Online Logistics Certificate, Certification and Diploma Programs

Online logistics and inventory management certificate programs teach students how to manage inventory and control the distribution, storage and maintenance of goods. This article looks at undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in logistics, including information on admissions requirements and courses.

Essential Information

Online certificate programs in logistics at the undergraduate level are rare. These programs can be completed entirely online in about one year. Online graduate certificates in logistics are more common, and they're primarily aimed at students with some experience in the field. These certificates can also be earned completely online.

Courses in both types of logistics certificate programs include distribution, inventory management and retail management. Credits earned in these programs may be transferable to degree programs in some cases. Students can also use this education to obtain certification from professional logistics organizations.

Related Degree Options

If an online certificate program in logistics doesn't seem like a good fit, consider these certificate and degree programs that utilize related concepts:

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management
  • Master of Business Administration in Global Operations

Online Undergraduate Logistics Certificate Overview

Online undergraduate certificate programs in logistics are available, but they are currently few in number. These programs equip students with the skills to manage and maintain a company's inventory effectively and efficiently. Most programs cover topics such as distribution and transportation, retailing and wholesaling, managing staff and supervising warehouses.

While any student with a GED or high school diploma is eligible to apply, students without a sufficient background in general education classes may be required to complete additional courses outside of their logistics curriculum. Students in online logistics certificate programs are allowed to work at their own pace.

Program Details and Information

Most schools that offer an online logistics certificate program for undergraduates do not require or expect students to spend any time in a classroom. Many are designed for part-time students. Assignments and lessons are provided in a variety of media formats and students are able to interact with instructors and other students via online chat.

Online undergraduate certificate programs in logistics require students to have a computer with a reliable Internet connection. Usually, an up-to-date operating system with an Internet browser that has Java capabilities is enough to get started. Additionally, students should make sure their computers are equipped with current video and audio media players, the majority of which can be downloaded and installed free of charge.

Common Undergraduate Logistics Courses

Online logistics certificate programs train students to effectively manage, maintain and distribute the inventory of a retail company or supply chain. Programs may include courses that discuss staff supervision, efficient distribution and organization management.

Distribution and Transportation Course

Students in this course discuss the efficient management of the distribution of goods. The class traces distribution from the warehouse to the consumer and covers the most effective ways of managing this process.

Retail Organization and Management Course

This course covers issues related to the successful management of a retail company. The class covers topics such as human resource management, accounting, inventory management and administrative management.

Principles of Supervision

Students in this course focus their discussion on the best ways to supervise staff working in different departments of a single organization. Communication and management skills are emphasized.

Career Outlook and Information

Professionals who hold a certificate in logistics typically work as warehouse managers or logistics consultants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, in 2008 warehouse managers earned a median hourly wage of around $25.00. The BLS also reports that job growth in the warehousing industry is entirely dependent on the current state of the nation's economy. Hence, demand for warehouse managers or logistics consultants can fluctuate.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Students seeking more advanced educational options will find that several schools offer undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs both online and in the classroom. Graduates may be able to take a certification exam offered by The International Society of Logistics (SOLE). Students can be certified as Professional Logisticians (CPL) or Master Logisticians (CML).

Online Logistics Graduate Certificate Overview

Logistics certificate programs are more prevalent at the graduate level. These programs are designed for students who are interested in potentially enrolling in graduate degree programs in logistics as well as professionals already working in the logistics industry. Topics covered in a graduate-level logistics curriculum include supply chain optimization, project management and stochastic operations.

Program Details and Information

Similar to their undergraduate counterparts, schools offering graduate logistics certificates do not require students to take any courses on a traditional campus. Typically, students must take four courses and can complete the program within two semesters. Most schools divide each course into sections, which students complete at their own pace by downloading assignments and lectures that they are able to access through special course websites.

Students enrolled in an online certificate program need to be running a current operating system, Internet browser and media software, such as Windows Media Player. Some programs may require additional software, such as Microsoft Office or Excel.

Common Graduate-Level Logistics Courses

Graduate certificate programs in logistics are comprised of advanced courses that delve further into the foundational topics covered in undergraduate certificate programs. High-level subjects like demand forecasting, leadership models in logistics and developing strategic partnerships are often addressed in these classes.

Project Management Course

In this class, students learn about project planning, the role of a project manager and project scheduling. The course also discusses project budgeting and effective ways to estimate cost.

Supply Chain Optimization Course

This course teaches students how to design logistics network models using the most current information technology software and support systems available to the industry. Students are able to troubleshoot obstacles to productivity and efficient distribution.

Logistics In The Supply Chain Course

Students are taught how to plan and implement an efficient system of storage, inventory and distribution of goods. Methods of transportation and cost-effective warehousing are also discussed.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Credits earned in online graduate logistics certificate programs can often be transferred into graduate degree programs. Many schools offer master's degree programs in logistics, both online and in traditional classrooms.

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