Most applicants associate transportation careers with engineering degrees, but there's at least one other way to land a job in the transit industry. A graduate degree in transportation can land applicants the same jobs as their engineer counterparts, often with a more highly specialized list of courses and a lesser quantitative focus. As a result, this program is particularly attractive to those professionals who did not attend an undergraduate engineering or transit program. When considering the exact jobs that can be made available by this specialized graduate degree, it's a good idea to keep an open mind and consider a wide array of exciting possibilities.
One of the most popular jobs for applicants with a transit-specific graduate degree is to oversee infrastructure planning, funding, and policymaking. This field is increasingly important in the United States, where public and private studies have estimated that thousands of bridges and roadways need to be replaced or significantly refurbished in order to be considered safe. In most cases, professionals with an interest in planning or analyzing the nation's infrastructure will use their degree to land a high-level government job in public policy. Their careful research, analysis, and ongoing studies will help them advise lawmakers and government officials on the moves necessary to keep the nation moving freely and safely from coast to coast.
Traffic Design and Planning
Another important and popular job among this set of professionals is a job planning highways and traffic patterns in communities of all sizes. Whether it's planning for a new office facility alongside a popular road or widening a highway, this job will make sure that the finished product is easy to navigate and friendly to regular commuter flows. Once again, this type of job is most popular in the public sector. It should be noted, however, that traffic designers and planners can find similar rewarding careers with private contractors who bid on government work. There, their expertise may help modify construction plans and schedules to keep projects commuter-friendly.
Directing Mass Transit Agencies
Cars aren't the only way to get from one place to another, which is why many people with this type of degree end up working for mass transit agencies in urban centers across the country. Instead of planning for wider highways and an easier morning commute in private vehicles, they'll use their advanced academic pursuits to plan for better train schedules, procurement of new and more efficient equipment, and new types of messaging that engage the public and drive them toward mass transit and away from highways. They may also plan new expansions to bus and rail service, assist with planning and administration of taxi services or Uber legislation, and work on other, smaller projects that exist within the mass transit category.
Lobbying and Public Advocacy
Another popular option is working in a lobbying capacity. Instead of working on traffic and transit studies, professionals who work in this capacity would instead focus on furthering awareness of the needs of traffic planners all across the country. The goal of these professionals is to secure as much funding as possible for "shovel-ready" traffic and transit projects, advocating for more funding of mass transit, pushing for better highway safety standards, and much more.
Great Opportunities for a Unique Master's Degree
Transit is a key interest of planners and average citizens from coast to coast. This unique Master's degree program would make it easier to land a job planning, financing, and lobbying for changes to the nation's most important infrastructure. As a result, the transportation careers available with this degree are virtually limitless.
Related Resource: What Careers are Available with a Master's in Urban Planning?