If you're interested in a career in warehousing, distribution, transportation, or purchasing, an associate degree in logistics online program may be a great option. You'll gain managerial and leadership skills, while developing critical decision-making, critical analysis, and organizational competencies.
According to the BLS, the field of material moving has a projected growth of 5% — average among all occupations. If you decide to further your education with a bachelor's or master's degree, you could find work as a purchasing manager, which pays more than $100,000 per year.
What are the best logistics programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||Southwest Wisconsin Technical College||Fennimore, WI|
|2||Vance-Granville Community College||Henderson, NC|
|3||Palo Alto College||San Antonio, TX|
|4||Fox Valley Technical College||Appleton, WI|
|5||Lakeshore Technical College||Cleveland, WI|
|6||West Kentucky Community and Technical College||Paducah, KY|
|7||Colorado Christian University||Lakewood, CO|
|8||Shoreline Community College||Shoreline, WA|
|9||Arkansas Tech University||Russellville, AR|
|10||Northeast Wisconsin Technical College||Green Bay, WI|
If you're ready to pursue an online logistics degree, browse this guide for information on how to apply, typical coursework, job outlook, and more.
What Are The Best Online Associate in Logistics Programs?
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
|Fennimore, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Southwest Tech in Fennimore offers an online associate degree in supply chain management. The program caters to professionals looking to hone their skills or launch a new career. Online learning uses a convenient asynchronous format and courses begin every four weeks.
The 60-credit program typically takes four semesters to complete, but students may reduce the length by substituting coursework with qualifying experience or education. The curriculum includes classes like the foundations of inventory, lean principles, project management, and conflict resolution. Students must also complete an internship, and they can pursue pathway certificates in planning, purchasing, and logistics.
Southwest Tech holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and transfer agreements with several area colleges and universities. Applicants must submit official transcripts and ACT or ACCUPLACER test scores. They must also complete a meeting with members of the admissions office.
Vance-Granville Community College
|Henderson, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
VGCC — based in Henderson, North Carolina — caters to students looking to earn diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees. Among these offerings is an online associate in supply chain management with a focus in global logistics technology. Distance learning uses an asynchronous format, giving students the ability to complete coursework online at any time of day.
The 67-68-credit program typically takes two years to complete. Participants receive a comprehensive overview of current terminology, trends, and technology. The curriculum includes classes in distribution management, transportation logistics, and human resource management. Students may elect to complete a work-based learning experience as an elective.
Qualifying applicants must possess a high school or GED diploma. If prospective students do not possess these credentials, they may need to complete testing to qualify.
Palo Alto College
|San Antonio, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 34%||
Located in San Antonio, Texas, PAC offers several remote degree programs, including an online associate of applied science in logistics and supply chain management. Online programs cater to working professionals and use an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework at any time of day.
This 60-credit associate in logistics prepares students for management careers. The curriculum includes courses in team building, domestic and international transportation management, the principles of quality management, and contemporary logistics issues. Students must also complete an internship to graduate.
PAC is part of the Alamo Colleges District and offers over 30 scholarship opportunities through the Alamo Colleges Foundation. Prospective students must possess a high school or GED diploma.
Fox Valley Technical College
|Appleton, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
FVTC — located in Appleton, Wisconsin — offers several online degree programs, including an associate of applied science in supply chain management. The program uses an asynchronous format that gives busy professionals the ability to complete coursework at their convenience.
The 61-credit program explores business and supply chain fundamentals. The curriculum includes classes in business ethics, lean tools, cost controls and budgeting, and principles of managing operations. Students must also complete a supply chain management capstone.
FVTC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and boasts a 70% retention rate for first-time students. Applicants must possess a high school diploma with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA or have a GED score of 165 or higher. Students may also submit ACT, SAT, ACCUPLACER, Companion, or Compass test results.
Lakeshore Technical College
|Cleveland, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
LTC in Cleveland, Wisconsin, offers an online associate degree in supply chain management. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, giving students 24/7 access to their digital classrooms.
