Logistics and Supply Chain Management Educational Options in California

A supply chain manager (SCM) is a professional who is responsible for overseeing the life cycle of inventory or services from start to finish. They work with the sales team and customer service team and keep up with logistics and inventory. They communicate directly with the supplier as well as the customer, and they work to make sure the most cost-efficient and time-efficient procedures are being used. SCMs are also referred to as logisticians.

To work as a logistician, you will need to get a bachelor’s degree, which generally takes at least four years. Some employers may hire logisticians who only have an associate’s degree in business or a related field, but they will often encourage them to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, the employer may help cover the cost for an employee to finish earning their degree. Some employers may also hire someone who doesn’t have a degree but has experience working in logistics, supply chain management or management in general. Because you will need to know a great deal about logistics and management, including how to analyze data and implement various software programs, being educated in these areas can help you further your career. Keep reading to view your educational options in California.

California Bachelor’s Degree Options

Most logisticians hold a bachelor’s degree in business, with a field-related focus such as operations management, supply chain management or logistics. Here are some California schools that offer excellent four-year business programs:

  • Golden Gate University. On the San Francisco campus and online, you can earn a Bachelor’s in Science (B.S.) degree in Business with a concentration in operation and supply chain management. The program consists of 123 credit hours including general education and major courses and electives. Required courses include supply chain logistics, production planning & inventory control, project management and an internship in operations management.
  • University of San Diego. The University of San Diego has a couple of different business degree options that focus on supply chain management. You can earn a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree with a minor in Supply Chain Management. Or, you can earn a Bachelor of Accounting (BACC) degree in which you have the option to study both Accounting and Supply Chain Management.
  • Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) has campuses in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Orange County. This program is perfect for students who want to be involved in the business side of fashion. It is open to students who hold an associate’s degree in a business-related field from FIDM or another accredited university. This program can be taken completely online.

California Master’s Degree Options

While a bachelor’s degree is the common educational requirement for working in this field, logisticians who earn a master’s degree may have more job opportunities. They may also make more money than those with less education. Below are some of the graduate business programs available in California:

  • Golden Gate University. Golden Gate offers a Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree program with a concentration in Global Supply Chain Management. This program consists of 54 credit hours and can be completed in approximately two years. Supply Chain Planning & Control and Global Supply Chain Management Application & Analytics are required courses for this degree. An Operations Management Internship can be taken as an elective. Golden Gate also offers a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management for students who are interested in learning more about SCM but don’t want to spend two years in grad school. This program consists of 18 credit hours. The same courses required for an M.B.A. are required for the certificate, but fewer elective courses. A Supply Chain Management Internship is an option for this program.
  • University of San Diego. The University of San Diego has a master’s degree program in Supply Chain Management. This program can be taken online at the student’s pace. Five on campus courses are taken in addition to the online coursework. This program was ranked by U.S. News as one of the top 20 best online business graduate programs.
  • Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. FIDM also has a master’s program, for those interested in the business side of fashion merchandising. You can earn your M.B.A. at FIDM in just a little over a year.

Other Logistician Educational Options in California

If you aren’t’ interested in pursuing a four-year degree in SCM, you still have options in California. Here are a few of them:

  • Golden Gate University. Golden Gate University offers an undergraduate certificate in Supply Chain Management. This certificate can be completed in a year or less and consists of 18 credits. This includes four operations management courses and two electives.
  • East Los Angeles College. East Los Angeles College offers students the option of earning either a Certificate of Achievement (COA) or Associate’s degree in Business Management. An associate’s degree typically takes two years to earn, while certificate programs take less than two years.
  • Coastline College. Coastline College, located in Fountain Valley, has several associate degrees in business options. The first is an Associate in Science degree in Business Administration for transfer. This option is for students who wish to transfer to university and continue their education with a bachelor’s degree in business. Twenty-seven major credit hours are required for this degree, with a total of 60 credit hours. This program can be completed in two years. There is also the option to get an Associate of Science (A.S.) or COA degree in Business with one of the following concentrations: Business Administration, General Business, Human Resources Management or Marketing. The following are required courses for both the AS or COA in any concentration: Introduction to Business, Business Law, Introduction to Marketing and Business Organization and Management. All associate degree options consist of 60 credit hours, and the certificate options consist of 21-22 credit hours.

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) has a certification program known as the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) in which logisticians can earn certification. You can earn the following certifications: Supply Chain Professional (CSPC), Production Inventory Management (CPIM) and Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD).

Career Outlook and Logisticians Salary in California

According to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), logistician jobs in the state of California are predicted to see an 11 percent increase between 2016 and 2026. At least 1,900 jobs are expected to become available in the state during that time.

Logisticians in the state make a good living as well. The average hourly rate for this career in the state was $40.94 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average annual rate that year for this career was $85,150. Logisticians who have more education and experience can potentially make as much as $125,710 a year.

Working as a Logistician in California

Logisticians work in many industries including manufacturing and wholesale trade. Logisticians must possess strong communication and critical thinking skills to be successful in their career. In California, the cities with the highest employment levels for logisticians include Anaheim, Long Beach and Los Angeles. Among the highest paying cities are Santa Clara, San Jose and Sunnyvale.

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