Logistics College and University Degree Program Options
Logisticians are concerned with the flow of products, payments, and information between consumers and suppliers. They are responsible for a product from start to finish, including production or acquisition, distribution, delivery, and resource disposal. Students interested in a career in logistics can pursue several education options, including an A.A.S. in Business Logistics Management, a B.A. in Logistics Management and a M.S. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Associate of Applied Science in Business Logistics Management
An A.A.S. degree program in Business Logistics Management combines the study of business and management essentials with practical training in relevant logistics technology and computer information systems. Students in this associate's degree program learn to communicate effectively with employees, review supply and demand trends, and coordinate product delivery. Emphasis is placed on critical-thinking and diligent record-keeping as it relates to supply chain management. Other topics of instruction include inventory control, warehouse and distribution management, traffic management, and international logistics.
Prospective students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply and may be required to demonstrate proficiency in basic math and writing skills through an assessment test.
Associate's degree programs in business logistics management are typically two-year programs. Courses focus on materials handling, economics of transportation and distribution, materials requirement planning, and principles of traffic management. Some common core courses include:
- Introduction to business
- Principles of management
- Introduction to accounting systems
- Management information systems
- Introduction to supply chain management
- Leadership and human resource management
- Professional sales and customer service
- Software applications for logistics
Popular Career Options
Graduates typically find entry-level management or supervisory positions in the fields of distribution, materials management, inventory control, warehousing, supply chain management, and transportation. Some graduates opt to transfer to a bachelor's degree program to continue their logistics education. Common career options include:
- Freight coordinator
- Inventory control specialist
- Warehouse manager
- Transportation broker
- Cargo operations specialist
Bachelor of Arts in Logistics Management
This program focuses on the effective management of supply chains. Students learn to enhance customer service, reduce inventory costs, and help organizations become more competitive in a global market. Other topics of instruction include transportation regulations, strategic planning, logistics cost analysis, and the use of information technology in supply chain management. The logistics major can choose to concentrate on the operations track, which focuses on marketing and sales, or the systems track, which trains students to analyze data for strategic planning.
Most B.A. programs in logistics management take four years of study to complete and often include an internship with a local firm. After completing this program, students are eligible to become professionally certified by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. Common coursework includes:
- Business ethics
- Principles of purchasing management
- Finance and economics for managers
- Inventory and warehouse management
- Transportation systems management
- Export shipping and U.S. customs
- Introduction to operations management
- Leadership and organizational behavior
Popular Career Options
Graduates are prepared for careers in manufacturing logistics, warehouse management and distribution, purchasing management, and information management. While the most common educational background for logistics employees is a bachelor's degree, some graduates choose to expand their career with graduate studies in logistics. Some popular career options include:
- Logistics specialist
- Operations manager
- Cost analyst
- Production manager
- Global distribution manager
Master of Science in Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Students in this program learn to design, implement, and manage an organization's logistics and supply chain systems to achieve competitive objectives within the global marketplace. Leadership, management, and analytical skills are highly emphasized within the context of the supply chain. Other topics of study include database modeling, inventory control, and demand forecasting. Students are required to complete and defend a thesis project based on original research in the field of logistics, which will emphasize technical writing and presentation skills.
The most common educational prerequisite for a master's program in logistics is a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field, such as engineering or mathematics. Common admissions requirements include minimum GRE scores and undergraduate GPA.
A master's program in logistics and supply chain management consists of lectures, case studies, and industry interaction. Common core coursework includes:
- Logistics systems optimization
- Algorithms and applications for data mining
- Advanced topics in logistics and supply chain management
- Analysis and design for engineering systems
- Theories of operations research and management
- Strategies for negotiation
- Enterprise modeling
- Database and systems integration technology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A broad range of career fields are available to graduates of a master's degree program in logistics, including manufacturing, retail, distribution, and consulting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the mean annual salary for a logistician was $75,670 in May 2012. Another career option for graduates with a degree in logistics is management consulting. Employment opportunities for management consultants (also called management analysts) are expected to increase by 22% between 2010-2020; the employment of logisticians is expected to grow by 26% during the same time frame. The average annual salary for a management analyst was reported as $88,070 by the BLS in May 2012.
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