School Choices for Supply Chain Managers in Kansas

If you can pay attention to details, like being in charge of complicated systems, and are interested in a business career, supply chain management(SCM) may be the right field for you. But what is supply chain management, and who are the people that run it?

A supply chain describes the life of a product, from its creation to its disposal, as it pertains to the company producing it. For example, the first step of a supply chain may be the design of a new product, which leads to the gathering of raw materials, manufacturing, delivery and then, sales. Supply chain managers (SCMs) or logisticians manage this entire process, whether it’s multiple SCMs who specialize in different pieces or a generalist who handles the entire supply chain.

Typical work environments for logisticians are office spaces where they can manage paperwork and computer data analysis. Sometimes, logisticians may visit sites of production or sales in order to interact with their clients. They work in manufacturing, medical fields, government agencies and sales industries, among others.

To become a supply chain manager, you should plan on at least completing your bachelor’s degree. While shorter certificates and degrees are available, they’re often not meant to prepare you for entry-level logistician work. Instead, shorter educational options are considered more of an add-on to your base education, which can add to your resume and help you find employment while getting you into a job faster.

Get Started with a Bachelor’s Degree

Most logisticians need a bachelor’s degree in order to find entry-level employment. There are a few options in Kansas for bachelor’s degrees in SCM, including:

  • The University of Kansas, School of Business. This school offers a four-year degree in Supply Chain Management, focusing on the flow of materials, finances and products within organizations. It takes 120 credit hours to complete the degree. To take this major, you need to be accepted into the School of Business, having completed three prerequisite business courses. To graduate, you must hold a minimum overall 2.2 GPA with a 2.5 GPA in SCM.
  • Ottawa University (Online). Offering a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration, Management and Leadership, this is a private, non-profit, regionally accredited school. There are also other business degree options, so you can focus your studies on a unique specialty within SCM.

Improve Your Employability with a Master’s Degree

To stand out in a growing field, you might consider earning your master’s degree in supply chain management or a related business field. Here are a couple of graduate schools that specialize in SCM:

  • The University of Kansas. At this school, you can receive an MBA or MSB in Supply Chain Management. The program lasts for a total of 21 credit hours. Recent data displayed by the University show a median starting salary of $48,500 for graduates and a 77 percent job placement rate at their time of graduation.
  • Wichita State University. You can earn a Master of Science in Management Science and Supply Chain Management at this school, which focuses on organizations as whole integrated systems. Graduates of this program receive multiple certificates and competitive graduate assistantships. There are two tracks for the MS degree: Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Analytics. Students have access to both 16-week classes and 8-week hybrid classes.

Other Education Choices

If you’re looking to enter more of the technical side of logistics, you might consider completing a certificate at Washburn Tech University. This school offers the opportunity for students to become Certified Logistics Technicians. It’s an online, four-credit program resulting in a technical certificate. Topics covered include factories, warehouses, transportation and inventory storage. Recipients of the certificate can take Manufacturing Skills Standards Council certification tests.

Earning Professional Credentials in Supply Chain Management

The association that is in charge of logistics certification is called APICS, but it’s transitioning into the Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM). For now, logisticians can still seek certification through APICS, which can help improve their career options. Certifications earned nationally will enhance your resume and show employers that your training satisfies national standards, making you more valuable and able to demand a higher income.

Career Details for Kansas Logisticians

Logisticians generally earn a very strong income, with a $67,710 per year annual median income reported for Kansas in 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Kansas logisticians are also projected to experience a job growth rate of 7.5 percent by 2026, compared to national rate of 6.9 percent. This means that the rate of job growth for logisticians in Kansas is slightly higher than that for the rest of the country.

Where to Work as a Logistician

In Kansas, the highest number of logisticians were reported to work in Wichita in 2017 by the BLS. However, the highest incomes earned by these professionals within the state was in the Kansas nonmetropolitan area, with a median income of $77,370 reported that year. Wichita had the highest logistician employment rate per 1,000 jobs compared to the rest of the state in 2017. It seems that for a promising career in the state of Kansas, living in Wichita would be a smart choice.

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