Logisticians oversee the entire lifecycle of a company's products, from acquisition to the location and timing of delivery. These professionals occupy leadership roles in industries like manufacturing, wholesale trade, and technical services. The following guide provides information to help you build a career in logistics, including educational options, potential career paths based on degree level, and professional development resources.
Why Pursue a Career in Logistics?
Suitable for people who possess excellent organizational and time-management skills, logistics careers enable professionals to direct the disbursement of products and materials in a cost-effective and timely manner. To succeed in this field, you must be able to think critically in high pressure situations and solve unforeseen problems, such as postponed deliveries and damaged supplies.
Regardless of industry, logisticians interact with diverse groups of people, including vendors and government officials To build long-lasting professional relationships, you must develop strong communication and collaboration skills. You also need to engage with customers effectively; their feedback enables you to assess market trends and improve your company's supply chains.
Logistics Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that careers in logistics will expand by 5% between 2018 and 2028, adding about 8,400 new jobs to the U.S. economy. Additionally, professionals who occupy specialized positions as business operations specialists are projected to benefit from a projected 7% increase. Industries that house the highest concentrations of logisticians include freight transportation arrangement, aerospace manufacturing, and oil and gas.
BLS data shows that logisticians earn a median annual salary of $74,750. Workers in the wholesale trade industry make less, earning a median wage of $65,820, whereas logisticians employed by the federal government make the best salaries in the field, typically taking home about $85,000 each year.
Skills Gained With a Logistics Degree
Logistics programs vary with regards to coursework, available concentrations, and projects, but most degrees build similar foundational knowledge and skills. Students may develop logistics skills through traditional coursework, practica, research papers, and internships. Additionally, students and graduates can hone their abilities throughout their careers through certification programs, professional training opportunities, and continuing education classes. Logistics professionals rely on the skills listed below to complete their daily duties.
A main responsibility for logisticians is keeping supply chains organized and running efficiently. In their daily work, logistics professionals keep meticulous records, oversee complicated schedules, and work on many projects at once. Business performance can depend on a logistician's ability to stay organized.
Logisticians need excellent communication skills in order to collaborate with colleagues and maintain relationships with vendors. Logistics students may develop their communication abilities through classes on business communication, technical writing, and oral communication.
Logistics programs prepare students to address unexpected issues related to areas like delivery and manufacturing. They need strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills to quickly adapt to new situations. Logisticians must also seek ways to improve supply chain operations and increase efficiency.
- Technological Skills
Logistics and supply chain workers need to be proficient with computers. Logisticians use specialized software systems to track purchasing, keep shipping records, and manage inventory. To prepare for this, logistics programs teach students to use industry-specific tools and other spreadsheet applications.
Logisticians need strong management skills to coordinate operations and move products. As logisticians assume more senior positions, their skills related to strategic management, human resource management, and leadership become increasingly important.
Logistics Career Paths
As they begin their education, logistics students should consider whether they plan to pursue logistics generally or focus in a particular field, like warehousing or supply chain management. Concentrating in a particular area of logistics offers a great way for students to develop specialized skills that make them more employable for their target job.
The following list surveys several popular career paths. If a program does not offer a concentration that matches your goals, you may be able to build your own specialization tailored to your career path by choosing electives in the appropriate areas. Talk with an academic advisor to see if this is an option at your school.
Career paths in transportation examine the trends, policies, and concepts associated with air, maritime, and ground transportation. Transportation professionals also study the role of transportation in organizations and learn to assess transportation systems. Learners may explore transportation laws, systems, and challenges at the international level.
- Global Supply Chain Management
Global logistics and supply chain management professionals handle various aspects of transporting, managing, and storing goods for global organizations. Through courses on global supply operations, students in this specialization learn about purchasing, quality management, and shipping. Coursework also covers changes affecting international supply chains.
- Quantitative Methods
Careers in this specialization involve using data to analyze and improve supply chains. Coursework to prepare students for quantitative career paths covers analytical methods that help managers mitigate risk, make decisions, assess performance, and ensure quality. Students also gain experience with statistical analysis, decision-tree analysis, and control charting.
- International Business
Logistics professionals in international business specialize in areas such as global trade, multinational finance, and international markets. Preparatory coursework covers cultural and regulatory differences that affect international business dealings. Additionally, courses examine the roles and responsibilities of consumers, governments, NGOs, and interest groups on a global level.
