Students interested in pursuing a career as a transportation manager can major in logistics at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. Associate's degree programs prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the logistics and transportation industry, while a bachelor's degree may qualify grads for managerial roles. It's important to note that most managers in this field also have five or more years of professional experience.
Associate of Applied Science in Logistics
An AAS program in logistics combines courses in business management with classes that focus on logistics. Instruction will also be provided on how to correctly use computer software to track and analyze supply chain routes. Other topics to be covered in an AAS program include distribution and warehousing, the fundamentals of supply chain management, management of traffic, inventory control and regulatory compliance. An internship may be required to complete the degree. If offered, students are strongly encouraged to complete the internship during the last semester of enrollment.
Community colleges that offer an associate's degree in logistics require that prospective students complete high school. Additionally, a school may request scores for the ACT standardized exam.
Core courses in logistics and management are the focus of an AAS program in logistics. However, the first year is spent completing general education courses in English, social science and mathematics. Some possible core courses include:
- Logistics and international transportation
- Customer service and sales
- Inventory and warehouse management
- Software applications for business
- Principles of purchasing
Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
A bachelor's degree program in logistics and supply chain management introduces students to a broad overview of issues and topics related to supply chain and logistics management. Much like an associate's degree program, students must complete a number of business courses. These classes not only introduce the science and methods of management but also cover topics such as marketing, ethics, finance, sales and organizational behavior.
Core logistics and supply chain management courses are the focus of the final two years of enrollment. These major course requirements introduce issues such as the use of computers (e-logistics) in supply chain management, purchasing, inventory control and forecasting. Some degree programs may include a comprehensive exam that tests key areas of supply chain management and logistics.
Many universities require that applicants have a high school diploma or hold a GED certificate. Scores for either the ACT or the SAT exam are also likely to be requested. Prospective students that have strong analytical and problem solving abilities are likely to do well in a bachelor's degree program in transportation management and logistics.
The curriculum of a bachelor's degree program in transportation management differs from school to school. Generally, core courses are split into two areas, which are supply chain management and business; however, some programs lean more heavily to one side than the other. Some possible core classes include:
- Decision support systems for managers
- International commerce
- Models of logistics and supply chains
- Transportation and logistics
- Supply chain management and logistics
- Change and risk management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an AAS program in transportation management or logistics will be able to compete for entry-level jobs. However, these jobs do cover a wide spectrum of responsibilities. Some possible careers include:
- Assistant warehouse manager
- Assistant trucking manager
- Brokerage agent
Completion of a bachelor's degree program will qualify graduates to work in supervisory roles. These managerial positions focus on a specific aspect of logistics and transportation. Some possible careers include:
- Trucking manager
- Logistics specialist
- Regional planner
- Warehouse manager
- Operations manager
Career Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for storage, distribution and transportation managers were expected to grow 2% between the years 2014 and 2024, which is slower than the average of all occupations. In 2015, the mean annual wage for this career group was $95,130. Job prospects should be favorable for managerial candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree in areas such as business, industrial engineering, supply chain management or a similar field.
Continuing Education Information
Students who want to continue their education can enroll in either a master's or doctoral degree program in logistics and transportation management. A master's degree can be completed in two years and grads work in a variety of advanced supervisory roles in logistics management. Completion of a research-based doctoral degree program in transportation management qualifies graduates as researchers and scholars in the field.
Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are offered in the field of transportation. Master's and doctoral degree programs are also available in logistics and transportation management.