Why Get a Master's Degree?

Words of Experience

To Prospective Students

Please keep in mind that I’m writing from the perspective of a University of Idaho undergraduate student who went on to do graduate work in Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho.

Graduate school afforded me the opportunity to mature both personally and professionally.  Personally, I had more time to assess potential career paths and strengthen my character through knowledge and experiences.  Professionally, I could focus on a discipline that I enjoyed.  I was able to study in-depth academically, apply my knowledge to real-woYuri Meresczak, MSCE, 2005rld situations, and gain contacts with other professionals.  I began to realize that I was part of a very large team - transportation professionals around the world - who are collectively working towards a better way to move people.  What a motivating thought!

Yuri Mereszcak
M.S.C.E. '05
Kittelson and Associates

Are Advanced Degrees Worth Money?

Yes, according to MSN Encarta®

Higher education pays off in the workplace!

"An advanced degree really can be worth millions of dollars in earnings over the course of a career. In fact, almost any step forward in education results in a significant upward bump in income--the further you go in school, the more you are likely to earn.

"Education has always paid off, but the income gap between education levels is expanding. According to the Census Bureau, in 1975 workers with an advanced degree--that is, a master's, professional, or doctoral degree--earned about 1.8 times what high school graduates did. By 1999, those with advanced degrees pulled in 2.6 times the salary a high school grad could expect to earn."

Take a Job or Finish the Degree? My advise . . .

I have been asked to prepare a quick statement to emphasize the importance of completing all Master’s degree graduation requirements before departing Moscow for full time employment. This I can fully attest to as it directly applies to what I had done.

I left Moscow at the end of July 2005 and did not complete all requirements until May 2006. Continuing to work towards completing my thesis after working a full 8-hour day, or doing thesis work on Saturdays and Sundays after the work week was over, was an incredibly difficult thing to do.

It is exactly why the small amount of work that remained to be done took nearly 10 additional months to complete.

Jesse Birchman, M.S.C.E. '06
Transportation Engineer
The Transpo Group, Inc.  jesseb@thetranspogroup.com

Working in teams . . .

One way NIATT helps you in your future career is by creating teams of graduate and undergraduate students in different disciplines, in which you can work with a faculty member on a real problem.

“What I have always appreciated about NIATT is its focus on skills for the real world centered on practical applications and field work in an environment that requires team work, sound communications, and mutual respect. In my opinion, this type of teaching encompasses the needs of today’s work force. Technical people must be able to work as part of multidisciplinary teams and convey complex ideas to those with a variety of experience and expertise.”

Joseph Marek
Traffic Engineer and Development Review Manager
Clackamas County, Oregon
M.S.C.E. '89

A Career to Count on . . .

According to U.S. News and World Report, one career you can count on is a career as a traffic engineer. And, as the article states, "producing tangible change is a source of job satisfaction for many."

In the 2002 article, Andrew Curry states that "most traffic engineers have a B.S. in civil or electrical engineering or computer science," but "a master's degree and state certification are often helpful."

Meet some NIATT grads


National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology

University of Idaho
115 Engineering Physics Building
Moscow, ID 83844-0901
Phone:  (208) 885-0576
Fax:      (208) 885-2877
E-mail:   niatt@uidaho.edu

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