Logistics Management Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's & MBA

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What kind of job can you get with a degree in logistics management? Find out program requirements, online options and info on courses and logistics management bachelor's, master's and MBA degrees.
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Bachelor's, Master's and MBA Degrees in Logistics Management at a Glance

Logistics management degree programs, sometimes known as supply chain management programs, focus on the delivery of goods to market, usually in business settings. Logistics originally developed as part of military operations, and has been applied to all settings where goods and materials need to be moved from one location to another. Because of the cost associated with the storage of goods, efficient planning can reduce costs and increase profits.

Degrees are offered at both the bachelor's and master's level. A Master of Science (MS) degree is a focused professional development degree, and a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) is a professional degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the effects of an increasingly global economy, opportunities for logisticians are expected to increase 26% in the years 2010-2020, faster than average for the economy.

Bachelor's Master's MBA
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in entry-level positions in logistics and supply chain management Individuals looking to either begin working in logistics or develop their career through education and promotion Same as master's
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Logistician ($72,000)*
- Operation research analyst ($72,000)*
- Same as bachelor's, plus:
- Management analyst ($78,000)*
- Operations manager ($95,000)*
Same as master's
Time to Completion Four years full time 1-2 years full time Same as master's
Common Graduation Requirements - Roughly 38-42 courses - Roughly 8-12 courses
- Master's thesis or capstone
- Master's exams
Similar to master's
Prerequisites High school diploma Bachelor's degree Same as master's
Online Availability Yes Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Bachelor's in Logistics Management

A bachelor's degree program in logistics management is meant to provide you with an understanding of operations and logistics in a business setting. These programs are standard 4-year programs that cover a range of topics relating to business as well as logistics operations and supply chain management. With the increasing importance of logistics in international business, students may be able to find opportunities to make significant value-added decisions for their employers.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A bachelor's degree is the basic degree required for many entry-level positions in this field
  • Programs cover not only logistics, but other aspects of business as well, increasing broad applicability
  • A bachelor's degree in logistics management is suitable preparation for entry into a master's or MBA program

Cons

  • You may find the need for additional education at the master's level in competing for advanced positions
  • Some entry-level positions may only require an associate degree
  • For those already working in the industry, a bachelor's degree is a serious commitment of time and money

Courses and Requirements

As with other bachelor's degrees, core requirements and classes outside of the major are generally part of the program. Universities that offer logistics management programs at the bachelor's level often house these programs in either engineering or business colleges. Areas of study covered include analysis of transportation, warehousing and costs, as well as more general business principles, economics and accounting. Topics of classes may include:

  • Analytical approaches to transportation
  • Economics and legal aspects of transportation
  • Fundamentals of management
  • Logistics and transport
  • Logistics in the global economy
  • Managing inventory and supply
  • Organizational management

Online Degree Options

Completely online programs in logistics and supply chain management are available. These online programs offer students the opportunity to complete coursework asynchronously, which may be of benefit to working professionals and others with non-educational commitments. Online programs also have the advantage of not requiring commuting or relocation.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you are seeking to stand out with a degree in logistics management, you may want to consider seeking accreditation through professional organizations such as the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL), which offers multiple levels and focuses of certification within the logistics field. Furthermore, you may also seek out skills that will broaden the appeal of your application when you seek employment, such as advanced analytical, mathematical and computing skills.

Master's in Logistics Management

A master's in logistics management may or may not require a thesis, depending on the program and student goals. Programs that do not require a thesis may instead have a capstone requirement for graduation.

Programs may be offered through business or engineering departments, and logistics management is especially associated with the discipline of industrial engineering. Admission to these master's degree programs does not always require that you have completed a business degree as an undergraduate degree, but they may have specific coursework requirements.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A master's degree in logistics management may provide you with an advantage in competing for promotions
  • A Master of Science program provides a more focused course of study than the more general Master of Business Administration program
  • These programs can be an effective way of training for a second career

Cons

  • An MS degree may not always have the same impact on a business career as a broader professional degree such as an MBA
  • Balancing work obligations with a part-time master's program can provide challenges for the mid-career professional
  • MS degrees may require prerequisite coursework that will add to both cost and duration of the program

Courses and Requirements

The coursework necessary in a master's of logistics management degree program is generally higher-level than that of a bachelor's program. Additionally, it is more career-specific and less well rounded by comparison. The coursework addresses topics of interest in logistical decision making, as well as specific processes involved in supply chain management. Topics courses might cover include:

