Supply Chain Management in the State of Virginia

Those who want to enter the business field, know how to pay fine attention to detail and are proven leaders might consider starting careers in the supply chain management (SCM) field. The term “supply chain” refers to the chain of events that products or services must undergo from the time they are first created until they reach the hands of customers. Supply chain managers are the people in charge of overseeing the entire process, ensuring that it runs smoothly and minimizes loss.

These professionals work in a number of industries, including manufacturing and the federal government. Examples of steps on the supply chain monitored by SCMs include product design, raw materials acquisition, manufacturing and inventory management.

To enter the career field of supply chain management, you should earn a bachelor’s degree in business, systems management or business administration. Other related business degrees may also give you the necessary skills to excel as a supply chain manager, also called a logistician.

However,a four-year college degree should be worth your time, since the field of SCM is growing along with a growing global demand for business communications. In just the United States, the field is projected to grow steadily, with a predicted employment growth rate of 7 percent by the year 2026.

Virginia Has Many Bachelor’s Degree Options Available

The best way to get started in SCM is with a bachelor’s degree. Luckily, in Virginia, there are quite a few options, including:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University. At this school, located in Richmond, you can earn a bachelor of science (BS) in business with a concentration in supply chain management. This comprehensive degree includes skills that range from inventory management to information technology, which fully prepare students for a career in SCM.
  • Old Dominion University. This school is the only one of its kind, because it offers a unique integrated Maritime and Supply Chain Management bachelor’s degree. The degree is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and combines both maritime operations education with supply chain management skills.

Take Your SCM Education to the Next Level

After working as a logistician for a few years, you may decide that you want to specialize in a certain aspect of supply chain management. Or, you might want to increase your general knowledge so that you can earn a higher income. Either way, check out these master’s degree options in Virginia:

  • University of the Potomac. Earn a high-quality Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at this school, which also has campuses in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Admissions requirements include certified transcripts, an entrance interview and two recommendations.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University. The Business School at this university also offers a Master of Supply Chain Management degree. It’s a 30-credit-hour program in the greater Richmond area. VCU students have many opportunities to learn at local logistics and production facilities.

A Shorter Degree Can Introduce You to the Field

While a bachelor’s degree is recommended, some students choose to complete shorter degrees or certificates to gain exposure to supply chain management with less study time. Some of the shorter SCM study options in Virginia are:

  • Richard Bland College of William & Mary. This school, located in Petersburg, offers a 16-credit-hour Logistics Management Certificate that gives students an introduction to the field of logistics. After completing the certificate, students can easily transfer to one of Richard Bland’s partner schools to earn a four-year degree.
  • Tidewater Community College. Students can study at this community college in Norfolk to earn their associate’s degree in management with a specialization in maritime logistics. The program prepares students to enter logistics careers in the standard supply chain field or in the specialty of maritime logistics.

Gain Professional Credentials to Stand Out

To gain an edge in their employability, logisticians may choose to seek certification through APICS, the organization that oversees professional credentials in supply chain management. After earning a few years’ experience on the job, you can take one of four exams to earn the specific credential that fits your career path.

APICS will soon become the Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM), which will handle all testing and professional supply chain management credentials in the future.

Job Outlook and Salary for Virginia Logisticians

Logisticians within Virginia are paid very well compared to the rest of the country, with a median hourly income of $39.82 reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017. This may be because of the presence of the maritime logistics specialty on the coast. The more a supply chain manager can specialize within a specific field, the likelier they are to receive higher pay.

The job outlook for Virginia logisticians is also higher than the rest of the country, with a 13.3 percent employment increase predicted by 2026. Furthermore, it’s estimated that Virginia has 830 new logistician job openings per year.

Virginia Logistician Job Opportunity Statistics

In 2018, the largest numbers of logisticians in Virginia were employed in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk and Richmond areas. However, the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area’s rate of logistician employment per 1,000 jobs was by far the highest in the state. To earn on the higher end of the spectrum, you might want to work as an SCM in Richmond, Harrisonburg or Staunton/Waynesboro. In these areas, logisticians made median incomes over $36 per hour.

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