Bachelor's degrees are the most popular prerequisite for a job in logistics management, and are often conferred as a Bachelor of Science in Transportation and Logistics Management or a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Logistics Technology. Master's degree programs are also available, and may be preferred by some employers. Hands-on experience can be acquired through internship programs. A high school education is required for admission to undergraduate programs, and a bachelor's degree is required for admission to master's programs.
Logistics management professionals must have experience in operations or transportation as well as management experience. Knowledge of government transportation regulations is required, and certain companies require logistics management applicants to understand global trade laws.
Bachelor's Degree in Logistics Management
Students in logistic management bachelor's programs study helpful business topics in statistics, accounting, economics, business law, and risk management. Classes in specific computer programs, such as MS Project and MS Visio are usually taught. Students also take logistics courses, including the following:
- Logistic modeling and strategy
- Distribution channels
- Inventory management
- Logistics technology
- Laws and regulations affecting transportation
Master's Degree in Logistics Management
Logistics managers with a bachelor's degree in business may decide to pursue a Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. These professionals take classes in decision-making, research, and qualitative analysis. Specific logistics course topics include:
- Transportation management
- Global logistics issues
- Integrated supply-chain management
- Purchasing strategies
- Lean enterprise management
Depending on the company, individuals with industry experience and a general Bachelor of Business Administration may be considered for a logistics management role. Typically, logistics management applicants must have 5-10 years of experience in the logistics field. Additionally, 2-5 years of management experience is typically required, preferably in logistics or supply-chain management. Most logistics managers attain their positions after years of service in areas, such as logistics coordination or procurement.
Logistics management team members interested in continuing their education can look to universities and industry organizations, which often host 2-4 day logistics workshops and conferences. Attendees can network and develop their leadership skills, learn about industry trends, and participate in question-and-answer sessions.
Various websites also offer information for logistics managers. Interested supervisors can search recent and archived news stories for industry developments. Logistics blogs and discussion forums are also available. These types of Web boards allow managers to seek advice and recommendations from other logistics professionals. Through online forums, managers can also learn more about specific topics, such as reverse logistics.
Licenses and Certifications
While not required, voluntary certifications for logistics managers are available through industry organizations, such as the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (www.astl.org) and the Association for Operations Management (www.apics.org). To become certified through the ASTL, applicants must meet education or work experience requirements and pass a 6-part exam comprising three required exams and three elective exams. To qualify for APICS's Certified Supply Chain Professional or Certified in Production and Inventory Management credential, logistics managers must successfully complete a 5-part test.
Bachelor's degree and master's degree programs are available for those seeking training in logistics, as well as continuing education opportunities and advanced certifications.