How to Start Your Career in Logistics
Although some candidates get hired for entry-level logistics careers with an associate degree, most employers prefer to hire candidates with at least a bachelor's, which better prepares employees to handle increasingly complex supply chains and transportation laws. A four-year college program not only provides comprehensive training in core business and logistics areas, but it also allows you to begin building a professional network by attending industry conferences and completing internships.
As a bachelor's degree-holder, you may work in positions like freight agent and customer service representative. Management positions begin to open up as you gain hands-on experience and/or obtain advanced credentials. At the highest levels, careers in logistics center on research, postsecondary teaching, and consulting.
Associate Degree in Logistics
Associate programs in logistics prepare students for the professional world through courses that cover topics like communication, spreadsheet software, and financial accounting. Through general education courses, learners also explore subjects like economics, social sciences, and literature.
Students who earn an associate degree in logistics can pursue a variety of entry-level jobs in fields like purchasing, shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing. Read on to learn more about logistics careers for associate degree-holders.
What Can You Do With an Associate in Logistics?
- Warehouse Manager
Warehouse managers use logistics knowledge to control inventory and track data using software systems. They also supervise warehouse staff, assign duties, and evaluate job performance. Warehouse managers establish and implement standards and protocols for employees to follow. They also make sure that their workplaces comply with regulations.
- Agricultural Manager
While some agricultural managers can find work with only a high school diploma, many complex operations require an associate or bachelor's degree. These managers oversee operations in agricultural enterprises like farms, ranches, and greenhouses. They deal with the logistics of storing, transporting, and distributing crops and other goods.
- Purchasing Agent/Buyer
Purchasing agents, sometimes called buyers, find work in industries that purchase inventory. For example, a buyer may work for a retail company, grocery store, or wholesale business. They help determine their organization's needs and evaluate suppliers based on price, reliability, and quality. Buyers often visit suppliers' factories or attend trade shows.
Sources: BLS and PayScale
Bachelor's Degree in Logistics
While an associate degree in logistics qualifies graduates for some logistics jobs, earning a bachelor's degree prepares students for most entry-level positions. Bachelor's programs explore the supply chain in greater depth and include courses on transportation management, distribution, negotiation, and procurement. Students also learn to ensure quality, track inventory, handle reverse logistics, and improve business processes.
Along with major coursework, logistics bachelor's programs often cover fundamental business areas including finance, business statistics, leadership, global economics, and legal issues. Bachelor's degree-holders typically get hired for logistics jobs like logistician, operations research analyst, and supply chain analyst.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Logistics?
- Operations Manager
Operations managers have broad responsibilities related to purchasing, manufacturing, and warehousing. They oversee budgets, review sales numbers, and ensure that all operations run smoothly.
Logisticians oversee the entire lifecycle of a product. They typically work in manufacturing companies, where they collaborate with suppliers, allocate raw materials, and arrange for delivery. Some logisticians oversee the transportation of people and supplies rather than manufactured goods.
- Supply Chain Analyst
These professionals help organizations increase overall performance by establishing new supply chain methods. They work with engineers, quality assurance specialists, and information technology workers to analyze supply chain data and develop solutions. Supply chain analysts work in offices, but may visit warehouses or factories.
- Purchasing Manager
Purchasing managers supervise buyers and purchasing agents in their organizations. They also negotiate contracts, maintain relationships with suppliers and clients, and help cut costs. Purchasing managers typically need a bachelor's degree and a few years of relevant professional experience.
- Distribution Manager
Distribution managers deal with aspects of the supply chain that involve shipping large amounts of goods. They work closely with warehouse supervisors to monitor inventory and ensure quality. Distribution managers make sure that their companies ship and deliver products in a timely manner.
Sources: BLS and PayScale
Master's Degree in Logistics
Master's programs in logistics build on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that students developed in their bachelor's courses. Learners explore advanced aspects of supply chain management and business analytics, while also honing managerial skills in areas like decision-making and organizational behavior.
One of the primary benefits of earning a master's degree in logistics is a substantial increase in salary. According to PayScale, individuals with a bachelor of science or bachelor of business administration in logistics and supply chain management earn median salaries of $63,000-$66,000, whereas professionals with a master of business administration or master of science in the field typically take home $78,000-$81,000 annually.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Logistics?
