An undergraduate degree program in logistics can prepare students for entry-level or mid-level management positions, such as a terminal manager. Graduate degree programs are designed for individuals seeking careers in upper management, consulting or academia.
Most technical colleges and universities require potential undergraduate students to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. A bachelor's degree in physical science, math or engineering is usually required for master's degree applicants. Although, substantial work experience in the logistics field combined with a bachelor's degree in any discipline may be acceptable. Applicants must also have acceptable GRE scores. Candidates in a Ph.D. program should have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, although a master's degree is preferable. An above-average academic record, substantial work experience and satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores are often required.
Associate's of Applied Science in Logistics
An associate's degree program in logistics prepares students for careers in purchasing, inventory control and distribution. Coursework in a logistics associate's degree program gives students a solid foundation in the various sectors of the logistics field. Business management skills, such as problem-solving, record-keeping, and communication are also emphasized. Subjects may include:
- Material handling
- U.S. customs and importing
- Business negotiation skills
- Warehouse & distribution center management
- Economics of distribution & transportation
Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
A bachelor's program introduces students to the theories, concepts and practices of logistics and supply chain management. This includes import and export regulations, modes of transport and inventory management. Business fundamentals, such as accounting and business law are also covered. Other courses include:
- Logistics management
- Supply chain management
- Strategic procurement
- Transportation systems
- Warehouse and terminal management
Master of Science in Logistics
The Master of Science in Logistics program is geared toward experienced managers and professional engineers. It prepares students for leadership roles in planning, developing and managing logistics and supply chain operations in the private and public sector, which includes the military. The curriculum emphasizes managerial leadership, technology, and global business practices. Students are take courses in:
- Analytic decision-making for logistics managers
- Logistics distribution systems design
- Logistics information systems
- Supply chain strategic planning
- Transportation management
MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
This MBA program is for business professionals seeking high-level management positions in logistics and supply chain management. Emphasizing the practical application of logistics principles to real-world situations, the program gives students the skills needed to plan, implement, and manage the efficient flow of goods and services. It also examines the interrelationship of production, procurement and distribution in logistics operations. The curriculum covers the fundamentals of logistics and supply chain management, inventory management, procurement and distribution. Other common courses covered include:
- Model-based decision making
- Six Sigma principles
- Strategic cost accounting
- Supply chain relationships
- Strategic design of operations and logistics systems
Ph.D. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
The Ph.D. program is designed for students looking to work in teaching or academic research. Students examine the foundations of logistics, operations and supply chain management, economics, marketing and information technologies. The typical curriculum also includes courses in supporting fields, such as economics and research methodologies. The main goal of the program is to have students produce an original research paper that is worthy of publication.
Some specific subjects include:
- Supply chain management
- Supply chain & marketing models
- Microeconomic theory
- Probability and statistics
Graduates with an associate's degree in logistics have a number of career options in this wide-ranging field, such as cargo operations specialist and warehouse supervisor. Because all businesses require some form of logistics services, graduates with a logistics bachelor's degree have many options, such as contract manager and fleet operations manager. Those with a master's degree are prepared for managerial positions as directors of purchasing, import-export managers or operations managers. Other career options include:
- Inventory control specialist
- Procurement manager
- Transportation broker
- Loss prevention manager
- Operations and systems analyst
Most graduates of Ph.D. programs work as professors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment for business postsecondary instructors to increase by 9% between the years 2014 and 2024. However, a significant portion of the jobs are likely to be part-time or non-tenure-track positions. The BLS reported the median annual salary earned by business postsecondary teachers as $75,370 in May 2015.
Graduates can advance their careers with professional certifications, such as the American Society of Transportation and Logistics' (ASTL) Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CTL) or the Association for Operations Management's (APICS) Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation.
Program levels for logistics degrees include undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including doctoral-level work. Professional certifications are also available for career advancement.