In the age of airplanes and automobiles, FedEx and Amazon, advanced transportation and logistics are an integral part of daily life that we often take for granted. However, the industry depends on professionals in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM). From determining the most effective way to transport goods and people across continents to designing structurally sound bridges and roads, STEM workers are the backbone of transport infrastructure. A 2019 report by Staffing Industry Analysts indicates that transportation and logistics jobs increased 49 percent year-over-year, proving that these careers are booming even during periods of slow job growth.1 The data shows that the transportation and logistics industry depends on STEM workers and offers many career opportunities for those looking to make a difference in the way our world moves.
Creating a Connected World
Cutting-edge technology and engineering innovations are driving logistics and transportation to new standards of speed and cost-effectiveness. An increasing number of firms are hiring STEM professionals to maximize supply chain efficiency and customer satisfaction.2 Businesses rely on STEM experts to enhance their logistics with advanced data analysis, forecasting, and even robotics used everywhere from warehouse sorting centers to delivery drones. Meanwhile, tracking technology is revolutionizing e-commerce, from big brands like Amazon and Google to small businesses. The demand for enhanced supply-chain speed and cost-effectiveness means that opportunities for STEM careers are only growing.
The State of the Industry
Although STEM is often associated with advanced degrees, many STEM careers in transportation and logistics are available to those with technical education. With the Department of Labor predicting 1.3 million jobs in the collision, automotive, motorcycle, and marine industries in 2018, there are job openings for workers ranging from Ph.D. scientists to skilled technicians.3
Regardless of educational background, job seekers can take solace that studies indicate that outsourcing may increase logistics jobs. While many workers find it harder to land a job as companies source cheaper labor overseas, the massive distribution network that outsourcing requires is creating more opportunities in logistics and transportation.4 The positions required range from warehouse workers and truck drivers to supply chain analysts and risk managers. After all, while companies may push production offshore, they still need to transport and distribute goods in the United States.
Transportation, Logistics, and Your STEM Career
For those with a university degree, transportation and logistics offer career options ranging from civil and industrial engineers to research science positions pioneering novel technologies. Businesses are seeking professionals in data analysis, technology, and robotics to improve their supply chains, and demand is growing with the online commerce boom.
Firms are also seeking skilled technical workers. Locomotive and aviation technology both have a high demand for technicians who can use the complex technology now integral to the industries. Employers are looking for candidates to learn skills through apprenticeships rather than universities. For those willing to study the ins-and-outs of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, a position as aviation maintenance technician provides a job making sure aircraft is in top condition. Similarly, technicians are in high demand for ground transportation. In 2019, the trucking industry hauled 72.5 percent of all freight tonnage transported in the US.5 As a result, diesel technicians and mechanics are expected to add nearly 10,000 jobs over the next decade.6
Revolutionizing Movement: The Future of Transportation and Logistics
The data show that transportation and logistics remain a lucrative industry with promising growth projections. STEM workers of all educational backgrounds should consider pursuing careers in this field, and businesses looking to revolutionize their supply chains should seek STEM professionals. Whether you’re looking to apply your knowledge as a jobseeker or find the best candidates for your company, AllSTEM Connections can help you succeed in our increasingly connected world. Visit our website at allstemconnections.com for more information.