- Logistics Director
These workers direct logistics operations and oversee a team of logistics specialists. Logistics directors can sometimes find work with a combination of a bachelor's degree and work experience, but employers generally prefer to hire professionals with a master's.
- Supply Chain Manager
These professionals work closely with sales teams, customer service teams, inventory workers, and suppliers to oversee supply chains. They may also supervise other managers in charge of specific parts of the supply chain.
- Supply Chain Consultant
Consultants advise logistics directors, supply chain managers, and other senior employees on how to increase efficiency in their supply chains. Their goal is to reduce costs and increase profits. They often work for consulting firms that serve many different companies.
- Operation Research Analyst
Operations research analysts often need a master's degree to qualify for employment. These professionals use their knowledge of analytics and mathematics to address issues in logistics, business processes, and other areas. They also help senior management allocate funds, manage production calendars, determine pricing, and coordinate supply chains.
Sources: BLS and PayScale
Doctorate Degree in Logistics
A doctoral degree in logistics mainly prepares students for jobs in academia. These programs typically focus on research, teaching participants how to contribute to new discoveries in logistics and supply chain management. Ph.D. programs in logistics may cover research methods, supply chain modeling, econometrics, and multivariate analysis. Learners may also take courses in business ethics and management strategy. Students can also pursue a doctor of business administration in logistics, which emphasizes practical skills and leadership rather than research and theory.
The table below details a few possible logistics jobs for doctoral degree-holders. However, students with a doctoral degree can choose from many more career options than those listed below because they can apply for the same positions as bachelor's and master's degree-holders.
What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Logistics?
- Postsecondary Education Administrator
A doctoral degree qualifies professionals for positions in higher education administration. Academic deans and department heads manage budgets and help the university hire new faculty members. Logistics professors may oversee a university's business or management school.
- Postsecondary Teachers
Most colleges and universities require postsecondary teachers to hold doctoral degrees in their specialties. Professors teach classes, grade papers, and prepare lectures. They also contribute to research in their fields, collaborate with other experts, and write and publish articles and books.
- Chief Operating Officer
While chief operating officers do not necessarily need a doctorate, they often possess a graduate degree in business. A doctor of business administration with a supply chain concentration can help chief operating officers effectively oversee operations managers, ensure quality, improve productivity, and track operations. Top executives also need many years of experience.
Sources: BLS and PayScale
How to Advance Your Career in Logistics
Global supply chains evolve quickly due to continuous changes in business models and the emergence of new technologies. To advance your logistics career, evaluate your competencies against current industry best practices and employer demands. Then aim to fill any skill gaps by seeking mentorship from a supervisor or pursuing external continuing education opportunities.
You can enroll in an online class that focuses on a specialized area like demand planning, configuration analysis, or warehouse management. Industry associations also offer resources to help members grow their professional network, engage in collaborative research projects, and obtain certification or licensure.
Certifications and/or Licensure
In this field, state licensure is typically only required if you plan on opening your own business as a third-party pharmaceutical logistics provider. Otherwise, you can pursue voluntary, nongovernmental certification to demonstrate your professional competence. For example, the International Society of Logistics offers three types of certification, including the demonstrated logistician credential for beginners and the certified professional logistician credential for experienced professionals.
The Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) is another major source of certifications in this field. Through APICS, you can become certified in logistics, transportation, and distribution, as well as production and inventory management. This organization also offers a supply chain operations reference professional endorsement that focuses on measuring the performance of global production and distribution systems.
Graduate programs in logistics and supply chain management can help you develop advanced competencies and engage in independent research. By earning an MBA or MS, you can also qualify for paid fellowship positions from organizations like the American College of Healthcare Executives. Many colleges and universities, including Claremont Graduate University, also provide postgraduate fellowship opportunities.
Alternatively, you can pursue less intensive continuing education by enrolling in college certificate programs and online classes. For example, APICS offers individual seminars that cover the principles of inventory accuracy, sales and operations planning, and materials requirements. Logistics professionals interested in honing a specific skill often select these options.
