes for certification in some cutting edge technology, later this month.
It's called the "Imagery Analysis Program". The 2-year certification program would normally cost you 18-thousand dollars. But, you can get it now for 640-bucks.
Jim Retka, MN Workforce Development: "Based on the data we have you're looking at 60 to 70-thousand dollars for a starting wage."
The federal government is picking up most of the education bill.
Right now they're getting ready to install unmanned aircraft simulators and other equipment in this classroom… similar to this UAS center.
Students will be trained to analyze the growing mountain of data being accumulated by unmanned aircraft. Everything from providing security… to checking pipelines and crops.
Sterling Williams, Northland College: "The job market for unmanned aerial systems imagery is expanding by leaps and bounds every year."
Williams says the technology is moving out of the military and into many private companies. He says companies in our region already have plans to provide all kinds of crop information to farmers via unmanned aircraft. And Williams says all those companies will need imagery analysts to decipher all that data coming in from the skies above.
Officials say the program to train imagery analysts should also soon be available online. If you're interested, you can find out more on their web site. www.northlandcollege.edu/aerospace/