Online MBA in Logistics Management
Logistics managers are an important part of any major company that deals with buying, selling, or transporting goods. Applicants who have an online MBA1 in logistics management have a competitive advantage over others when applying for positions in this field thanks to the valuable experience and knowledge these programs provide. An online MBA program in logistics or supply chain management includes advanced courses in operations, organizational behavior, marketing, economics, and mathematics. Usually, online courses are followed with on-the-job learning via an internship position with a mid to large-sized business.
What is an Online MBA in Logistics Management?
Obtaining an online MBA in logistics management is an ideal way to prepare for a high-level career in the transport or retail industry. The study of logistics management or supply chain management prepares students for careers in fields such as goods transport, quality control, inventory control, procurement, and product development. The knowledge and experience that students gain during their studies is invaluable and can help them to obtain positions with major corporations.
Students who enroll in accredited MBA programs in logistics management online learn a variety of important skills including transportation management, change management, organizational behavior, and how to coordinate demand and supply. Additionally, students learn the foundations of business management, including marketing management, finance, and decision-making.
Before deciding to obtain an MBA in logistics management online, it’s important for students to take time to research which field of study is going to put them on the best path to achieving their career goals. As mentioned earlier, online MBA programs in logistics management are meant to prepare students for a long-term career in fields that involve the purchasing, storage, sale, or transport of goods. If a student is interested in a career path in another area of business, such as the management of people or finances, it may be best to consider a different specialization. For example, those who are interested in financial management may want to consider an online MBA in accounting or finance, depending on the type of financial role they are hoping to take on.
Online MBA in Logistics Management Curriculum
Students studying logistics management in an online MBA program get the tools they need to succeed in their careers. The courses in this program are designed to prepare students for the most common real-world scenarios that logistics management professional experience on a day-to-day basis.
In most cases, the prerequisites for online MBA programs include an undergraduate degree in a similar field and approximately one year of work experience in a related role. While some schools require students to achieve a high score on GMAT tests, other online schools waive this requirement2 so they can attract more students to their online MBA programs.
Some of the topics students cover while obtaining their online MBA in logistics management include:
- Financial decision-making
- Supply chain management
- Organizational behavior
- Transportation management
- Change management
- Demand forecasting
An online MBA with a concentration in logistics management is specifically meant to train students for a career in logistics and supply chain management; therefore, the curriculum is primarily focused on courses that are specific to that niche. However, students enrolling in an online MBA program in logistics management can expect to learn some general business management skills as well in courses that focus on:
- Business communication
- Business law
The specific course titles and topics covered in those courses may vary slightly between schools and programs. MBA online programs that specialize in logistics management usually include the following courses:
- Organizational Behaviors: This course teaches students about the structure of organizations and how roles within organizations work together to ensure the business runs smoothly. Additionally, students learn how to manage their own teams in an effective and respectful way.
- Transportation Management: Students in this course learn how transportation affects goods and the role it plays in cost management.
- Forecasting Demand: This course teaches students to analyze trends to predict the upcoming demand for the goods they manage as well as how to ensure that demand is met with adequate supply.
- Supplier Relationship Management: Contracting and maintaining ethical and mutually successful relationships with suppliers is one of the most important roles of a logistics manager. This course teaches students how to seek out new suppliers and build long-lasting relationships with those who are best suited to working with their company.
- Supply Chain Technologies: This course introduces students to common technologies they will encounter in their logistics management job and how to adapt to new technologies that emerge throughout their career.
What Unique Career Paths Can I Pursue With an MBA Specializing in Logistics Management?
While logistics management is a niche specialty, several high-level career options are available to students who graduate from online MBA programs in logistics management. These graduates have unique expertise in the management and transport of goods, which can be invaluable to the organizations that employ them. The skills learned while obtaining their MBA helps these graduates become experts in forecasting demand and knowing exactly how to maintain an adequate supply that will meet upcoming demand. They’re also knowledgeable about maintaining quality during transport and ensuring timely delivery, which, again, is an invaluable skill that’s sought by many large organizations. Some of the career paths online MBA graduates with a specialization in Logistics management can choose from include:
Logistics analysts3are responsible for analyzing supply chain processes and recommending the best ways to increase efficiency. Typical day-to-day duties include:
- Analyze internal processes
- Recommend optimizations
- Compile and organize detailed logistics information
- Manage transportation costs and delivery processes
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for logistics analysts as of May 2018 was $74,600. Long-term occupational projections for logistics analysts suggest a 7% increase in job availability by 2026.
Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerk
Production, planning, and expediting clerks4 are responsible for coordinating the transfer of goods between departments within an organization. They’re also responsible for creating the organization’s production schedule and ensuring that all parties involved adhere to it. Some of the typical day-to-day duties a production, planning, and expediting clerk performs include:
- Creating and distributing production and shipment schedules
- Compiling progress and inventory reports
- Liaising with managers and supervisors in various departments of the organization to ensure timely completion of work and adherence to production schedules
As of May 2017, production, planning, and expediting clerks were earning an average wage of $49,020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. States with the most opportunities for this role include California, Texas, New York, Ohio, and Illinois.