After earning a certification, you must maintain your credential by following designated guidelines. For example, APICS requires professionals to renew their certification every five years by earning maintenance points, which can be done by attending conventions, enrolling in online webinars, and becoming an organizational member. These continuing education opportunities also allow you to expand your network by engaging with colleagues and connecting with logistics and supply chain management experts.
Networking offers one of the best ways to keep up with changes in the industry and find out about open positions. By obtaining a free membership in the Logistics & Transportation Association of North America (LTNA), you can attend the organization's annual conference. LTNA also coordinates social events through its regional member clubs, like the Denver Transportation Club and the North Carolina League of Transportation and Logistics.
How to Switch Your Career to Logistics
If you want to switch into a logistics career, consult your supervisors to inquire about open positions. Companies typically prefer to fill jobs with current employees, whom they can trust to quickly adapt to new responsibilities. Your employer may provide in-house training or even reimburse you for tuition so you can earn a graduate degree.
Business professionals in accounting and sales often transition into logistics roles, putting their analytical and client-facing skills to good use. Engineers can also make the jump into logistics with relative ease, since both fields aim to improve the performance of systems by removing redundancies and optimizing the allocation of materials and labor.
Where Can You Work as a Logistics Professional?
Graduates of logistics programs typically consider the following four variables when considering their job prospects: location, industry, setting, and organization size. Due to the ubiquitous nature of their jobs, logistics professionals join a diverse workforce, and they can find positions throughout the country.
Logistics majors can find work in a variety of industries. Many companies need logisticians who can streamline supply chains, arrange shipping, and promote efficiency. Nearly every business that manufactures, imports, or exports goods benefits from hiring logistics graduates. Additionally, logistics degree-holders can work for consulting firms that advise many different types of companies. Job opportunities for logistics professionals tend to grow as they gain experience and earn more advanced degrees.
- Management of Companies and Enterprises
This industry includes professionals who direct operations, set goals, and develop business strategies. Logistics professionals prove essential to making important decisions regarding the management and direction of an organization.
Median Salary: $79,870
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting
Management consulting companies analyze an organization's operations, study financial information, and make improvement recommendations to senior management. Logistics specialists in this field help businesses optimize supply chains and processes.
Median Salary: $74,340
- Freight Transportation Arrangement
Enterprises in this sector coordinate shipments between distributors and customers. Freight transportation arrangement companies need professionals with a sound understanding of distribution, importing, and exporting logistics.
Median Salary: $65,810
- Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
Manufacturing companies in the aerospace sector produce aircraft and components for commercial and military purposes. This industry employs logisticians to manage inventory, order supplies from distributors, and arrange shipping of final products.
Median Salary: $88,800
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
Computer systems design companies integrate hardware and software to develop local area networks and intranets. These businesses need logistics professionals to coordinate the flow of goods in and out of their companies.
Median Salary: $80,370
Employment opportunities and salary potential greatly depend on where you work. Unsurprisingly, California houses the largest number of logistics professionals -- more than 23,000 workers -- due to its large population, diverse and powerful industries, and geographic location as a gateway to the Pacific Ocean. Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, and Michigan also rank among the top states for logistics jobs.
In terms of salary, the District of Columbia boasts the highest wages for logisticians, with workers earning a mean salary of $95,870 -- the federal government is the best-paying employer in the logistics field.
Interview With a Logistics Professional
Thomas Goldsby, Ph.D.
Thomas Goldsby, Ph.D., serves as co-faculty director for the Global Supply Chain Institute at the Haslam College of Business and teaches in the MS in supply chain management online program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Business Logistics and former co-editor-in-chief of Transportation Journal. His research interests include logistics strategy, supply chain integration, and the theory and practice of lean and agile supply chain strategies.
- Why did you decide to pursue a career in logistics? Is it something that you were always interested in?
Like many people, logistics is a subject that found me. I majored in economics and finance in my undergraduate program. I was fortunate enough to receive a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support my graduate business studies. The fellowship program was designed to expose students to the field of transportation and logistics. What can I say … it worked!
I was immediately drawn to the action-packed and global nature of the field. Logistics — the movement of people and cargo — takes place all over the world 24/7. My work in logistics has similarly taken me all over the world to witness the fast-paced flow of virtually everything we use, consume, and experience every day. I found a passion for helping companies to devise logistics strategies, systems, and processes to help them be successful in today's dynamic marketplace.
- How is a logistics program different from other college majors?