  • Corporate finance
  • Business and management statistics
  • Management information systems
  • Managing production operations
  • Logistics and delivery systems
  • Theories of decision processes
  • Managing distribution

Online Degree Options

If you're seeking a master's degree in logistic management, you will be able to find multiple options online, and both hybrid and completely online programs are available. You may want to research residency and attendance requirements before committing to a program. Coursework for online programs covers the same as their on-campus equivalents.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you're seeking a master's degree with the long-term goal of moving into the academic world and engaging in research and teaching, the Master of Science in Logistics Management program with a thesis option may be an excellent choice, as it will provide the training necessary to begin research and publication activities. If you're interested in applying this knowledge directly in business, hands-on experience through internships can strengthen your resume, and mentoring professors in the program may be of some assistance in seeking out these opportunities.

MBA in Logistics Management

The Masters of Business Administration is a professional graduate degree offered by colleges of business. These degrees do not generally have thesis or research requirements, and concentrations in a number of areas are available. One of the options is a concentration in logistics management or supply chain management. These are business degrees, and tend to be practical in their application and effectiveness. At the same time, they are designed to give you a more broad background in business theory and practices.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • MBA programs develop not just logistical skills and decision making, but also a more general understanding of business processes and theory
  • Programs also provide an opportunity to study, work and network with other business professionals in a collaborative educational setting
  • Challenges from past and present employment can be examined and addressed through discussions and research projects

Cons

  • The obligations of full-time MBA programs will usually require that students leave their current positions
  • As MBA programs are generally considered terminal degrees, they do not prepare you for doctoral programs
  • MBA programs are generally fairly expensive relative to other university programs of the same duration

Courses and Requirements

MBA programs cover business theory in general, and concentrations (such as one in logistics management) entail specific courses in addition to the core that make up the MBA. For that reason, more theoretical topics are addressed in these programs when compared to an MS. Areas of study such as accounting, finance and business psychology round out the offerings of the MBA. Courses might cover such topics as:

  • Behavior in organizations
  • Business decisions as process
  • Developing business intelligence through modeling
  • Finance for management
  • Logistics and managing the supply chain
  • Management accounting
  • Marketing for management
  • Operations design and analysis

Online Degree Options

MBA programs are available through online delivery. Both hybrid and fully online programs are available with concentrations in logistics and supply chain management. Especially for those who decide to continue with their current careers while pursuing academic goals, the online delivery of coursework can be either convenient or necessary. Asynchronous and offsite delivery can both allow you to balance challenging schedules and other commitments.

Stand Out with This Degree

If you're seeking an MBA in logistic, you may want to have experience in the field before applying to programs. The decision to leave a current position and pursue an MBA full time can be a difficult one, and the shorter time to completion will need to be balanced against lost wages, the time needed to seek a new position on completion, and the amount of time required to maintain the current position.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
      • Master of Business Admin
      • Master: Management
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master : Business Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin: Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    6. The University of Scranton

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Operations Management
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • International MBA in Operations/Supply Chain Management
      • MBA in Operation & Supply Management
      • MBA in Six Sigma
      • MS in Management
      • MBA
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Benedictine University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Accelerated MSMOB
      • DUAL MBA/MSMOB
      • Masters in Management and Organizational Behavior
      • Accelerated MBA Entrepreneurship and Managing Innovation
      • Accelerated Masters in Business Administration
      • DUAL MBA-MSN
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Management
      • MS - Organizational Leadership
      • Master of Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    10. University of the Southwest

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Strategic Management
      • MBA - Self-Designed
      • MBA - Research Track

Featured Schools

Colorado Technical University

  • MBA: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Master of Business Admin
  • Master: Management

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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

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American University

  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation

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Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin

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American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Management
  • Master of Business Admin: Operations Management
  • Master of Business Admin: Project Management

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The University of Scranton

  • MBA - Operations Management
  • Master of Business Administration

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Southern New Hampshire University

  • International MBA in Operations/Supply Chain Management
  • MBA in Operation & Supply Management
  • MBA in Six Sigma

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Benedictine University

  • Accelerated MSMOB
  • DUAL MBA/MSMOB
  • Masters in Management and Organizational Behavior

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