Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Employability

Studying at ITS is rewarding in its own right, but is only one part of a longer journey.  Many students come to ITS in order to be able to get a good job afterwards, and thus embark on a career in transport.

A Masters degree in Transport opens up a range of career options - 97% of our recent graduates have successfully secured employment in a professional or managerial role or have gone on to further study within six months of graduating (data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) - Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2016 data www.hesa.ac.uk).

ITS has close working relationships with a number of organisations and many employers visit ITS each year to interview our students for graduate schemes and other vacancies. Our students are in particular demand and have a good reputation with transport consultants, and may receive an offer of a consultancy job during their course, before or shortly after graduation. ITS also regularly circulates specific job vacancies to students. The organisations that have advertised and/or recruited directly from ITS include:

 

A degree from the Institute for Transport Studies opens up a range of opportunities to develop a challenging and rewarding career. Transport consultancies are the largest employers of ITS graduates, but other common careers include those in government, academia, operators, logistics companies, not-for-profit and international agencies. 

ITS graduates work across the private and public sectors. Many work abroad; for UK companies with overseas offices, for international organisations or for national governments.

Consultancy

For many ITS students the natural progression is to a job in consultancy. There is a long tradition of consultancies recruiting directly from ITS, ranging from small outfits to large multinationals with offices around the globe. The large consulting firms score highly on their brand name and graduate training programme, whereas smaller firms can often offer a niche environment.  

Overseas Government

Many international students are sponsored by their government to come to study at ITS. Of these, some are already working in the transport sector (typically as a Planner, Highways Engineer or other role in their respective Ministry of Transport) whereas others may be just starting out on their career. On graduation, some students stay in the UK, others return to their home country, and some take up jobs in other countries – but all apply their new vocational skills and knowledge.

Where our students are now

Since the formation of the Institute for Transport Studies in 1972, hundreds of individuals have taken their first steps on a transport career path at ITS. These graduates now span every continent, and can be found in over 58 countries to date. They are spread over a variety of companies and job roles, such

  • Asian Development Bank – Transport Specialist
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council – Senior Transport Policy Officer
  • JMP Consultants Ltd – Senior Transport Planner
  • Uganda Road Fund – Planning Manager
  • Mayer Brown Ltd – Transport Consultant
  • Atkins – Senior Transport Planner
  • University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – Associate Professor
  • Network Rail – Station Capacity Planner

Read about Laurence Venables, a 2015 ITS graduate, and his experience so far working for JMP. Watch Emma Anforth, a 2006 Transport Planning graduate from ITS, talk about her job at JMP, which involves environmental planning and research in order to find the best ways to improve and introduce new transport links for traffic and pedestrians. This video is the third in a series of four videos that were made by Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region and The Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport. 

Visit the ITS Alumni pages to find many more profiles of ITS graduates from all over the world.

As a student at the Institute for Transport Studies, you will be provided with a wide range of support which is geared towards helping you secure employment after graduation. Each year there are a number of events provided both by ITS and the University’s Careers Centre in order to help you find the right employment for after you graduate. 

We have a dedicated Careers Consultant from the Careers Centre who works with ITS students, delivering bespoke presentations and one-to-one consultations with students on their career plans. We also put on ITS-specific events with the ITS employability officers – in the past, this has involved recent or part-time ITS students discussing their own work experiences within the transport sector. 

The Careers Centre run a number of careers fairs throughout the year, at which employers will be available to meet and discuss possible job opportunities with. These are designed to help you gain an understanding of some of the graduate recruiters out there, and find out what they do and who they are looking to recruit. The Careers Centre also delivers workshops to boost your employability, including everything from improving your CV to getting through assessment centres, as well as employer presentations to help you get an insight into a particular career or network with specific graduate employers.

Industry mentoring scheme

In 2017-2018, the Institute for Transport Studies launched a new initiative to offer an industry mentoring scheme for Masters students. The programme links students with a mentor who has volunteered their time to assist in developing career ideas, confidence and employer awareness.

“I met my mentor a few days before a job interview. She gave me a lot of tips that turned out to be really useful during my interview. The information that she gave me about her work was something that I could never find on a website. The Industry Mentoring Scheme has been extremely helpful for me.”
Gopika Avanoor, MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering (Mentee)

"I decided to become a mentor because I wanted to help current Masters students with their job search. Both sides can benefit from this process. Students get helped at the beginning of their career, which is very important, and alumni can improve their skills such as networking and can keep in touch with future alumni."
Ariadni Michou, Graduate Consultant, AECOM (Mentor)

Read more about the industry mentoring scheme here.