Logistics students are exposed to a wide range of business topics and practices since logistics is a business function that bridges disparate parts of the business, spanning supply and demand. The logistics major offers good depth on strategic matters like formulating the company's service strategy, as well as the supporting operations, analytics, and economics of how the company will accommodate its customers around the world.
The field, itself, is undergoing significant change with greater focus on service innovations, like providing faster, more reliable home delivery services to consumers. Academic programs are adapting to ensure that students are prepared to address conventional challenges (e.g., inventory, distribution, and transportation management), while also incorporating disruptive technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and supply chain visibility tools) to make better, more informed decisions that affect the company's competitiveness, as well as its financial and environmental performance.
Note, also, that the logistics field is sometimes found in the supply chain management major. Logistics is the "movement and storage" subcomponent of a broader supply chain course of study.
- Is logistics a versatile degree? Or one that has a clear career path?
Logistics majors can assume any number of roles and responsibilities. Every business, government agency, and nonprofit organization needs logistics expertise. They need people who can determine how much inventory to buy, where to store it, how to acquire it, and the means of moving it.
As a result, logisticians (people who work in logistics) must interface with a lot of different people who perform other vital functions in the business (like production, sales, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, and legal). They also interact a lot with the organization's suppliers and customers. In this way, logisticians gain exposure to almost every facet of the business.
This exposure provides avenues of opportunity to work in different areas of the business, as well as excellent prospects for international assignments. I always encourage logistics students to keep their passports up to date because the possibilities for working on global projects or being stationed internationally are so high.
Career paths can be quite varied. Some logistics graduates go to work in the logistics or supply chain department at a manufacturing, distribution, or retail company. Others go to work for logistics service providers, like trucking, rail, ocean shipping, air carrier, and comprehensive logistics service providers. Still others go to work for government agencies or consulting companies. Logisticians also tend to be good "process thinkers," which can make them attractive to financial, high-tech, and healthcare companies that need people to design work processes for the services they provide.
Graduates can choose any one of these paths and gain tremendous experience that allows them to move up or around in the organization.
- What are some of the essential skills someone pursuing a career in logistics must have?
Logistics requires good analytical and communication skills, but also a lot of creativity. I find it to be an excellent blend of art and science. In order to excel you need to use both sides of your brain to solve problems creatively.
The specific skill set can vary depending on the nature of the assignment. Those working in front-line operations roles must be able to think quickly on their feet and be effective communicators. They must be ready to plan, schedule, and supervise a workforce of team members, resolve small and big problems effectively, and measure organizational success.
Those working in administrative roles must be effective communicators with others in logistics and supply chain roles, as well as with internal and external parties that plug into logistics. This could include customers, suppliers, service providers, or people performing other business functions at the company. Administrative assignments call for analytical skills that require desktop application capabilities, as well as the ability to decipher emerging trends in the business and communicate them clearly to senior leaders in the organization.
Finally, those working in sales or consulting must possess good listening skills. They should also demonstrate an ability to cooperate with customers and devise solutions that meet their needs. Critical thinking skills are required here, too, to ensure that the company can meet the needs of customers and the organization for win-win outcomes.
- What are some of the most enjoyable aspects of a career in logistics? The most challenging?
The most enjoyable aspects of the work can also be the most challenging. It is often said that no two days are ever the same in the world of logistics. One day you might be trying to find a place to store excess inventory near a shipping port, the next day you're expediting cargo by plane to accommodate a customer in crisis, and the next day you're ensuring that your goods are clearing customs.
While these situations are quite different, they call for a common set of ingredients: ready analysis of the situation; interaction with affected parties; a review of available options; and decisive, team-oriented action. If you enjoy solving complex problems while under pressure, then logistics might be a course of study and career field for you!
There is also a lot of satisfaction in solving problems — especially when it favorably impacts customers. The interpersonal interactions required to ensure positive outcomes can be very rewarding.
- What advice would you give to students considering a degree and career in logistics?
Students should pursue a well-rounded course of study. This is in keeping with the "art and science" aspects of the work. Those with better math skills might be interested in the analytical aspects of the field, while those with strong communication skills might be more drawn to logistics consulting or sales. Regardless of one's interests and chosen path, students need to be prepared to work in fast-paced team environments.
