At the associate's, bachelor's and master's level, a degree in logistics and supply chain management teaches students about managing inventory, transportation and warehouse operations. These programs can help students develop an understanding of business operations and practices while focusing on management principles and theories. Courses in accounting, finance and purchasing are also taken. Studies beyond the master's level are available for those who might wish to pursue a research or academic career.
Often, a high school diploma, work experience, basic computer knowledge and in-house training is all that is required to obtain an entry-level shipping manager position. However, a degree in the field of logistics and supply chain management greatly improves the prospects for continued advancement in the field of shipping management, especially at large corporations.
Associate's Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
An associate's degree program in the field of logistics and supply chain management centers on efficient distribution of supplies and services between businesses and suppliers, business partners and customers. Students learn to maintain and analyze shipping and receiving records and set shipping schedules. Courses in the associate's degree logistics and supply chain management program cover a range of shipping management and business topics. Classes cover the following topics:
- Supply chain transportation
- Inventory control
- Management and information systems
Bachelor's Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Students who pursue a bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management combine courses in the field with business and general education classes. Program curricula emphasize transportation, logistics, inventory control, packaging, warehousing and operations systems. Classes in calculus or algebra may be required.
Classes in the bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management program focus heavily on supply chain management. Here are examples of common classes:
- Supply management
- Cost management
- Supply chain management strategy
- Supply chain planning
- Management theory
- Supply chain technology applications
Master's Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Those who aspire to top shipping management positions may pursue a master's degree in logistics and supply chain management. They must first have a bachelor's degree. Through coursework, research and fieldwork, candidates focus on the theory and advanced practice of supply chain and logistics management. Instructors emphasize advanced logistics and supply chain procedures, technology and analysis methods. Some master's-level programs offer separate tracks for logistics, supply chain management and operations management.
The curriculum for the master's degree in logistics and supply chain management includes a variety of advanced courses in the field. Some common courses cover:
- Global supply chain management
- Strategic procurement and sourcing
- Database management systems
- Supply chain operations
- Transportation management
- Warehousing management
Popular Career Options
Students who earn a bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management may pursue a range of jobs that involve shipping management. The following are examples:
- Purchasing manager
- Operations manager
- Inventory manager
- Supply chain planning
- Logistics manager
- Industrial traffic manager
Graduates of the master's degree program in logistics and supply chain management may pursue top positions in the field with some of the world's largest corporations. These positions include the following:
- Global distribution manager
- Global supply chain manager
- Global logistics manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Employment of transportation, distribution and storage managers, including shipping managers, is expected to grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for all transportation, distribution and storage managers was $86,630 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Aspiring shipping managers who earn an associate's degree in logistics and supply chain management may transfer to a 4-year college and pursue a bachelor's degree in the field. Shipping managers, especially those at large corporations, receive periodic training on new shipping technologies. Continuing education classes in logistics and warehousing may help career advancement.
After earning a bachelor's degree in logistics and supply chain management, graduates may pursue a master's degree in the same field or related areas. Options include master's degrees in business and finance.
Doctoral degree programs in the fields of logistics, supply chain management, sourcing management and operations management are available to those who earn a master's degree in these areas. Graduates may also pursue business and marketing doctoral degrees.
Students interested in studying shipping management typically enroll in associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The associate's degree prepares students for entry-level positions, while advanced degrees open doors for more responsibilities.