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What do Google and aerospace have in common? A lot, it turns out, now that the tech giant has officially announced that it’s buying Titan Aerospace in an effort to cover the globe with Internet connectivity, compliments of balloons and drones from the sky.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported the acquisition on Monday, April 14, but it took two days to get a confirmation. Now, the aerospace team has said it will start working with “Project Loon,” a pet Google project, in order to create high-altitude balloons that will provide low-cost Wi-Fi to rural regions.
If you haven’t heard of Titan before, the company designed drones that are solar-powered and fly above sea level. A startup based in New Mexico, Titan says the drones can “fly continuously for years” because of solar-charged batteries located in the wings.
However, the technology hasn’t been proven yet. (What about severe storms?) This isn’t the first time Titan has had tech giants sniffing around: Facebook attempted to acquire the company to get 11,000 Solara 60 drones.
No Facebook friends here
The details of how or why the Facebook acquisition fell through are vague, but what’s known is that Facebook went with a UK aircraft company, Ascenta, instead. Ascenta and Titan use similar technology, so it appears that Facebook is also attempting to build a private global Wi-Fi network.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his thoughts on drones in a white paper. In his opinion, they’ll be better than balloons for providing Internet to rural areas.
It looks like Google has arrived at a similar perspective, because Titan is on board to garner data that will help Google Maps as well as a number of systems in far-off places. Google is also on track to acquire a number of robotics companies to help gather airborne data, such as Boston Dynamics, the makers of DARPA’s killer robots.
Staying on top of things
The same way you wouldn’t want to miss out on re-certification for your career, Google isn’t taking any chances in building a veritable robot army. It’s rumored that the search giant might be angling to create a GATAMAM system, or Google all-terrain automated mapper, analyzer, and manipulator, which can instantly get data to support many services and simultaneously connect them around the world.
Google says, “Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world. It’s why we’re so excited to welcome Titan Aerospace to the Google family.”
To the rest of us, though, this may sound more like another step toward world domination by Google.
April 16, 2014 was a gloomy day for Google and its investors. Stock prices dipped three percent in after-hours trading.
This is the first time this quarter that earnings and sales alike fell short of expectations. The biggest concern was the massive nine percent loss in payments that came from marketers per ad on the many Google sites.
Google is charged with encouraging marketers to pony up cash for mobile ads just like they do for desktop ads, but that’s been a tough sell.
It’s no secret that mobile users have outpaced desktop users recently, but for some reason marketers haven’t been willing to make that jump with them just yet. With so many expert marketing agencies Google has to woo, Chief Business Officer of the tech giant, Nikesh Arora, says that “The journey is just beginning for advertisers on the mobile side.”
As retailers scramble to play catch-up and incorporate responsive design to make themselves mobile-friendly, ads get moved to the back burner.
Google’s clock is ticking
That’s an understandable conundrum, but it does nothing to support Google’s stock values. Arora notes, “Right now, we can lead the horse to water, but we can’t make it drink.”
The company is pushing an enhanced campaign that debuted in 2013, and centers on making advertisers purchase across multiple platforms. But it hasn’t been the segue piece that Google had hoped would take off.
But the picture is not all doom and gloom. Google reports sales of $15.4 billion in 2014’s first quarter, which represents an increase of 19 percent compared to 2013.
Plus, people are clicking on 26 percent more advertisements in comparison with last year, and total earnings are at $3.45 billion, which is also better than 2013. This comes on the heels of the two-for-one stock split in early April 2014, which provoked considerable controversy.
A classy move
Google now has new Class C shares, which are traded under the GOOG ticker but do not allow investors to enjoy any voting rights at the annual shareholder meetings. If you have Class A shares, you still get voting rights.
The split was approved in court after a group of shareholders filed a lawsuit to block it from happening. That may have contributed to the 5.5 percent stock decline in the past 30 days.
Be that as it may, Google is moving forward, and spending big bucks on new technologies such as the recent purchase of Titan Aerospace. Purchasing a startup to get hold of solar-powered drones might give Google the boost it needs to drive stock prices back in the right direction.
If a drone can’t save Google, what can?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has some very promising news for prospective college students considering IT degrees and future careers. IT roles have career outlook rates that are much higher than the national average for all careers. Those exploring roles like computer and information systems management have a career outlook of 15% growth in the years before 2022. Those looking into computer systems analysis have a 25% career growth rate to look forward to. Many of these roles only require an undergraduate degree in technology, along with professional certification. Here are some of the main reasons why you should think about a future degree and career in IT.
High Education ROI
The cost of college tuition is only getting higher, and students are taking out enormous loans to cover the cost of college. Careers that require graduate level degrees can make the burden even worse, causing students to become mired in debt. A degree in IT can quickly pay for itself, since employees in this field can make an average of $60,000 – $100,000 with just a bachelor’s degree.
It is unlikely that our future job market will ever stop relying on IT professionals. Businesses are becoming increasingly data driven, and they need professionals to manage network operations, hardware, data storage, and security. If anything, there will be an increased demand for IT workers in the coming decades. Network systems and computer work is an industry that professionals can count on for steady growth.
Due to the nature of the curricula, students can often find IT degree programs and training courses offered both online and on campus. Distance learning options are ideal for those who want to earn a degree around their work schedules and family commitments. Online courses can be accessed at any time of the day from any location, giving students ultimate schedule and area flexibility. And students who need some classroom face time can always select a college that uses blended format curricula or hosts classes exclusively on campus.
It is unlikely that you’ll ever get bored in tech industry. There are countless IT education opportunities for various business software solutions, networks, and cloud systems Those who take specialized education programs are more likely to be hired by employers who rely on these systems. Before you enter a job, make sure to carefully examine the systems they rely on.
Career outlooks for IT professionals are extremely favorable. These forecasts, combined with a high ROI on IT training make this a compelling field to enter. This is an excellent time to consider new training and career opportunities in technology.