Also, the work might span multiple geographic regions, and foreign language skills — while not necessary — can be advantageous. So, consider taking classes in one or more foreign languages to enhance your versatility.
Finally, despite the use of advanced technologies, logistics tends to be a "people business." It is often said that people buy from people. When a customer chooses a supplier, they put a lot of faith in that supplier's ability to deliver the right products to the right place at the right time. It is important to instill trust in these arrangements and to be responsive when trouble appears.
Developing skills that help you to identify signs of trouble and to inventively manage them to save the day for the customer can be essential. Students can prepare for these situations by joining clubs that serve charitable organizations, which are often in great need of logistics insights and assistance.
- Any final thoughts for us?
The next time you buy a product or service think about the steps required to make that purchase possible. You will come to realize that logistics was instrumental in getting that product in your hands or making that service experience happen.
In fact, there were scores of logisticians who procured materials, delivered those materials to factories that made the product, and then shipped and delivered the product to a location where you could access it. Additionally, logisticians also have plans for how to reclaim the product if you have a problem with it and, perhaps, to do something with it after use (that's what we call "reverse logistics"). These are highly skilled individuals who plan for the best outcomes, but are ready for the problems they may encounter — all to ensure that we are provided with the goods and services we need every day.
Logistics is a field that is in great need of talented people. Universities are not producing a sufficient number of graduates to serve the demand. This is an excellent circumstance for students entering the field. It tends to result in plentiful opportunities and competitive salaries.
Again, I feel very fortunate that logistics found me for a career.
Resources for Logistics Majors
The following sections discuss resources that can help you gain entry into the field and advance your career in logistics. This guide covers major professional organizations and free online classes. Also included is a publication section listing a few influential magazines, journals, and books related to logistics and supply chain management.
- Professional Organizations
Logistics & Transportation Association of North America: LTNA is a professional organization that supports logistics and supply chain workers, associations, and companies in the U.S. and Canada. LTNA hosts a job board and an annual conference. During the annual meeting, members can network and access continuing education programs.
APICS: Now a part of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), this professional organization provides career-building services like career planning guides and a job board featuring openings in logistics, operations, materials management, and purchasing. APICS also provides a members-only career coach, an online discussion community, and a mentor center.
International Warehouse Logistics Association: IWLA supports warehouse logistics companies and professionals by providing advocacy and professional resources. The organization offers education events, industry news updates, and conventions. Through IWLA's career center, professionals can look for jobs with warehouse logistics providers and related vendor companies.
The International Society of Logistics: Founded in 1966, SOLE is a global professional association dedicated to advancing logistics education, technology, and management. SOLE's career assistance program enables members to submit their resumes for consideration by employers and recruiting firms. The organization also offers a job board.
National Association of Educational Procurement: NAEP serves procurement professionals working in higher education. Procurement workers maintain relationships with suppliers and help organizations buy goods and services from vendors. The association boasts professional development and continuing education resources, including webinars, white papers, and a career center.
Institute for Supply Management: Established in 1915, ISM serves over 50,000 supply management professionals around the globe. Members can participate in an annual conference, specialty meetings, seminars, and online learning opportunities. ISM's career center lets members upload a profile, search for jobs and internships, and receive one-on-one career coaching.
American Trucking Associations: The largest national trade industry representing trucking professionals, ATA serves more than 37,000 members. ATA members can develop professional skills by watching webinars and reading industry newsletters from trucking experts. The organization also helps members network through conferences and local affiliate associations.
Reverse Logistics Association: The RLA supports logistics professionals who manage the reverse flow of goods for recycling, return, repair, and other purposes. Members can network at its global conference and one-day seminars. The association also operates a job board for transportation, warehousing, distribution, and logistics professionals.
Association for Supply Chain Management: ASCM serves more than 45,000 supply chain professionals through a variety of career-building, networking, and learning opportunities. ASCM offers personalized career coaching, a job board, and a mentor center. Members can also access resources on interviewing.
- Open Courseware
Business Analytics for Decision-Making - University of Colorado Boulder: This course helps students learn how to use the cluster analysis technique to pinpoint data needed in market segmentation. Learners also examine Monte Carlo simulations, which are useful for modeling uncertainty and finding the best solutions to business problems. The class requires Microsoft Excel basics, but it does not require students to know advanced statistics or a programming language.
Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: This course delves into the significance of efficient operations to service-focused and manufacturing organizations. Students learn to apply decision-making frameworks at all levels, including linking supply chain processes to meet the needs of customers. This course is part of a seven-part value chain specialization that trains candidates to deliver value to consumers while creating a profit surplus for owners.
Supply Chain Analytics - Rutgers University: Taught by Professor Yao Zhao, this intermediate class focuses on customizing supply chain strategies to improve cost efficiency without compromising customer satisfaction. Students develop the data analytics skills needed to assess each supply chain aspect, including shipping, warehouse order fulfillment, and store operations. They also learn to evaluate the financial impact of integrated logistics planning.
Supply Chain Fundamentals - Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Delivered through Coursera, this introductory course is taught by Professor Chris Caplice. Students gain foundational skills related to topics like demand forecasting and planning, inventory control, and inventory management. They also learn how to execute complex transportation plans within integrated logistics and supply chain systems. The class emphasizes the use of mathematical models to display core concepts for inter- and intracompany operations.
American Journal of Transportation: This long-standing publication covers many aspects of business-focused transportation, including international trade, shipping technology, and ports and terminals. Readers can also explore current logistics trends, such as changes to the operations of major corporations in the field. Subscribers of the print journal gain access to digital copies. The website also publishes upcoming industry events and offers a free monthly newsletter.
DC Velocity: A multimedia magazine, DC Velocity serves the needs of logistics managers and supply chain executives. The publication covers topics like labor issues, emerging technologies, and management trends. Each issue contains an interview with a prominent researcher, educator, or practitioner in the field. Readers also gain insight into professional enrichment and development opportunities.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Now in its fifth edition, this book is useful for professionals looking to break into this growing field. Readers learn about key processes, tools, and initiatives, exploring each concept by analyzing pertinent case studies. Topics include creating a responsive supply chain, managing the global pipeline, and product design in the supply chain.
Logistics Management: Created in 1962, this monthly magazine boasts the largest number of subscribers within the logistics industry. The publication divides content into four categories (logistics, transportation, technology, and warehouse), further separating the material by subcategories. Under logistics, readers can explore topics like global trade, e-commerce, and best practices for sustainability. The website also publishes upcoming events announcements and a list of professional development resources.
Supply Chain Metrics That Matter: Written by supply chain researcher Lora M. Cecere, this book analyzes the connections between corporate financial growth and supply chain maturity. Cecere tracks the progress of over 100 companies between 2006-2013, telling the story of how effective supply chains can win wars, save dying patients, and provide underserved communities with potable water and clean air.
Supply Chain Quarterly: The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals publishes six issues of this journal each year, providing comprehensive coverage of new ideas and emerging challenges in the field. Topics include product design, transportation, procurement, and warehousing. Readers also learn how information technology and human resource management impacts the global supply chain. The website contains informational videos and research-focused white papers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is logistics a good career?
A career in logistics opens the doors to lucrative opportunities in industries like freight transportation, computer systems design, wholesale trade, and aerospace manufacturing. Logistics professionals can also fill general business management positions, helping their organization establish goals and develop strategies. With data analytics training, logisticians can even influence decision-making at the operational and executive levels.
- What does a career in logistics look like?
Entry-level logistics careers center on a single aspect of the supply chain, such as procurement, warehouse management, or transportation. As professionals gain advanced degrees and hands-on experience, they can begin to oversee the entire process, working to create sustainable supply chains that satisfy customer needs and create value for stakeholders.
- What degree is best for logistics?
Undergraduate students should enroll in a bachelor of science program in logistics and supply chain management that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. By earning a fully accredited degree, graduates are prepared to apply for competitive positions with major employers, attend the best graduate schools, and meet eligibility requirements for professional certification and licensure.
- Is there a demand for logisticians?
The BLS projects logistics occupations to grow by 5% between 2018 and 2028, adding over 8,000 new jobs. Professionals in this field can also pursue a career in management analysis, which stands to expand by 14% according to BLS projections. Similarly, operations research analyst positions are projected to grow by 26% in the coming years.
- Do logisticians get paid well?
BLS data shows that the typical logistician earns an annual salary of $74,750. However, pay potential can vary significantly depending on a worker's experience, education level, job title, and location.