Starting this spring, students in Saint Leo University's online business administration degree program can pursue a new specialization that will prepare them to enter the lucrative and expanding field of logistics and supply chain management.
The online degree in business administration with a logistics specialization will be available to students enrolled in the Donald R. Tapia School of Business beginning with the Spring I term, which starts on Jan. 6, 2014.
The program is designed to meet the needs of today's mobile professionals and active-military students who are seeking to earn a business degree and develop the skills, abilities, and aptitude to be a successful logistician.
Specializations are optional and provide students with the opportunity to explore a particular field in depth and develop specialized knowledge and skills by taking a core set of courses. Saint Leo also offers specializations in accounting, management, and marketing to students in its online business administration degree program.
Growing career opportunities
Logistics focuses on how materials and finished goods are warehoused, packaged, shipped, and delivered to their destinations in a timely and cost-efficient manner. It is a vital component that contributes to the success of managers in both civilian and military sectors. Found in nearly every industry, logisticians analyze and coordinate an organization's supply chain, managing the life cycle of a product.
The logistics and transportation industry in the United States is highly competitive. While logistician jobs are in great demand, this well-paying field commands a highly skilled workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, because of the important role of logistics in an increasingly global economy, employment of logisticians is expected to grow by 26 percent – faster than the average for all occupations – by the year 2020.
According to Dr. B. Tim Lowder, chair of the Department of Management & Business Administration, Saint Leo University's experience in preparing students for careers in logistics began in 2009 when the School of Business developed the specialization at the university's Fort Lee Center in Virginia.
To meet student needs, and in response to a request from Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding, Saint Leo developed logistics and project management courses, which have been offered at a number of the university's Virginia education centers ever since.
"One of the key strengths of our program is that we use industry input to develop our curriculum," says Lowder. "We update our curriculum regularly working closely with military and industry partners to ensure courses are relevant and reflect the most current industry standards."
The curriculum that will be offered online comprises 30 credits in logistics-related coursework such as: Computer Systems; Introduction to Logistics Management; Introduction to Project Management; Transportation and Distribution Management; Procurement, Purchasing, and Vendor Management; Inventory Control and Materials Management.
Expert faculty, real-world preparation
According to Lowder, Saint Leo faculty members come from leadership positions in all areas of logistics processes in both civilian and military organizations and offer years of industry knowledge and experience.
Another strength of Saint Leo's program is the integration of the university's core values, which include excellence and integrity, into every course.
"This means that students will understand the importance of ethical decision-making and be prepared to make the right choices for their organizations in a global marketplace."
Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The business curriculum is also accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). A member of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP), the School of Business is currently pursuing ACBSP accreditation.
Are you thinking about going into the logistics and supply chain management field? What appeals to you about the industry?
Image Credit: NOAA's National Ocean Service
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