Utah Programs for Supply Chain Managers

A business career option with promise of a strong income and increasing employability is supply chain management (SCM). In Utah, this career is especially promising, with a higher than average rate of employment predicted through the year 2026. If you’re interested in entering business but unsure which direction to go, supply chain management might be a career option for you.

Most products and services must pass through a series of events, or supply chain, before they make it into customers’ hands. From invention and design to production and shipping, each step of a product’s life is a level on the supply chain. Movement along the supply chain can be complex and requires specialized managers, or logisticians, to ensure a smooth and productive flow.

Supply chain managers (SCMs) are trained professionals who usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of SCM and logistics. Logisticians manage the flow of events to ensure that products make it to consumers with minimum cost and maximum profitability and efficiency.

A business setting is the typical workplace for logisticians, who often work closely with other logisticians and company administration. Computer work is necessary to manage complex data systems, and mathematical skills or “number crunching” is also a big part of the job.

Accreditation for Supply Chain Management Programs

When selecting a program of study in supply chain management, make sure your school is accredited so your degree guarantees employers you’ve been adequately trained. Two common types of accreditation for supply chain management programs are:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In 2016, according to the Financial Times, 96 percent of affluent CEOs attended schools accredited by the AASCB. This organization accredits programs across the globe, with over 570 programs accredited in North and South America.
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). While similar in acronym, this is a separate organization that also accredits business programs, including SCM. The ACBSP currently accredits 1,200 campuses in 60 countries. ACBSP is the only specialized business accreditor for associate’s degree programs.

Base Knowledge from a Bachelor’s Degree

Logisticians often gain their base of knowledge by obtaining a bachelor of science (BS) in supply chain management or another similar business bachelor’s degree. These are some Utah schools offering programs of interest for logisticians:

  • University of Utah. Students can take the Operations and Supply Chain major at the David Eccles School of Business. This degree focuses on project management, data and logistics analytics, and quality assurance in the SCM field. To enroll, students must first be accepted into the Eccles School of Business, hold a University of Utah GPA of at least 3.2, and obtain a B or higher in college algebra.
  • Weber State University. At this school in Ogden, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management. Students in the Goddard School of Business and Economics must complete 120 total credit hours of study, including 40 Upper Division credits. To be accepted into the program, you must demonstrate a C or higher in college Math and English, and a minimum 2.5 GPA in all other college courses. This is an AACSB-accredited program.

Further Education: Master’s Degrees in SCM and Business

When you have some experience in the supply chain management field, you may decide to pursue further education with a master’s degree program. This helps logisticians specialize in certain aspects of SCM or move higher in administration. In-person master’s degree options in Utah are sparse, but many master’s degree programs are available online. Here are some suggestions, in-person and online:

  • University of Utah. The Eccles School of Business provides multiple Master of Business Administration options to those who wish to advance in their careers. Options include a full-time MBA, Professional MBA, Online MBA and Executive MBA. The skills learned in these business programs can be helpful in the field of SCM. Programs run four to six semesters, depending on course of study.
  • Liberty University (Online). This is a non-profit university that offers an MBA in Supply Chain Management and Logistics, 100 percent online. Real-world problems and evidence-based solutions are part of the curriculum, which is accredited by ACBSP. The degree runs 45 credit hours or about two years long. Admissions requirements include a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. Fifteen hours of undergraduate business credits are also required for admission.

APICS Courses and Certifications in Supply Chain

For those who already have some business experience and want to pursue shorter SCM training, APICS certifications may be another entry route into the supply chain field. The Salt Lake City Chapter of APICS offers some training in two separate certifications:

  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). You should have at least two years of experience in your field to take this certification, but no prior college degree is required. For the CPIM certification, there is a CPIM Part 2 Exam Preparation Course available in Sandy, UT, which lasts three months.
  • APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). This CSM certificationis for those with at least five years of experience in the SCM field, or a bachelor’s degree with two years of work experience. The CSCP Exam Preparation Course lasts three months and takes place on Thursdays.

Why Be a Logistician in Utah?

The income for logisticians in Utah is strong, with a median income of $34.70 per hour in 2017 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even stronger is the employment projections within the state, with a 23.3 employment growth rate predicted by 2026. That’s almost four times the projected growth rate for logisticians nationally. On average, Utah logisticians can expect to see 300 new job openings per year. You can find general advice for developing your career here.

Where Utah Logisticians Work

If you’re looking for the best place in Utah to begin your logistician career, look at the BLS statistics across the state in 2018. By far, the highest number of logisticians were employed in the Ogden-Clearfield area that year. Salt Lake City employed the second highest number of SCMs, but the highest employment level per 1,000 jobs was still in Ogden-Clearfield.

As far as pay goes, the highest median hourly salary for logisticians in the state was reported in St. George in 2018, at a rate of $37.73 per hour. That rate is higher than the national logistician median pay rate of $35.86 per hour. Depending on whether you are looking for many job options or a higher income, there seem to be many good places to work as a logistician throughout the state of Utah.

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