Fully online programs are available at several colleges and universities for those interested in a bachelor's degree in logistics. However, some of these programs are considered degree completion programs and require students to hold prior general education credits, which may be taken in person. In addition to online courses in supply chain management, logistics economics and occupational safety, students might be required to complete a capstone course or senior seminar. Students complete courses at their own pace, but are required to submit assignments by deadlines and regularly interact with professors and classmates.
Logistics programs prepare students to be knowledgeable about the details and global picture of product transportation. Students learn the organization and maintenance skills required to ensure the smooth flow of these two aspects of service. Logistics also requires expertise in a variety of disciplines, such as business administration, computer electronics, supply chain management, global economics, marketing and communications. Because of the advanced capabilities required, a bachelor's degree is essential for most logistics jobs.
The expected completion time for an online bachelor's degree program in logistics is four years. While some schools provide classes entirely online, some institutions require students to take general education classes on campus for two years before transferring to an online format for the core logistics curriculum. Students complete online courses at their own pace. Online demonstrations show new students how to download lessons and lectures, interact with professors and classmates, submit assignments to meet deadlines and conduct research.
General technical requirements include a computer with high-speed Internet capability, e-mail access and plug-ins, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash Player and QuickTime. Students may also need a printer, CD/DVD capability, a word processing program such as Microsoft Office, speakers and a microphone.
In addition to logistics courses, students should plan for general education requirements typical of any baccalaureate program. Some programs include a senior seminar for an advanced examination of logistical issues.
Introduction to Logistics
This class details the logistical chain from product or service creation to end user. Students learn about managing the flow of events through procurement, transport, storage and distribution. Forecasting and inventory control are also discussed.
Logistics managers must be aware of safety for anyone involved with their goods and services. The class examines industrial health hazards along with accident prevention. Course content emphasizes the elements of a comprehensive safety program and the creation of a safe climate.
Students analyze the economics of major transportation modes, including ground, water and air. Teachers introduce macro and microeconomic issues specific to local, national and international transportation.
Logistics in Purchasing
This class looks at the issues of procurement and purchasing in supply chain management and warehousing. Logistic strategies related to capital and operating costs are detailed.
Warehousing and Materials Handling
Business must remain profitable even when products are stored for a period of time. Students explore tools for profitability in warehousing, such as management, analytical techniques, productivity control and operations.
Numerous job titles exist within the field of logistics, such as production planner, logistician, integrated logistics support planner and logistics team lead. According to O*Net Online (http://online.onetcenter.org/), the United States had 130,000 logisticians employed in 2014. The top industries for logistic professionals that year were government and manufacturing. A slower than average growth of 2-4% was anticipated in logistics between 2014 and 2024. In 2015, the median annual wage was reported as $74,260.
Graduate certificates are available online for professionals who are interested in increasing their viability and earning power. Other options include earning a master's or doctoral degree, such as an online Master of Arts in Global Logistics.
Students in online bachelor's programs in logistics will learn to manage the transportation and distribution of products. Students may be expected to complete in-person general education courses, and online courses will require access to a computer and specific software and technical requirements.