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Bachelors Degree in Logistics: Program Overviews

Logistics involves the transportation, purchasing and organizing the goods and inventory of a business. The most common degree available for students interested in studying logistics is a Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Read on for information on required courses, continuing education and the employment outlook for graduates.

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Essential Information

A 4-year degree in logistics and supply chain management provides students with an overall background in the areas of business, management and operations. It trains students to understand inventory cost, operations management and customer service principles. Graduates should also have the training necessary to handle supplier selection, purchasing negotiations, transportation of goods, warehousing concerns, electronic commerce and any other aspects that might constitute the practical logistics of business operations.

The majority of the courses offered in a logistics and supply chain management undergraduate degree program are provided through classroom lecture, written assignments and seminars. Some universities even offer the majority of their logistics courses online. Students are encouraged to participate in an internship or work co-op experience before graduation in order to obtain the real-world experience necessary to gain a position in the business field.

Education Prerequisites

As with most 4-year universities, colleges offering bachelor's degree programs in logistics typically require applicants to have a high school diploma as well as the requisite standardized test scores. Before enrolling in a logistics program, students are also often required to complete some general education courses, such as college mathematics, composition, English and economics.

Program Coursework

The courses in a logistics bachelor's degree program focus on both business theories and practicalities. Some examples include:

  • Marketing theory and practice
  • Business law
  • Transportation management
  • Service management
  • Strategic management
  • Business planning
  • Logistics systems analysis
  • Tourism logistics
  • Advanced supply chain management

Popular Career Options

There are a few different types of positions available for graduates of a bachelor's degree program related to logistics. The most common type of position available is a management position. These positions can have a range of titles, however, including:

  • Retail buyer
  • Logistics manager
  • Cost analyst
  • Contract manager
  • Procurement manager
  • Global distribution manager
  • Inventory control specialist
  • Production coordinator

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects about average employment growth of 10% for transportation, storage and distribution managers, including logistics managers, from 2010-2020, and these managers earned a median annual salary of $81,830 in May 2012 (www.bls.gov). Slower-than-average growth of 7% is expected for purchasing managers during the same decade, and the median annual salary for this career was $100,170 in May 2012. The BLS expects slower-than-average growth of 9% for wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products, during the 2010-2020 decade, and the median wage for these professionals in May 2012 was $51,470.

Continuing Education Options

There are a few master's degree programs for students interested in continuing their studies in logistics. Most graduate programs in the subject allow students to focus on a particular aspect of logistics and management, and have titles such as a Master of Science in Global Logistics or a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. The programs can last anywhere from 1-2 years and include advanced courses in business and operations management. They also typically require the completion of a thesis paper or project that analyzes a particular business strategy or principle.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics