Logistics Degree

By Henry R. Steele - April 27, 2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes

The field of logistics is a part of supply chain management, and the two are often confused. Logistics is about what happens within just one organization, whereas the supply chain refers to multiple companies and how they feed in to a single organization. Logistics covers the 7Rs, or seven “rights”, which are:

  1. Right product
  2. Right customer
  3. Right quantity
  4. Right condition
  5. Right place
  6. Right time
  7. Right cost

All of that have to be handled by a logistics manager, whose role is to oversee the full range of activities involved in ensuring that the company has the right supply of services and goods. Today, this is known as integrated logistics, which focuses on customer service, purchasing, production planning, warehouse, and transport.

Opportunity

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians earned an average annual salary of $74,170 as of May 2015 at the bachelor’s degree level. The BLS has predicted that there will only be a 2% growth in demand for logisticians from 2014 to 2024, which translates to just 2,500 new jobs. This is slower than the national average. One of the reasons for this is that, more and more commonly, the role of a logistician is being taken over by the supply chain manager. In response to this, a lot of universities now combine supply chain management and logistics in their degree programs.

Career Paths

There are many career paths available for logisticians, as they are required in many different industries. The BLS reports that:

  • 26% work in manufacturing, earning $73,880 per year on average
  • 22% work in federal government, earning $82,660 per year on average
  • 17% work in professional, scientific, and technical services, earning $75,000 per year on average
  • 9% work in management of companies and enterprises, earning $73,380 per year on average
  • 7% work in wholesale trade, earning $65,060 per year on average

Payscale.com has reported on common career paths and associated salaries, for those with an MBA (master’s in business administration) with a concentration in supply chain and logistics management. This report shows that:

  • Logistics Managers earn an average annual salary of $80,000
  • Operations Managers earn an average annual salary of $59,815
  • Demand Planners earn an average annual salary of $52,981
  • Database Administrators earn an average annual salary of $52,000
  • Production Managers, Manufacturing earn an average annual salary of $100,000
  • Operations Supervisors earn an average annual salary of $49,000
  • Directors of Operations earn an average annual salary of $124,800

Salaries

Geographical location is one of the key factors influencing how much someone can earn in any profession, including that of logistics. The BLS has reported on the top five states to work in as a logistician, which are:

  • The District of Columbia, with average annual earnings of $100,440
  • Maryland, with average annual earnings of $89,490
  • Alabama, with average annual earnings of $87,870
  • Alaska, with average annual earnings of $87,050
  • California, with average annual earnings of $86,520

Meanwhile, Payscale.com has also looked at cities in which logistics managers often work, which showed that those working in:

  • St. Louis, Missouri, had average annual earnings of $60,000.
  • Seattle, Washington, had average annual earnings of $120,000.
  • Columbus, Ohio, had average annual earnings of $87,500.
  • Greensboro, North Carolina, had average annual earnings of $95,000.
  • Wichita, Kansas, had average annual earnings of $52,000.
  • Atlanta, Georgia, had average annual earnings of $44,000.
  • Rockford, Michigan, had average annual earnings of $52,981.

Employers

Different employers also have highly varying remuneration packages. Indeed.com has reported on popular employers and their associated salaries, which are:

  • Google, with average earnings of $99,511 per year
  • Executive Recruiting Partners, with average earnings of $98,290 per year
  • SkillSet Group, with average earnings of $95,799 per year
  • Menlo WW Logistics, with average earnings of $90,673 per year
  • Cameron Craig Group, with average earnings of $89,029 per year
  • AutoPro Technical Recruiting, with average earnings of $84,697 per year
  • Caterpillar, with average earnings of $94,728 per year
  • Systematic Business Consulting, with average earnings of $83,794 per year
  • Lockheed Martin, with average earnings of $78,305 per year
  • ABB, with average earnings of $79,042 per year

Bachelor’s Degree

In order to gain a lucrative career in the field of logistics, you’ll definitely need a good education. This starts with a bachelor’s degree. For the convenience of students, and to remain relevant with the developing digital world, many schools now offer their degree programs online. At the same time, on campus studies continued to be popular. One example of a bachelor’s degree in logistics is offered by Colorado Technical University.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Logistics and Supply Chain Management is ACBSP accredited, which is one of the highest standards of business education. It has also been rated by the U.S. News & World Report for three years in a row.

The curriculum includes:

  • Technical and Professional Writing
  • Speech Communications
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introductory Written Communication
  • Professional Written Communications
  • American Government and Public Affairs
  • Modern American History: 1950 to the 21st Century
  • Introduction to College Math
  • Algebra for Business
  • Data Driven Statistics
  • Data Driven Decision Making
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Introduction to the Sciences
  • Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • Academic and Career Success
  • Humanities Elective
  • Accounting I
  • Accounting II
  • Research Design Methods and Applications
  • Global Managerial Economics
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Management of Human Resources
  • Managing Organizational Change
  • Spreadsheet Applications
  • Management Fundamentals
  • International Business Communications
  • Organizational Behavior Principles
  • International Business Practices
  • The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • Business Law I
  • Operations Management
  • Business Policies and Strategies
  • Business Capstone
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Introduction to Logistics/Supply Chain Management
  • Career Planning and Management
  • Introductory Business Practices
  • Quality Management
  • Transportation and Distribution Management
  • Material and Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Negotiation
  • Contract Management
  • Procurement and Acquisition
  • Logistics/Supply Chain Management Capstone

Master’s Degree

Completing a master’s degree is even better in advancing your career. This will give you the opportunity to gain advanced skills and knowledge in your field, and set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. As with bachelor’s degrees, many master’s programs are now also offered online, which makes it easier than ever to complete a degree without having to completely stop working.

For instance, the University of Southern Mississippi offers the Master of Science in Logistics, Trade and Transportation, which is available online. See also 10+ best online supply chain MBA degree programs.

Admission Requirements

Each school is entitled to set its own admission requirements for a master’s degree program. Nevertheless, the requirements are usually quite similar across the board due to the fact that they are used to ascertain that an applicant has the academic capacity to complete a program at the graduate degree level. For example, the admissions requirements at the University of Southern Mississippi are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose and goals.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL/IELTS for non-native English speakers

Curriculum

Schools are allowed to set their curriculum for a particular degree program as they see fit. What this means is that you need to make sure that enroll for an accredited program in an accredited university, as this guarantees prospective employers that your degree included courses that meet the minimum requirements for the profession. For instance, the curriculum for the Master of Science of Logistics, Trade and Transportation at the University of Southern Mississippi includes:

  • Production and Inventory Control Systems
  • Lean Production Systems
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Logistics Transportation Systems
  • Logistics Distribution Systems
  • Advanced Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Design and Management
  • Supply Chain Modeling and Analysis
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Topics in Engineering Technology
  • Biostatistics
  • Marketing and Business Development
  • The New Economy
  • Economic Development Theory & Research Methods
  • Technology-Based Entrepreneurship in Economic Development
  • Workforce Analysis
  • Organizational Behavior and Leadership
  • Analytical Decision Making
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Financial Management
  • Global Business Systems
  • International Law and Organization
  • Latin American Political and Economic Development
  • International Security
  • Software Design and Development
  • Private Security: Law and Loss Prevention
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Globalization
  • International Security
  • Seminar in Homeland Security
  • Lean Production Systems
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Logistics Transportation Systems
  • Logistics Distribution Systems
  • Advanced Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Modeling & Analysis
  • Global Supply Chain Panama Study Abroad Sample
  • Industrial Internship
  • Basic Economic Development Course
  • Technology Based Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Online
  • Marketing and Business Development
  • Production Technology
  • Supply Chain Design & Management
  • Global Supply Chain
  • Supply Chain Design & Management

Financial Assistance

Aside from the substantial amount of time that is required in pursuing an education, especially a master’s degree, there is the large amount of tuition and other costs. Fortunately, the university of your choosing will be able to signpost you to financial aid, and they may also have scholarships and grants available that you can apply for. At the same time, there are a number of external scholarships that you may want to consider. These include the:

  • Army Staff Sgt. Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Jr., Scholarship, to the value of $1,000.
  • Chuan Ai Lu Engstrom Memorial Scholarship, to the value of $1,000.
  • Clinton J. Helton Manufacturing Scholarship Award, to the value of $1,200.
  • Colgate-Palmolive Corporate Scholars Program, to the value of $5,000.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter WTS Undergraduate Leadership Scholarship, to the value of $2,500.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter WTS Undergraduate Scholarship, to the value of $2,500.
  • David R. Parsley Endowed Scholarship Fund for Supply Chain Management, with varying values.
  • Detroit Chapter One “The Founding Chapter” Scholarship, with varying values.
  • Elevate Scholarship Program, to the value of $500.
  • Evalee C. Schwarz Charitable Trust for Education Scholarship, to the value of $15,000.
  • Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship, to the value of $30,000.
  • Gorrondona & Associates, Inc./WTS High School Scholarships, to the value of $2,500.
  • GRCF Economic Club Business Study Abroad Scholarship, to the value of $2,000.
  • Guiliano Mazzetti Scholarship Awards, to the value of $1,000.
  • Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship, to the value of $3,500.
  • International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship, to the value of $1,000.
  • Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship, to the value of $1,500.

When you apply for a scholarship, this means that you have to meet certain requirements, such as studying at a certain school, taking on a certain concentration, aiming to work in a certain field, demonstrating financial need, having a minimum GPA, belonging to a certain minority group, being a member of a professional organization, or being of a certain gender.

Certifications

Certification in the field of logistics is not required but it is recommended. This demonstrates that you are committed to your own professional development, and to the advancement of the field. But remember that getting a certification requires further investments in time and money, and you often need to get continuous education credits to maintain it. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment because of the additional possibilities in your career. Some certifications that you may want to consider in the field of logistics include:

  • CLTD Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • Certificate in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
  • SCPro

Associations

It is a good idea to be a member of professional organizations as soon as you decide to study towards a degree in logistics, even at bachelor’s level. Such organizations often offer scholarships and grants that could help in financial your education, especially the master’s degree. In addition, by being a member, you will always be at the forefront of new developments within your field, ensuring that your skills and knowledge are up to date. Additionally, you may find it easier to obtain certain certifications and continuous education credits. You can also start building a professional network that will serve you well in boosting your career in the future. Some of the associations to consider are the:

  • American Society of Transportation & Logistics, Inc. – ASTL
  • International Society of Logistics – SOLE
  • American Trucking Associations, Inc. – ATA
  • Transportation Intermediaries Association – TIA
  • Delta Nu Alpha

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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