An Analysis of the Market Potential for Distance Learning Opportunities in Transportation Professional Development

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Southwest Region University Transportation Center, Texas Transportation Institute., 2001 - Distance education - 47 pages
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One in seven jobs in the United States is related to the transportation industry and qualified employees are in high demand for these positions. The increased use of advanced technologies in transportation and the monumental leaps in the use of technology in all aspects of life has created a dilemma for transportation professionals. This dilemma is to find employees capable of working within this new technology influenced arena. Furthermore, the skills required of the transportation workforce are constantly changing and becoming more complex and diverse. Thus, there is also a need to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of current transportation professionals. Distance learning is an attractive means of enhancing KSAs because students are provided with the opportunity of anytime, anywhere learning. Additionally, the potential audience for distance learning courses is not limited to a specific region. This research investigated the feasibility and sustainability of a distance learning program at the Texas Transportation Institute through the Center for Professional Development. Through a literature review and an on-line questionnaire completed by current transportation professionals, the research examined the market potential for a distance learning program, including those engineering topics that are in high demand within various transportation organizations. Some other issues that the research addressed included an individual's willingness to pay for courses, potential frequency of participation, and preferred course delivery medium. The results yielded a determination of the feasibility and sustainability of such a program and a prioritized list of topics that will provide direction in the initiation of a transportation-related distance learning program.

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