Most students complete this 60-credit program over four terms. The curriculum teaches basic business skills along with supply chain management principles. Courses include purchasing, written communication, global supply chain management, and accounting for professionals. Graduates prepare to work in roles like logistics engineer and shipping clerk.
LTC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers two start dates in the fall and spring. Applicants must submit official high school or college transcripts. Prospective students may need to take the ACCUPLACER or ACT prior to enrolling, although this varies depending on a student's academic and professional history.
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
|Paducah, KY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Paducah's WKCTC offers an online associate degree in logistics and operations management. Faculty deliver courses using an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework remotely at their convenience. WKCTC holds a transfer agreement with Murray State University, giving graduates the opportunity to go on and earn a bachelor's degree.
This program comprises 61-66 credits. The curriculum contains basic education and core technical courses, such as financial accounting, international business, transportation, and lean for logistics. Graduates qualify to sit for the certified logistics associate or certified logistics technician certification exams.
WKCTC holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The college offers a free application process. Applicants must submit their high school or GED transcripts along with ACT, SAT, or other placement test scores.
Colorado Christian University
|Lakewood, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
CCU is a Christian university in Lakewood. The college holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and offers an online associate degree in logistics and supply chain management. Students typically take one course at a time over five-week sessions and complete the entire program within two years.
The 60-credit program includes coursework in management information systems, purchasing and inbound logistics, and introduction to transportation management. The curriculum also includes a biblical studies course, electives, and general education classes. Online learning uses an asynchronous format.
Prospective students must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants must submit their transcripts and a copy of their driver's license or identification card.
Shoreline Community College
|Shoreline, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 35%||
SCC offers over 100 academic programs, including an online associate of applied arts and sciences in purchasing and supply chain management. This program is certified by Quality Matters. Online learning at SCC uses an asynchronous format.
This 93-quarter-credit program is unique in that it uses a committee consisting of local employers to help shape its curriculum. Sample courses include contract management, purchasing and supply, business law, and e-procurement. Graduates may qualify to pursue relevant certifications.
SCC offers affordable tuition rates for online students no matter where they live, although employees of certain manufacturing companies may qualify for additional tuition assistance. Applicants should submit proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate and must be at least 16 years old.
Arkansas Tech University
|Russellville, AR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
ATU's main campus is located in Russellville. The university offers a variety of online degree programs, including an associate in logistics management. This program is available entirely online and uses asynchronous delivery. Interested students can also seamlessly transfer their associate credits to pursue a bachelor of applied science at ATU.
This 60-credit associate program provides an introduction to current logistics management theories, techniques, and tools. Graduates may qualify for entry-level positions or continue their education.
ATU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Applicants must submit proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate. The admissions office encourages applicants to submit applicable standardized test scores, but it does not typically require them.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
|Green Bay, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
NWTC is based in Green Bay and offers over 200 degree programs, including an online associate degree in supply chain management. Online learning incorporates an asynchronous format. The college uses an eight-week course format and limits students to 11 credits per session.
The 63-credit program includes coursework in global business management, lean logistics, global marketing, and project management fundamentals. Students must also complete a supply chain simulation course and a hands-on career experience.
NWTC's supply chain management program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Applicants must possess a high school diploma and a minimum 2.6 GPA or satisfactory scores on an academic skills assessment.
What Will I Learn in an Online Logistics Program?
While curriculums in programs vary, all online logistics degrees include coursework in warehouse and distribution center management, production and operations management, and import/export management. Distance learners also take courses in communication, humanities, technology, and social sciences.
Below are a few sample courses to expect in an online degree in logistics:
- Distribution Management: This course examines the techniques and tools used to manage warehouses and distribution centers. With a focus on operations, safety, material handling, productivity, and costs, students gain an understanding of how warehouses and distribution centers function in business and logistics.
- Supply Chain Management: Covering topics like eCommerce, materials management, purchasing, delivery, and customer service, students in supply chain management courses learn about acquiring, purchasing, manufacturing, assembling, and distributing goods, services, and products.
- Import/Export Management: This course examines the components of import and export operations, including regulations, technology, transportation, documentation, finance, and homeland security. Students in this course gain a deep understanding of how to perform import and export operations.
