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Online Schools with Transportation Programs: How to Choose

There are very few online schools with transportation programs, but several schools offer related degree and certificate programs in the fields of logistics and supply chain management. The majority of these online programs related to transportation are offered at private, for-profit schools.

Programs in supply chain management, transportation and logistics range from certificates to undergraduate and even graduate degrees in this area. Programs can be found both online and as hybrid degree programs, and some may have internship requirements.

How to Select an Online Transportation School

Supply chain management areas of study are a common part of training required for a career in transportation management. Programs range from the associate through the master's degree; certificates are also available. Students should then weigh the program level and their career goals with the delivery format and internship opportunities.

Program Level

Online transportation management, logistics and supply chain management programs are most common at the graduate certificate levels. However, some associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available online in closely related fields. Before selecting an online transportation school, students should determine the degree or certificate level that interests them and best fits their career aspirations.

Hybrid vs. Online Courses

In most cases, online programs related to transportation management can be completed fully online, with no on-campus components required. Students interact and complete coursework using discussion boards, e-mail, chats, video conferencing software and other online means, and much of the coursework can be completed at the student's desired pace. However, some programs require on-campus components.

Career Goals

Depending on the level and focus of the degree, graduates are prepared to work as transportation managers, transportation marketers, route planners, supply chain managers, purchasing managers or freight managers. In order to select the program that best fits their needs, students should have a clear understanding of what career they would like to pursue and which level and concentration of study would best prepare them for their desired position.

Internships

Even though programs are online, some include options for internships, which can provide networking opportunities. Internship options are especially prevalent at the graduate level.

List of Online Transportation Programs

Online Associate's Degree in Transportation and Logistics Management

This 2-year undergraduate degree can be completed fully online and is designed to prepare graduates for advancement opportunities within the fields of transportation and logistics, or to continue their studies at a 4-year institution. Potential career options with this degree include route planner, transportation marketer or transportation manager. This program is designed for working professionals, and the online component is fairly flexible. Coursework covers:

  • Freight claims
  • Sales and contract law
  • International logistics
  • Procurement and supply management

Online Bachelor's Degree in Transportation and Logistics Management

Although bachelor's degrees in transportation and logistics or supply chain management are fairly plentiful on traditional college campuses, online programs in transportation and logistics management are quite scarce at this level. This program teaches students about global transportation within a business and management context. Written communication is emphasized. Students learn about:

  • Management science through spreadsheets
  • Sustainable operations
  • Trends in ops management
  • Reverse logistics

Online Graduate Certificate in Logistics Management

Graduate certificate programs in logistics and supply chain management are highly relevant for individuals interested in a career in the transportation industry. Transportation management is discussed from the beginning products and materials to the delivery of the final goods to customers, as students learn about supply chain issues, controlling costs and satisfying customers. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and all coursework can be completed fully online in as little as seven weeks. Online students complete assignments and interact with faculty and classmates through discussion boards, online chats and e-mail correspondence. Course topics include:

  • Strategic procurement
  • Transportation policy and management
  • Transportation and distribution
  • Supply chain management

Online Master's Degree in Transportation and Logistics Management

Online programs at this level are rare. This graduate program is aimed at students interested in working for the government, military or private organizations. It's also appropriate for students who lack work experience in the transportation industry. This 2-year graduate degree focuses on transportation systems and policies at the global, national, regional and local levels, with courses in business and engineering. A weeklong on-campus residency may be required, along with one or more practicums. After completion of the required online coursework, students must usually pass a comprehensive exam. Coursework includes:

  • Managerial, leadership and ethical decision-making
  • Strategic management in dynamic environments
  • Applied managerial accounting and economics
  • Human capital management

Schools with Online Programs in Transportation

Southern New Hampshire University offers an Online Logistics & Transportation Degree; this is a specialization of their BS in Operations Management. This program explores the processes of supply chain management, including logistics management, transportation management, and supply chain management. Penn State offers an online Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management. This certificate program covers topics such as supply chain strategy and design, negotiations, inventory cost analysis and planning, IT support and transportation systems operation. Colorado Technical University offers an online Master's of Business Administration, with a focus on Logistics Management. Students choose to focus on military, government or private sector, and then study managerial supply chain theory and logistics concepts, and how to use these in the workplace.

For students wanting to pursue education in transportation online, there are many options for different degree levels. A good understanding of their career goals will help a student pick a program that is the right degree level for them. Also, students should consider if the course is fully online or has in-person requirements when choosing a program.

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