As technology and innovation help improve logistics processes and supply chain management around the world, the industry requires a steady influx of highly trained professionals to fill open positions. In anticipation of industry growth, organizational investment dollars within the industry topped more than $14 billion since 2013, according to data from CB Insights. For those pursuing a logistics degree online, this development offers exciting career prospects.

While the logistician profession represents one of the most direct career paths for graduates of an online logistics bachelor's degree, other options exist, like cost estimators, operations research analysts, and supply chain managers. The following information looks at the logistics industry in more depth and explores where an online logistics degree might take graduates.

What Is a Job in Logistics Like?

According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, logistics involves the movement of goods, services, and information to and from suppliers and consumers. Logistics professionals may oversee the entire life cycle of a transaction, from design to fulfillment. They also take charge of the interpersonal duties, building relationships with suppliers, distributors, and customers. Logisticians and related professionals analyze and evaluate logistical processes, functions, and personnel to ensure they perform optimally.

While earning a logistics degree online, students often learn how to identify inefficiencies in production, operations, and various processes. This management-level training in combination with the highly skilled technical training earned in a bachelor's degree in logistics make these graduates desirable in a variety of industries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of logisticians work in manufacturing, 20% work for the government, 17% in professional or technical services, 10% in organizational management, and 9% in wholesale trade. More specifically, some of the largest workforces of logisticians are found in consulting services, aerospace manufacturing, and computer systems design services.

Yet, while much of the training aims directly at careers in logistics, these degrees also prepare students for careers in other fields. Their advanced training in organizational efficiencies may qualify logistics graduates for careers in organizational analysis, like management analysis or operations analysis. Their expertise in organizational finance make them strong candidates for positions in costing and purchasing. Finally, their training in strategizing and production planning may transfer into careers in engineering and production management.

What Can I Do with an Online Logistics Bachelor's Degree?

With an online logistics degree, graduates can pursue a variety of careers and industries. The advanced skill set these professionals possess make them highly marketable and able to translate their training into multiple fields and formats. To help students understand what the degree might offer, the following information highlights the skills acquired in these programs and available careers upon graduation.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

In an online logistics degree, students train on the latest technologies and applications used in the field. This may involve creating analytical models or simulations to strategize or solve various problems. With these technical skills, students can look to other professions that use similar technology. The programs also typically train students to work with supply chain applications and computer programs. Even when the programs vary, familiarization with this type of work can go a long way.

With the help of technology, logistics professionals learn to analyze supply chains and plan the most effective transference methods between two or more points. Since many organizations in this industry deal with foreign customers and the global marketplace, programs often include exporting and marketing training to acquaint students with the different processes involved. Some of this training includes learning the laws and policies that govern the logistics industry and international trade, along with export marketing and international marketing channel training.

To manage all the moving parts and components of an organization's supply chain, students need a solid business foundation. Most logistics programs offer this training, providing learners with an understanding of areas like operations, communications, and purchasing. While these skills apply directly to logistics, they also allow students to branch out and explore other career avenues in business or management.

Since the logistics profession requires such a wide base of knowledge and expertise, many of the skills acquired in a logistics degree apply to other careers and industries. For students who wish to pursue a career outside of logistics, programs often offer development opportunities, like internships, practicums, or even electives. By supplementing their education with practical experience or focused training in another discipline, students demonstrate to employers that they possess a clear career path in mind and sought logistics training as a foundation for that journey.

Careers and Salary Potential

Students taking an online logistics degree do not need to know their eventual career prior to starting. They can use the early part of the program as a discovery tool while choosing complementary, career-focused courses in the latter half. With such a variety of careers and industries available to these graduates, however, this process can still prove overwhelming. The following list, therefore, outlines some of the options available and how each one relates to logistics.

  • Shipping, Transportation, Warehousing, or Logistics: This industry covers the movement of products, services, and information between organizations. Logistics students train in managing this process and creating the most effective paths for organizations.
  • Software Development: Software developers design and create software to improve processes for consumers and organizations. While logistics graduates may possess technology skills and insight to create software for the logistics industry, they more likely access this industry on the logistics side, managing the supply and distribution of computer software and related products.
  • Wholesale Distribution: This industry relates to the sale and distribution of nonconsumer goods. The trade typically involves one organization selling goods or raw materials to another for the purposes of resale or production. Logistics professionals with training in trade and distribution can manage the distribution channels in this field.
  • Retail: In the retail world, products constantly move between suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Logisticians can increase the effectiveness of this chain by managing product quality, transportation, inventory, costing, and timing.
  • Medical Device Manufacturing: This industry covers the production and distribution of medical devices to and from healthcare organizations and consumers. Like in other manufacturing industries, logistics professionals can make themselves very useful by applying their skills in distribution and supply chain management to improve logistical functions and processes from design to fulfillment.
Cost Estimator

Annual Median Salary: $60,040

Cost estimators oversee the costs involved to manufacture a product or deliver a service. This can involve managing every element of a project, including time, personnel, and products required.

Industrial Production Managers

Annual Median Salary: $103,380

Industrial production managers take care of the day-to-day processes for organizations or plants. This may include directing where and how to allocate equipment, staff, or resources.

Management Analysts

Annual Median Salary: $83,610

Management analysts assess and evaluate an organization's processes to uncover inefficiencies. They strategize and suggest possible solutions for improvement and may even help in the implementation and rollout of these new methods of operation.

Operations Research Analysts

Annual Median Salary: $83,390

Operations research analysts apply quantitative models and simulations to help solve common or challenging business problems. This process involves researching the issue, examining the current methods of approach, and applying different technologies or analytical models to discover solutions.

Purchasing Managers

Annual Median Salary: $67,600

Purchasing managers look after the buying of goods and services for organizations. They build relationships with sellers and negotiate contracts, ensuring the value and quality matches what the organization requires.