Supply Chain Logistics Degrees: Bachelor's, Associate & Online Class Info

About this article
What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's or bachelor's degree in supply chain logistics? Find out associate's and bachelor's degree requirements, online options and info on courses in supply chain logistics.
View available schools

Studying Supply Chain Logistics: Degrees at a Glance

Supply chain logistics involves the purchasing of goods and supplies for companies. Professionals who work in this field must be able to coordinate and collaborate with suppliers, customers and third party providers. Entry-level careers are available in a variety of areas related to business, including inventory management, exports/imports, operations management and materials controls. While positions may be available to those with an associate's degree, companies are more likely to hire individuals with a bachelor's degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers for purchasing agents and buyers were projected to increase only seven percent from 2010-2020, which was slower than average for all occupations.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want entry-level careers in supply chain logistics Those who want to pursue advancement opportunities
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) -Purchasing agent ($61,000) *
-Buyer ($57,000) *
-Purchasing manager ($103,000) *
-Supply chain manager ($94,000) **
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements -About 20-24 courses
-About 40-48 courses
Prerequisites -High school diploma
-High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures), **Salary.com (May 2012 figures).

Associate's in Supply Chain Logistics

An associate's degree in supply chain logistics provides you with an opportunity to learn about the role inventory control and management plays within a company. Students in the program will learn about supply chain management terminology, bar-coding systems, delivery processes, storage and inventory techniques. Opportunities will also be available to learn about warehouse operations and distribution facilities. It's also important for you to understand contract negotiations and how laws affect distribution. With an associate's degree, you may need several years of experience before earning a management position.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Opportunity to work in a variety of industry and commerce fields
  • Get to work in a comfortable environment
  • Will compete for entry-level jobs after graduation

Cons

  • A decrease in management will have a negative effect on employment*
  • May need several years of experience to earn a decision-making position
  • Some professionals in the field work over 40 hours per week

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

Courses and Requirements

You'll begin the program by taking introductory business courses in marketing principles, logistics and accounting. The program will also require that you complete general education requirements, such as English, speech, algebra and humanities courses. Core courses at the associate's degree level include strategic procurement, information technology, warehouse management, inventory control and negotiation. Some programs may require students to complete a practicum or internship as well.

Online Course Options

Students can find numerous associate's degree programs related to business online; however, programs involving supply chain are rare. Before enrolling, students should make sure that any prospective program is accredited and that they will be prepared for entry-level careers following graduation.

How to Stand Out

With an associate's degree, it's important to gain experience in the field; this could be through a part-time job or internship. Staying up-to-date in the latest developments in technology will also help you stand out. For example, new software programs may help you track inventory better or let you know when you are running out of supplies.

Bachelor's in Supply Chain Logistics

A bachelor's degree program in supply chain logistics will provide you with advanced knowledge and skills in the field, teaching you about supply management, procurement, inventory control and distribution. The program will also offer you an opportunity to obtain creative and leadership skills. To work in a management position, you will need to understand how to handle employee situations and solve business problems, in addition to having customer service skills. While you will have an advantage over associate's degree graduates for jobs, experience will play an important role in the hiring process.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Will obtain additional skills and knowledge in the field
  • A bachelor's degree will provide you with advanced courses
  • Internship opportunities may be available

Cons

  • Overtime is common in this field
  • Travel outside U.S. may be necessary
  • Experience may be valued over education

Courses and Requirements

Like an associate's degree program, students will take basic courses in accounting, finance, marketing and statistics. However, students will also need to take various courses that will educate them about supply chain logistics and management. These courses will teach you to apply technical and management principles in supply chain logistics. Core courses include transportation and distribution management, material and inventory management, contract management, quality management, contract pricing and negotiation.

Online Course Options

Online degree program in supply chain logistics are available at the bachelor's degree level. This program may be ideal if you are currently working full-time and want to improve your employment prospects. Courses are taught by the same faculty members and cover the same topics as their on-campus counterparts.

How to Stand Out

While a bachelor's degree may help you get your foot in the door, you can stand out in this field by obtaining certification. The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) designation is available to those with a bachelor's degree and who have three years of experience in the field.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSBA - Supply Chain Management and Logistics
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BBA: Project Management
      • BSBA - Investment
      • Bachelor: Accounting
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Business Admin - Logistics/Supply Chain Management
      • BS - Business Administration - Management
      • Bachelor: Project Management
      • BS - Business Administration - Project Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Behavior
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Project Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
      • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Business Management
      • BS - Organizational Leadership
      • BS - Project Management
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Operations Management / Logistics and Transportation concentration
      • BS in Operations Management
      • BS in Business Studies - Small Business Mgt
      • BS in Operations Management / Project Management concentration
      • BS in Business Studies - Business Adminis
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
      • Business Administration, BA - Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Applied Management
      • BS in Business Admin.
      • BS in Entrepreneurial Studies
      • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Campus and Online Programs
    10. Centenary University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Business Administration - Management

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • BSBA - Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BBA: Project Management

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado Technical University

  • Bachelor: Business Admin - Logistics/Supply Chain Management
  • BS - Business Administration - Management
  • Bachelor: Project Management

Are you a US citizen?

American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Operations Management

Are you a US citizen?

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Business Management
  • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?

Southern New Hampshire University

  • BS in Operations Management / Logistics and Transportation concentration
  • BS in Operations Management
  • BS in Business Studies - Small Business Mgt

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • B.A. - Business Admin: Management
  • Business Administration, BA - Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • BS in Applied Management
  • BS in Business Admin.

What is your highest level of education?