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Future Skill Requirements in Transportation Engineering and Implications for Graduate Curriculum Design | Journal of Civil Engineering Education


The transportation engineering field is currently experiencing a profound transformation driven by technological evolution, which highlights the importance of preparing students for the types of careers that will be available to them in the future. Although transportation engineering programs in the United States are typically at the graduate level, the majority of existing research has focused on undergraduate courses. This study focuses on master’s-level transportation engineering curricula, with the goal of investigating how changes in employment opportunities and day-to-day work responsibilities of transportation engineers over the coming 5–10 years will inform the topics that graduate-level curricula should include to set students up for future success. The study consists of in-depth interviews with a range of academics and practitioners and subsequent analyses of interview transcripts using thematic analysis methods. Seven themes were derived, pertaining to three categories: future opportunities, identified skills, and program structure observations. The three thematic categories are not independent, and their interactions with one another hold information that can lead to recommendations for the design of transportation engineering master’s programs.

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