Training in Oregon to Become a Supply Chain Manager

If you’re someone who can pay attention to detail, enjoys overseeing large projects and can communicate well, a career in supply chain management (SCM) might be the next step for you. But, what is a supply chain, exactly? In simple terms, a supply chain is the chain of events that a product must undergo from start to finish.

For example, a product is first designed, then manufactured, transported and sold. These separate steps altogether make up the supply chain, or lifespan, of a product. So, what do supply chain managers or logisticians do? These professionals are in charge of running the entire supply chain, ensuring maximized profits, minimal costs and a streamlined process.

Logistics is another term that describes the management of a supply chain; that’s why these professionals may also be called logisticians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this job field is expected to increase 7 percent by the year 2026. That means that jobs should continue opening for new logisticians.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management

Most entry-level positions in SCM require you to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in business. Check out the Oregon schools below, which have BS programs specifically within the field of supply chain management. A more specific degree could lead to better job opportunities.

  • Portland State University. At this school, you can earn a B.S. in Supply Chain and Logistics Management. Classes take place completely online. Graduates from the program boast a job placement rate near 100 percent. They’re also actively recruited by major businesses such as Boeing and Nike.
  • Oregon State University. Based in Corvallis, this school offers a Bachelor’s in Supply Chain and Logistics Management. The degree requires 28 credits beyond business core courses. Prerequisites for the Supply Chain program are the same as they are for general business school: a 2.5 GPA in pre-business coursework and all pre-business required coursework must be completed at the time of application.

The Next Step: Your Master’s Degree in Logistics

After receiving a bachelor’s degree and gaining some work experience, you might consider returning to school and earning your master’s degree. A master’s degree gives you an even more competitive edge in the job field. Here are a few SCM master’s programs in Oregon:

  • Portland State University. This school’s M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management is one of only three Global Supply Chain Management graduate programs approved by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It’s also the only one that’s available online. The program takes 21 months or 52 credit-hours to complete.
  • Oregon State University. Earn an MSB with a concentration in Supply Chain Analytics at this school. Students can also apply the supply chain concentration to a MS in data management and data analytics. Hybrid classes are available in Portland, with fully in-person classes available in Corvallis. The program takes a total of 45 credits of study.

Shorter Supply Chain Management Programs

Because it’s recommended that you pursue a bachelor’s degree to get started in this field, it’s hard to find many in-person options for SCM associate degrees and certificates. Shorter programs can help people enter the supply chain field with more of a technical approach, but they probably need further education to enter the management arena.

Those in Oregon who would like to pursue a shorter program and who already have a bachelor’s degree can try Portland State University. This school’s Master-level certificate is 16 credit-hours long. It’s meant to complement the studies of those who are currently pursuing an MBA or Master of International Management.

The Role of APICS in Certification

This is a job field that does not require certification. However, many logisticians choose to become certified through APICS, the organization that oversees SCM nationally. Soon, APICS will become the Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM), which will then offer certifications to logisticians.

Career Details for Oregon Logisticians

Oregon logisticians make almost the same amount as logisticians across the country, with a median income of $34.60 per hour reported in 2017 by the BLS. In 2018, logisticians across the country made a median income of 35.86 per hour by comparison.

Job outlook for logisticians in Oregon is especially good, with a 15.4 percent employment growth rate predicted by the year 2026 and 180 new job openings per year. That growth rate is more than double the projected employment growth rate for the entire country.

Getting Started in Oregon

The highest number of logisticians in the state worked in Portland in 2018 by far, suggesting that this would be a good city for starting your career. Portland also reported the highest logistician employment rate per 1,000 jobs that same year. The highest median income, however, was reported in the central Oregon nonmetropolitan area, where logisticians made $37.90 per hour.

With such a great job outlook across the state and in Portland specifically, it seems to be a good time to jump into the field of logistics. Remember, the best way to start is by earning your bachelor’s degree, so start looking at options as soon as possible. In the meantime, take any high school or college classes related to business and accounting as you can.

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