The Road to Supply Chain Management in South Dakota

Products and services in most industries pass through a supply chain, or long series of events, before reaching the hands of customers. The beginning stages of a product’s life in a supply chain include conceptualization, design and the sourcing of raw materials, while the later stages of the supply chain include shipping, storage and sales.

The people who oversee supply chains are called logisticians, or supply chain managers (SCMs). To be a logistician, you must have a well-rounded education that includes study in computer systems, data analytics and supply chain logistics.

Those who pay attention to details and enjoy managing complex systems make good logisticians. You must be good at organization and multitasking to excel in this field.

At a minimum, most SCMs require a bachelor’s degree in logistics, supply chain management or business administration. Further education is valued by employers and later, leads to certification in SCM.

This job requires the close monitoring of data and constant communication with clients. Even so, logisticians are paid well for their work, with a national median income of $35.86 per hour reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018.

Finding a Bachelor’s Degree in SCM

Logisticians should complete at least a Bachelor’s degree in the supply chain or business administration field. In South Dakota, you have a few options for SCM four-year degrees, including:

  • University of South Dakota. Earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Business, Business Administration or Operations Analytics at this school. Most of these programs give the necessary business background for supply chain management. The first two years of study are dedicated to core liberal arts courses, and the second two specialize in the business major.
  • South Dakota State. At this school in Brookings, students can earn a BS in Operations Management. Part of the curriculum for this program is the management of people and processes, which is useful in the supply chain field. This degree can have a manufacturing or electronics focus, depending on the student’s career goals.

Beyond a Bachelor’s Degree: Master’s Degrees in Logistics

With a master’s degree and a few years of work, logisticians can gain even more skill and experience in the field of SCM. These schools are available to those living in South Dakota and offer master’s degrees in SCM and business administration:

  • University of South Dakota, Online. This school offers a 36-credit-hour Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Operations and Supply Chain Management. The Beacom School of Business is internationally accredited by AACSB. Admission requirements include GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation and a personal statement of purpose.
  • National American University. This school has multiple locations throughout the South Dakota, but students can earn their MBA in Operations and Configuration Management completely online. Some classes can be taken on the various campuses, but specialty classes for the major are only available online. This school is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Shorter Educational Options

Instead of pursuing an entire master’s degree, some post-graduates choose a shorter certificate in supply chain management instead. This is an option for those who already have some experience in the field but would like to delve deeper into the world of SCM. Here are a couple options available to South Dakota students:

  • University of South Dakota. Shorter than the master’s degree option, the Graduate Certificate in Operations and Supply Chain Management lasts only 12 credit-hours. This is an option for students in the business field who want to further focus their career and improve their working knowledge of SCM.
  • National American University. This is another graduate certificate option that specializes specifically in Global Supply Chain Management. The program is available online only, but some classes may be available for completion on the multiple NAU campuses throughout the state.

Taking Supply Chain Management Further With Certifications

To expand your career potential, you might wish to become nationally certified by APICS, the organization that oversees supply chain management certification. Four separate credentials are available to those who can demonstrate a thorough understanding of SCM. APICS will transition to the Association for Supply Chain Management(ASCM) in 2019.

Working as a Logistician in South Dakota

The median salary for logisticians in South Dakota in 2017 was $33.34 per hour. That’s a strong income compared to the state minimum wage of $8.65 that same year. The Projections Management Partnership predicts a 9.1 percent increase in employment for logisticians in South Dakota by 2026, which is slightly higher than the national projection of 7 percent.

The Best South Dakota Areas for Logisticians

While South Dakota is a vast state, the BLS reported that only 40 logisticians were employed in the east nonmetropolitan area in 2018. The median hourly wage for logisticians in this area was $34.23, slightly higher than the median wage for South Dakota logisticians throughout the entire state.

With the demand for logisticians across the country growing at a steady rate, you can be certain that the supply chain management career field is a promising career choice. This is a job that is easily transferrable to other states because it doesn’t require state certification. If this sounds like the career field for you, start looking into your educational options today.

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