Hot MBA Jobs: Logistician


Have you ever taken a high school or college psychology class? If so, you may have remembered taking an introspective, self-report questionnaire that magically identifies what personality type you have. Constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was designed to show the psychological preferences of how people perceive the world and make decisions.Of the 16 types of personalities, “The Logistician” is thought to be the most abundant, making up around 13 percent of the population.

According to 16Personalities, their defining characteristics of integrity, practical logic and tireless dedication to duty make ISTJs a vital core to many families, as well as organizations that uphold traditions, rules and standards, such as law offices, regulatory bodies and military.

People with the ISTJ personality type enjoy taking responsibility for their actions, and take pride in the work they do. When working towards a goal, ISTJs hold back none of their time and energy completing each relevant task with accuracy and patience.

Many of these traits carry over into the type of characteristics that employers look for in professional logisticians.

What the Heck is a Logistician?

Sokanu defines a logistician as someone who analyzes and coordinates a company’s supply chain, which is the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer. US News and World Report ranked Logistician as the #12 Business School Job, describing the career in the following way:

Ever wonder who coordinates the responses to major natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, or plans cleanups of environmental disasters like oil spills?

Logisticians make sure the necessary equipment, supplies and skilled technicians arrive quickly and with the right tools at their side. Their skills lie in making these behind-the-the scenes undertakings appear effortless, so companies and governments can continue running smoothly.

But logisticians don’t just deal in disaster response. They also focus on supply chains, identifying areas for improvement and developing strategies to minimize costs and maximize efficiency. Logisticians populate almost every field, from retail to finance to government. In the private sector, they handle shipping, distribution, warehousing and quick deliveries to customers.

On average, logisticians earn $73,870 annually, with top earners coming from the San Jose, Washington DC, and Houston metros. The top-paying industries for this profession include oil and gas extraction and pipeline transportation of natural gas. Others work in the logistical department of a company or for firms that specialize in logistical work and freight.

Truity says that of the 125,900 logisticians employed in the country, about 25 percent of them worked in manufacturing and about 23 percent worked in the federal government.

Information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employment of logisticians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than the average. Employment growth will be driven, however, by the need for logistics in the transportation of goods in a global economy.

A bachelor’s degree is usually all that’s required for most positions as a logistician, and even an associate’s degree may be sufficient for other jobs. Their is no straight forward logistician certificate or logistician degree per se.

So Why the MBA?

According to US News and World Report, the idea of becoming a logistician has not been prevalent in MBA seekers in the past, but it’s an option that is growing. Melissa S. Lopez, director of MBA and graduate programs at California State University, says that students “who enjoy project management and operations management courses, which are offered commonly in an MBA program, are well-suited for this role.”

MBAs who are considering a career as a logistician should look into getting a degree with an emphasis in supply chain management. These specialized programs focus on the types of critical thinking and problem solving skills you need in a logistician job, as well as the fundamentals of logistics, operations management, information systems for logistics, supply chain management and distribution systems.

For the best chance of employment, consider applying to top supply chain management programs, including the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University. Other top Supply Chain Management MBA Programs include the Stanford Graduate School of BusinessColumbia Business School and Yale School of Management.

Why Would I Want to be a Logistician?

Supply Chain Digital broke down the top 10 reasons why you should consider a career in logistics. In addition to the favorable pay, the ease of entry into the field, and the opportunities, the following points were made in favor of a logistician position:

Advancement opportunities in logistics are plentiful: This industry tends to promote and train low-level employees to high-level positions rather than hire from the outside, so promotions are common. The hardest working and most innovative individuals can advance quickly.

Logistics careers are rarely boring: The variety of work logisticians are faced with generally keeps things fresh. Many companies specializing in logistics also deal with a wide variety of materials and goods, so you’re constantly working with new things.

Opportunities for women are expanding in logistics: Good news for the ladies — women are becoming increasingly involved at all levels of the logistics industry, with many women currently holding top positions in several logistics companies and departments.

Logistics is a stepping stone into the field of international business: Ever want to break into international business? A career in logistics may be for you. Many people who begin a career in logistics find that they quickly gain enough experience with international business to develop new skills or open new opportunities.

For more information on mba career options, mba career paths, highest paying mba jobs, and entry level mba jobs, make sure to check out the other stories in our Hot MBA Jobs series: Product Manager, Operations Research Manager, and IT Director/Manager.

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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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