In today’s global economy, transportation and logistics will play an increasingly vital role. Job openings in this industry continue to grow as demand for qualified individuals outpaces supply. It’s no coincidence that colleges are adding transportation and logistics courses to meet this demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as many as 100,000 new transportation jobs will open up by 2014.
One of hottest jobs right now is Logistics Management Consultant. These experts advise companies on the most efficient methods to improve their manufacturing processes and boost productivity. Another in-demand position is Logistics, Distribution and Materials Manager. These individuals arrange the transportation of raw materials, supplies and finished goods via domestic and international transportation channels.
Transport Managers. These individuals coordinate the dispatch of transport fleets, supervise vehicle and shipping services contracts, and oversee equipment repair or purchases. They approve expenditures, review budgets, manage contracts with service providers, forecast shipping demand and resolve fulfillment issues. Transportation managers also implement safety policies as they pertain to materials handling and work conditions.
Storage/Distribution Managers. These professionals manage warehouse facilities and the distribution of finished products. They coordinate materials handling activities with warehouse facilities managers. They also work with transportation managers to ensure that transport is properly scheduled for ongoing distribution. In some cases, they may purchase, service and manage transportation fleets.
Logistics Managers. These managers ensure the efficient distribution of materials and merchandise. They're responsible for transportation, shipping, warehousing and inventory control. They advise supply chain managers to ensure that products and materials are properly shipped. They also negotiate billing and contracts, and they apply transportation industry practices to ensure the most efficient routing, scheduling and order management.
If you expect to land a job as a supervisor or manager in this industry, you’ll need some specific training—preferably a BS or MS degree. Fortunately, some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities offer degrees in logistics. Here are the top two:
MIT. A recent U.S. News & World Report ranked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the top-ranking graduate school for supply chain and logistics. The Center for Transportation & Logistics offers a Master of Engineering in Logistics program with courses in transportation systems, operations management and product development. You can also earn a Supply Chain Master's degree with international elements and even a PhD in logistics.
Ohio State University (OSU). U.S. News & World Report also named OSU as the eighth-best graduate school for logistics and supply chain education in 2010. OSU's undergraduate business program offers logistics as a specialization. Recent graduates of this program have landed jobs at Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Dow Chemical. A Master’s Degree in Business Logistics Engineering is offered jointly through the Fisher College of Business and the College of Engineering. This MS degree requires 45 credit hours of coursework in logistics, supply chain management, mathematical modeling and facility design.