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An Industry with Options


When it comes to opportunities in the job market, transportation is an exciting industry for today’s future workforce, experts say. The demand for skilled professionals in an astonishing of variety transportation-related careers is only expected to rise in the coming years and decades, and students from nearly any discipline, from science to business, can get set to ride the wave to career opportunity.


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A combination of factors—you could call it a “perfect storm”—are colliding to make transportation an attractive industry for the next generation of opportunity-seekers: there’s the industry’s impending retirement boom; the need for new U.S. roads, bridges, airports, and pipelines; and an increase in international development and overall global growth.


Then there’s the fact that transportation is expanding into the 21st century at a breakneck pace: issues like clean energy, economics and the forthcoming integration of new technologies like the autonomous vehicle are creating new challenges and new opportunities—meaning new jobs—that are ideally suited to the skills that today’s tech-savvy, economically-conscious, eco-aware Millennials have to offer.

In a mega-industry like transportation, which accounted for a substantial chunk of economic output and growth in the U.S. last year, an upsurge in growth naturally means that variety follows suit: The demand for transportation professionals will extend well beyond the sciences and into the sectors of business, manufacturing, government, management and beyond, say experts. Transportation is earning a nickname as an industry offering “something for everyone.” This variety is no surprise, considering that transportation serves billions of people and moves a staggering quantity of goods across the globe on a daily basis. To picture the true vastness of the transportation industry, challenge yourself to name just five percent of the different skilled positions it truly requires to transport one ton of merchandise from the United States to China. But instead of starting your list with “delivery driver,” start it with road designer and go from there. If you’re thinking outside of the box, you’ll be naming transportation industry careers all day.

The key takeaway? For future career-goers with a taste for variety and a penchant for opportunity, transportation is a quickly growing industry that’s worth exploring. Even individuals who are already preparing for specific careers are in a situation to capitalize: you can hardly do better than having picked a solid career, but you can really one-up yourself by picking a growing, dynamic industry like transportation in which to set up shop.

If you’re curious about the transportation industry after you watch the accompanying video, check out previous issues of Fast Forward; you might find our environment and safety-themed issues to be particularly informative in terms of researching the future of the industry. You can also check out our Careers Page to explore just some of the wide variety of careers the industry has to offer.

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