What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Logistics?
A logistics degree online is a great option if you're interested in purchasing, manufacturing, materials management, warehousing, inventory, or transportation. Specific career paths include entry level purchasing, warehouse management, installation and logistics support, maintenance planning, billing analysis, and materials moving. These careers require you to juggle multiple projects while maintaining a positive, assertive attitude. Additionally, you'll need strong communication skills to manage and maintain high-quality service and regulatory compliance.
A degree in logistics also prepares you to continue your education with a four-year bachelor's degree in business, business administration, logistics management, supply chain management, or a related field. You may decide to pursue professional certifications in production and inventory management, supply chain professional, or transportation and distribution. You'll also have the opportunity to join professional organizations such as the Association for Operations Management, the Institute of Supply Management, or the International Warehouse Logistics Association.
- Warehouse Manager
Warehouse managers are responsible for driving profit goals and handling the demands of all facility operations, including distribution, maintenance, quality, service, and compliance. They manage multiple projects from beginning to completion, while also mentoring and supervising employee performance.
- Billing Analyst
Billing analysts are detail-oriented, have strong analytics and problem solving skills, and the ability to plan and multitask. They are responsible for preparing and submitting customer invoices, monitoring customer contacts, reconciling billing, and resolving customer disputes.
- Logistics and Supply Chain Analyst
Logistics and supply chain analysts monitor and track metrics and analyze data to improve strategies surrounding supply chain, distribution, supplier management, and transportation. They establish logistical purchasing, receiving, and inventory strategies, policies, and procedures.
Educational Paths for Graduates of Logistics Associate Degree Programs
Earning a logistics degree online is great preparation for a bachelor's or master's degree. Many associate programs are transferable to a four-year bachelor's of arts or science degree. Degree tracks are available in business administration, supply chain management, or logistics management, and translate into any number of business operations careers. According to BLS, the U.S. can expect more than 600,000 new jobs in this field over the next several years. Many of these jobs — such as buyer and purchasing agents, cost estimators, logisticians, and management analysts — require a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor's of Business Administration: With a bachelor's of business administration, distance learners study nearly every aspect of business — finance, human resource management, information systems, and project management. This program features coursework in entrepreneurship, global logistics management, marketing, and public administration.
Bachelor's of Arts in Supply Chain Management and Logistics: Detailing procurement, scheduling, transportation, quality, and warehouse management, a bachelor's degree in supply chain management examines the entire supply chain process to optimize the customer experience. Students build on their knowledge from their associate degree and gain core business knowledge.
Bachelor's of Arts in Organizational Management: In an organizational management program, learners pursue the human side of business management. Coursework covers ethics, communications, human resources, personal leadership, work behaviors, workplace issues, and team development. Students in this program learn effective strategies to lead an organization.
Professional Organizations in Logistics
Upon completion of your online logistics degree, you can join various professional organizations that serve the supply chain, operations, and logistics communities. In addition to annual conferences and other networking events, members of these organizations benefit from continuing education, career services opportunities, local roundtable conferences, seminars, webinars, digital libraries, online discussion communities, and job boards. Organizations also offer quarterly reports, magazines, and other members-only literature, which are great ways to stay informed and ahead of your business competition.
Salary Outlook for Associate in Logistics Graduates
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Entry-Level||Mid-Career||Late-Career|
The specific industry in which you work after earning your logistics online degree will impact your annual earnings. As the table above demonstrates, one's level of professional experience (entry level, mid-career, and late-career) affects salary expectations for all positions, especially operations managers. Purchasers and warehouses managers can expect an income on the lower range, while operations managers and buyers typically earn a higher income.
Financing Your Online Associate in Logistics Program
Student loans, grants, and work-study programs are available at most schools to pay for your associate degree in logistics online program. Your first step should be completing the Free Application, for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines your eligibility for federal scholarships, grants, and loans. Additionally, some schools and professional organizations offer merit-based scholarships. For example, regional chapters of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in Arizona and Texas each offer scholarships.
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