Six Degrees For People With A Passion For The Transportation Industry

Published on: April 30, 2024

The internet has made it easier than ever for people to connect with each other, stay in touch, and purchase goods online. However, the transportation industry plays a crucial role for people to get together or receive the goods they have ordered. Without the transportation industry, there would be no trade and commerce on a national or global scale. Many people also rely on the transportation industry for their livelihoods, as it enables them to travel safely between urban, suburban, and rural areas. Students who are passionate about the transportation industry and want to learn more about the complexities of transportation systems and networks can benefit from the following degrees. 

Transportation Engineering

Transportation Engineering is a specialization for a B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering. This degree is aimed at students who want to be involved with planning, designing, operating, and maintaining transportation systems, including highways, railways, public transport systems, traffic control systems, and more. To be successful in this field, students require technical knowledge in engineering and technology, project management skills, and the ability to use analytical software. Transportation engineers can find employment at transportation corporations, construction companies, engineering firms, and state or local governments. Transportation Engineers can also specialize in roles such as highway, traffic, or safety engineers. It is also common for transportation engineers to get licensure as a professional engineer to advance their career prospects and earning potential. 

Urban Transportation

Urban Transportation is available as a specialization option when completing a Master of Urban Planning & Policy degree. This specialization teaches students the basic management concepts of urban public transit systems. It also provides them with an understanding of the role of transportation of urban areas and familiarizes them with transportation funding and financing. Students are taught how to plan for equitable and efficient transportation systems, and the degree emphasizes multi-model transportation. Completing this degree will equip students with the knowledge of how to use planning and technology solutions to address travel needs and mobility problems. This degree is helpful for students who want to work in public agencies or private transportation companies.  

Rail Transportation Engineering

A Bachelor of Science degree in Rail Transportation Engineering prepares students for rail freight and passenger transportation careers. In addition to engineering design, this program also focuses on the maintenance and management skills needed to work in the rail industry. This is done via course topics such as wheel and track dynamics, railroad communication and signals, railroad history, engineering of rail and track structures, rail operating practices and safety, and construction and maintenance of railroad infrastructure. A Rail Transportation Engineering degree specialization is useful for careers in the freight, passenger, and transit sectors with employers ranging from large railroad companies to engineering consulting firms, government agencies, railway suppliers, and more. Career options include rail engineering, railroad transportation logistics, network planning and operations, railway construction management as well as railroad track design and maintenance. It is a great degree choice for students who are passionate about engineering and transportation, as rail transportation is enjoying a resurgence as a sustainable transportation option.   

Marine Transportation

Students with a passion for marine transportation can complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation to gain access to a broad employment field. The oceans are still home to some of the biggest trade routes, and every country has numerous ports that continue to expand in size. A marine transportation degree can prepare students for shoreside management positions or shipboard employment. Courses may include Seamanship, Terrestrial Navigation, Marine Dry Cargo Operations, and Maritime Meteorology, and typically, students are also taught to prepare for the U.S. Coast Guard STCW licensing exam. 

Aviation Management 

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management degree is available as either a flight or non-flight major. This degree can prepare students for careers in airline operation, air transportation, airport management, airport consulting, and much more. Students are taught courses in areas such as aviation, business, airport management and development, and air transportation management. Students interested in the business side of air transportation can also opt for a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration degree. This degree covers aspects such as economics, management of aeronautical science, business marketing and management, and human resources. Completing an Aviation Business Administration degree can open up career opportunities as an aircraft analyst, airport operations specialist, airport duty manager, crew coordinator, and more. 

Supply Chain, Transportation, and Logistics Management

A Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain, Transportation, and Logistics Management Degree can prepare students for various careers in the transportation industry. After completing this degree, students will be able to distinguish between the strengths and weaknesses of various transportation modes and apply analytical models and information technology concepts required for the management of supply chains. Course topics include supply chain fundamentals, global logistics and transportation, business logistics systems analysis, and decision-making in a global environment. Students can go on to work as logistics managers, supply chain analysts, supply chain consultants, global logistics coordinators, operations managers, and other jobs that deal with the transportation of goods. 


The transportation industry has plenty of career paths that only require experience, training, or specialized certifications, but there are plenty of reasons why a degree can be beneficial. For example, the industry's leadership, management, and specialized technical roles can be competitive, and a degree can help with career advancement. A relevant degree can also aid people already working in the transport industry with their professional development and give them a broader understanding of the industry. In addition, as with many other industries, transportation has become increasingly automated but still requires people with the right technical skills and knowledge to oversee vital aspects.

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