ITS employer visits

Some of the most successful events that we run at ITS each year are our employer visits. At these events, companies from the transport sector visit the university in order to give presentations, and interview our students for graduate positions and schemes that they have available. Following this, many students are then invited to second interviews at the company premises, and often students gain employment as a direct result of the employer visits. Even those students who are not offered a job at this stage have positive experiences, as it is viewed as a unique chance to gain invaluable experience with recruitment processes and interviews with transport employers before graduating.

Companies who attended the employer visits in 2017 and 2018 include:

  • Atkins
  • AECOM
  • Leigh Fisher
  • Jacobs
  • Arcadis
  • Arup
  • NetworkRail
  • Mott MacDonald
  • WSP
  • WYG
  • Civic Engineers
  • CH2M
  • Systra

Here’s what some of the companies who have attended say about the employer visits:

“Atkins has a long history of recruiting from ITS. Indeed many of our senior consultancy staff are ITS postgraduates – three senior managers/directors from my MSc class alone! We know the commitment students are making when they undertake a course at ITS and value the breadth and depth of their resulting knowledge – which makes them more flexible to different employment challenges in the short-term and gives them the foundations to become acknowledged experts in their long term chosen fields.”
Andrew Merrall, MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering ITS, Atkins

“WYG has participated in several employer days and have found them a very successful recruitment route. We have always found the ITS Leeds students we interview to be highly motivated and have useful transport planning skills. As a result, we have recruited several over the years.”
John Pattinson, WYG

“The quality of candidates at ITS is exceptional, and only getting stronger every year. The focus the courses place on the needs of the industry and understanding the wider nature of transport produce outstanding graduates. Jacobs hire ITS candidates globally through their employer visits and wider application processes.”
Gavin Thomson, Jacobs

Here’s what some of our students have to say about the employer visits:

“I found the two days absolutely beneficial because they made me realise my future career aspiration, they made me know various different companies and different kinds of jobs and they gave me a great chance to practice for future interviews.”
Agnese Polonara, MSc Sustainability in Transport

"The employer visit quite literally is an open door into different companies. We get the chance to talk to senior consultants, graduates in employment and recruitment teams. I recommend it to all students seeking to build a career in the UK."
Oana-Corina Tuinea, MSc Transport Economics

“Through my role as the students’ representative last year, and personally as well, I clearly realised that the Employer Visits at ITS are not only very useful but also very rare among the UK universities. The preparation for and the involvement in those interviews were extremely useful for everyone, to build or improve their skills in 'promoting' themselves professionally in a real-world context. It is important to say, that I got positive feedback from students that were either offered a job or not.”
Konstantinos Kostovasilis, MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering

ITS Employability Officers

Academic:

Dr James Tate

J.E.Tate(at)its.leeds.ac.uk

Support staff:

Tessa Grant

T.J.Grant(at)leeds.ac.uk

The University of Leeds Careers Centre

Our on-campus Careers Centre is one of the largest in the country. It offers an excellent range of services and has a great relationship with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre is the place to get advice about what to do after university, help with finding work experience, improving your CV and dealing with job applications. The Careers Centre also holds training events and workshops to assist you with your career progression.

Leeds for Life is a unique approach to helping you make the most of the University and prepare for your career from day one. Leeds for Life will help you enhance your employability by highlighting the wide range of co-curricular opportunities on offer from the University and the Students’ Union. You can join societies, get involved in volunteering and undertake projects in the UK or overseas, or you can attend academic conferences that will help you develop your knowledge and skills. You can also access valuable career insights from our diverse graduate community via our online career networking tool, the Leeds Network

Industry and academia – working together to teach tomorrow’s transport leaders. 

We have re-designed our Transport Masters degrees following close consultation with industry and academia. 

Our aim is to give each new generation of graduates a real understanding of the world of transport today, and in the future. Graduates will combine cutting edge theory with hands-on practice and enter the work force armed with the following skills…  

  • A strong focus on industry needs.
  • A deep understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of transport.
  • A holistic overview of transport problems and approaches to policy formulation.
  • Real hands-on experience of what’s like to work in the transport sector with a newly launched industry-inspired integrated project.  

If you are looking to recruit well-qualified graduates please contact Linda Hartland for more information. 

You can attend our annual employer visits, delivering a presentation to students, interviewing them, or simply sending in a job vacancy advertisement for circulation to current students and/or alumni. 

Interested in developing your current employees? All our Masters degrees are delivered part-time. 

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