Transportation managers5 are responsible for planning and organizing the transportation and safe storage of goods. In addition to following company policies, they are required to work within government laws amd regulations that vary depending on the type of product they transport. Typical daily duties may include:
- Organizing transportation schedules
- Route planning
- Inspecting vehicles and storage systems for safety and compliance with laws and regulations
- Inspecting goods to ensure they are undamaged after transport
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of May 2018, the average income for a transportation manager in the US was $102,850. Job availability for this role is expected to grow 2% by the year 2024, which is below average.
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial production managers6 manage the operation of manufacturing plants. They are responsible for ensuring the safety and productivity of the plant’s employees as well as coordinating production schedules and directing manufacturing activities. Some of the daily tasks Industrial production managers perform include:
- Determining and ensuring adherence to quality control and safety standards
- Assessing the needs of the plant and obtaining necessary resources
- Creating and maintaining production schedules
- Overseeing the manufacturing process
- Estimating and negotiating budgets and contracts with clients and managers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial production managers earned an average wage of $103,380 annually as of May 2018. The outlook for this job is -1% by 2026, which means that little to no change is expected.
Quality Control Managers
Quality control managers7 work with production teams and inspectors to ensure that the product being manufactured adheres to quality and safety standards. Some of the daily tasks qualify control inspectors perform include:
- Inspecting manufactured goods for defects
- Developing quality control standards
- Providing on-the-job training to quality control inspectors and production staff
- Maintaining accurate logs and reports
While the median annual wage for quality control inspectors was only $38,250 per year in May of 2018, those who work on management teams can expect a substantially higher income in most cases. Job opportunities for this role are expected to decline by 11% by the year 2026.
Procurement managers8 are responsible for managing relationships with suppliers and buying products that the organization they work for will use or sell. Often, procurement managers are in charge of a team of buyers or purchasing agents. Daily duties may include:
- Negotiating contracts with suppliers on behalf of the business
- Forecasting demand and ensuring supply is at adequate levels
- Completing procurement reports
- Working with high-level management to determine budgets
As of May 2018, the average yearly income for procurement managers was $67,600. Job availability is expected to decline by 3% by the year 2026.
Should I Get an Online MBA in Logistics Management?
If you’re a student who is thinking about obtaining an online MBA in logistics management, you should take time to carefully consider if this is the right program for you. There are several questions you can ask yourself to help make this decision.
Are you interested in working behind the scenes for a major organization?
Most positions held by graduates of online MBA programs with a specialization in logistics management in major organizations. They work in the background performing tasks such as production management, procurement, and transportation management.
Are you interested in a long-term career in manufacturing or transportation management?
If you’ve set your sights on a career in one of these industries, then an online MBA in logistics management may be the perfect choice for you. While earning this degree, students learn the necessary skills to successfully manage the production and transportation of goods.
Are you seeking a promotion with your current employer?
If you’re currently working for a company on the production or transport team, your chances of qualifying for a managerial position with higher pay and more responsibility may be improved if you earn an online MBA in logistics management.
Are you capable of handling the workload that’s required of an online MBA student?
Even though obtaining your MBA in logistics management online is a method of study that allows you to work at your own pace, students are still required to complete their coursework consistently. Obtaining any online degree requires hard work, but MBA courses often need a particularly high level of dedication. It’s crucial that you set time aside in your schedule to work on your studies in order to succeed at obtaining your logistics management MBA online.
Is obtaining an MBA in logistics management online going to give me a competitive edge over those with a bachelor’s degree?
If your ultimate goal is to work in a management capacity, then having your online MBA is a great way to secure your future. Companies often prefer MBA graduates over those with bachelor’s degrees when selecting candidates for top-level management positions.
How long does it take to earn an online MBA in logistics management?
The amount of time it takes to earn an MBA in logistics management online depends on two factors: the school and the student. Some schools offer accelerated online MBA programs that can take as little as six weeks to complete; however, most schools are flexible and allow the student to work at their own pace, provided that course work is completed within a maximum time frame, which typically ranges from two to five years depending on the institution.
Is it better to obtain an MBA in a classroom setting instead of online?
Some students find they are better learners when they study in a classroom environment. The classroom allows for in-person interaction with the instructor and fellow students, which can be a benefit for some. When obtaining an online MBA, students are allowed to complete their coursework at their own pace while still maintaining contact with instructors. For those who work full-time or keep a busy schedule, obtaining an MBA online is usually the best option.
Are schools that offer online MBAs accredited?
While many accredited schools offer online MBAs, there are unfortunately some that aren’t accredited. Before choosing a school, it’s important to look into its accreditation and make sure that you’re enrolling in a program that’s going to be of value to you and your career goals. Prospective students can learn about a school’s accreditation by searching online at the United States Department of Education’s database of accredited programs9.