Identification of Workforce Skills Sought in Transportation Industry: What do job ads look for?

Transportation agencies compete with more resourceful technology and start-up companies to recruit and/or employ a workforce well-versed in emerging topics such as autonomous systems, sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. In addition, transportation agencies are mostly not on the job search radar of the workforce from fields such as computer science and electrical engineering who happen to possess the sought-after skills. Thus, it is important to understand how to recruit and retain a skilled workforce, educate students from fields that DOTs traditionally recruit from (e.g., civil engineering, planning) with necessary skills, and train the existing workforce not to fall back in the technological advancement trend. This project aims to identify the workforce skillset pursued by DOTs based on recent job advertisements and identify potential variations concerning urban density and locality for example urban vs. rural. The transformative potential of research can only be realized if the gap between the state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice is reduced. In the mid-to-long term, this can be achieved most effectively by educating the future generation of researchers and practitioners who embrace the same principles that lead to an accessible, multimodal, and equitable transportation system. In the shorter term, the training and education programs for the existing workforce can start bridging the gap between research and practice. This project is the first installment of envisioned REAT Center projects that aim to fill this gap. This project will document the sought-after skills by DOTs by analyzing the job ads (obtained via DOTs directly or through job ad sites) with text mining tools to extract the common skills and qualifications. Accordingly, a survey for transportation professionals will be developed to inquire about their perspectives on necessary skills. The findings will inform the subsequent research that will identify the need for tutorial and training modules for the existing workforce and the curriculum change recommendations for the new generation of transportation professionals.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $Federal: $65,793 Matching: $17,736
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Florida A&M University, Tallahassee

      404 Foote/Hilyer
      Tallahassee, FL  United States  32307
    • Project Managers:

      Moses, Ren

    • Performing Organizations:

      Stony Brook University

      100 Nicolls Road
      Stony Brook, NY  United States  11794
    • Principal Investigators:

      Yazici, Anil

    • Start Date: 20230601
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240531
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01896750
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Rural Equitable and Accessible Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348321
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Oct 19 2023 4:52PM