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Transportation Degree Programs

Discover the types of transportation degree programs, including transportation design and logistics. Find out about careers in transportation and salary projections in this field.

What Is A Transportation Degree?

You will discover that there are actually a couple of different types of transportation degree programs. There are programs designed for students who are interested in designing and engineering transportation systems, as well as cars, planes, trains and other machines. There are also transportation degree programs that deal with shipping and supply chain management, or logistics. These programs deal with the way companies supply the country with their goods and services, and will train you to manage that part of a business' operation. Regardless of which type of transportation degree you are interested in, you will find programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Degree Specializations Logistics, shipping, supply chain management, transportation systems engineering and design
Transportation Design Courses Marine transportation, traffic systems, transportation legislation, railroad operations, transportation science
Logistics Courses Purchasing, human resources, inventory, goods distribution, enterprising
Learning Environments Traditional classroom are available for all programs; distance learning programs are only available for select disciplines
Median Salary (2018) $103,380* (for all industrial production managers), $86,640* (for all civil engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Learn How To Design Transportation Systems?

If you're a prospective transportation engineer, there are many programs to explore. Many schools offer bachelor's degree programs in transportation design through their engineering or design departments. Usually, the core curriculum of a bachelor's degree program will include classes like transportation science, transportation legislation, railroad operations and marine transportation. Degrees may also include elective courses that cover automobile, plane and train design.

In a master's degree program, you will be required to choose an area of interest, such as transportation systems engineering, transit systems planning or traffic systems. Each area of interest includes its own selection of elective courses covering relevant topics. Additionally, most master's degree programs will emphasize independent study and you will need to complete a thesis.

What Programs Can I Find for Shipping and Logistics?

You can study the logistics end of transportation at several academic levels. If you are seeking an entry-level position in the logistics field, you'll find many associate degree programs to provide a foundational education. Courses typically cover topics like inventory, purchasing and distribution of goods. There are also many bachelor's degree programs in logistics which include much of the same course material as an associate's degree, but add upper-level business and management electives such as marketing, finance, management science and organizational behavior. You will also find that most schools that offer undergraduate logistics programs will also have a master's degree programs in their catalog. Your master's degree curriculum will focus on human resource management, enterprising and supply chain management.

Are Any Of These Programs Offered Online?

You will find a small handful of schools that offer online transportation degrees meant for prospective civil engineers or transportation system designers. Online logistics programs at the undergraduate level are more common; courses are similar to campus-based counterparts. In order to take an online class, most schools require you to use a high-speed Internet connection in conjunction with a browser like Internet Explorer. Many programs will also require you to use Microsoft Office software to complete your assignments. It is also a good idea to download some media players, such as Apple QuickTime or Macromedia Flash Player, so that you may view course materials and lectures.

What Career Opportunities Can These Programs Create?

Pursuing a program focused on transportation systems, their design, implementation and development may help you land in a civil engineering job. Most entry-level civil engineering jobs will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree. A 2018 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the median annual salary of civil engineers as $86,640 (www.bls.gov). Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. An undergraduate degree in logistics or supply chain management can open doors to a career working in a shipping facility or helping to manage one. Completing a master's degree will help qualify you to work as a supply chain or industrial production manager. The BLS discovered that in 2018, industrial production managers earned a median annual salary of $103,380.Employment of industrial production managers is projected to show little or no change at -1% from 2016 to 2026.