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A doctorate in supply chain and logistics can open the door to lucrative careers in business and academia. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians earned a median salary of $74,590 in 2017, which is nearly twice the median pay for all other occupations. Students who use their doctorate for teaching and research jobs at a college or university can potentially earn even more. The BLS estimates that the median postsecondary business teacher earned $80,300 in 2017. If you enjoy logistics and want to advance your career without leaving your current job, consider earning your doctorate in supply chain management online.

Featured Online Supply Chain and Logistics Doctoral Programs

The Best Online Doctorate in Supply Chain and Logistics Programs

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Online Doctorate in Information Systems Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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The Best Online Doctorate in Supply Chain and Logistics Programs

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian research university that was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell. Liberty enrolls a massive student population of over 75,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Among its numerous offerings, Liberty offers an online doctor of business administration in supply chain management and logistics.

The online DBA program consists of 60 credit hours, which includes a blend of core courses, specialization courses and dissertation work. The curriculum covers key topics, such as:

  • supply chain management
  • logistics
  • quality management
  • operations management

Students develop the ability to successfully occupy leadership roles in supply chain and logistics management.

Capella University View School Profile Minneapolis, MN Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Capella University, an online, for-profit university established in 1993, offers a range of fully-online degrees. This includes an online doctor of business administration with a specialization in global operations and supply chain management.

The online DBA program requires 82 credit hours for completion, which includes eight core courses, four specialization courses, two brief on-campus residencies, and a doctoral research project. Students develop advanced knowledge and skills in the field through online courses covering key topics, such as:

  • designing global operations and a supply chain networks
  • supply chain transformation through innovation
  • supplier relationship management
  • global supply chain design

Through in-depth research, advanced theory and practical approaches to the field, students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of leadership roles.

Walden University View School Profile Minneapolis, MN Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Walden University, an online for-profit university established in 1970, offers numerous online degree programs. For students seeking advanced positions as leaders in supply chain management, Walden offers an online doctor of business administration with a specialization in global supply chain management.

The online DBA program consists of 49 credit hours, which includes nine hours of specialization courses and 12 hours of research courses. Students engage with both fundamental and advanced online courses, which cover key topics like global supply chain management, employing information technology for a competitive advantage, and multicultural management. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue advanced leadership roles in global supply chain management. In addition to coursework, students must complete a doctoral writing project and two four-day on-campus residencies.

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Choosing a Doctorate in Supply Chain & Logistics Program

Many schools offer online doctorate degrees in supply chain management, so choose a program that meets your needs.

Most programs in this area begin with foundational coursework in areas like global operations, financial decision making and supply chain design. Students can further customize their course of study through electives such as human resource development, micro and macroeconomic theory, and the intersection of supply chains and information technology.

You should also expect to take a series of courses in research design and methods. If you pursue a Ph.D. in supply chain management, you must first conduct original research and then write and defend your dissertation. If you instead pursue a doctorate of business administration (DBA), you may only need to complete a capstone project; this allows you to apply your learning to a practical business challenge.

Students planning to work in academia should consider earning their Ph.D., whereas students interested in management and leadership roles may prefer to earn a DBA. Most students graduate from Ph.D. programs in four to seven years, while DBA students often earn their degree in as few as three years.

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What Else Can I Expect From an Online Supply Chain & Logistics Doctorate Program?

Students in both Ph.D. and DBA supply chain and logistics programs explore similar subjects, such as advanced mathematics, quality management and organizational theory. However, the exact nature of your course of study depends largely on the program you choose. For example, some programs require their students to participate in a field experience, while other programs feature exclusively online coursework.

Curriculum for an Online Doctoral Degree in Supply Chain and Logistics

  • Fundamentals of Logistics and Supply Chain Management:
    This course provides doctoral students with an overview of key issues. Covered topics include inventory control, forecasting, procurement and the growing role of information technology in logistics and supply chain management.
  • Microeconomic Theory:
    In this course, students explore subjects such as general equilibrium, welfare economics, duality, game theory and choice under uncertainty. Students with prior graduate-level coursework in this area can often test out of this requirement.
  • Supply Chain Management Research:
    Particularly valuable for students without a master’s degree, this course introduces the basics of research design and methodology. Students learn how to frame research questions and generate a hypothesis as well as how to properly collect, analyze and interpret data.
  • Theory in Supply Chain Management:
    This course traces the development of supply chain management theory from the dawn of assembly lines to today’s highly globalized marketplace. Students also examine theories from related business fields such as strategic management and marketing.
  • Behavioral Supply Chain Management:
    Students in this course study the role of human behavior in supply chain management. The course particularly focuses on the relationships between a business and its clients, vendors, affiliates and government authorities.
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Careers With a Supply Chain & Logistics Doctorate

With an online doctorate in supply chain and logistics management, you can enter many different careers. You may work as a logistician, or you may rise through the ranks of your company to take on a leadership role like chief operating officer. Some graduates pursue academic teaching or research jobs.

Regardless of the path you take, careers in this field require exceptional communication, critical thinking, organizational and problem-solving skills.

  1. Logistician:
    Logisticians coordinate their organizations’ supply chains, from the acquisition of raw materials to the delivery of a finished product. They also analyze these supply chains in order to ensure safety and improve efficiency. While a bachelor’s degree or certification can qualify you for most of these roles, a doctorate signals advanced expertise and can give you a competitive edge.
    • Median Annual Salary: $74,590
    • Projected Growth Rate: 7%
  2. Chief Operating Officer:
    Chief operating officers oversee all aspects of their company’s operations, which include the distribution of goods and services to clients, maintenance of facilities, and the hiring and training of staff. At large corporations, chief operating officers often hold a master’s in business administration. However, a doctorate in logistics may lead to higher salary.
    • Median Annual Salary: $104,700
    • Projected Growth Rate: 8%
  3. Postsecondary Business Teacher:
    Postsecondary teachers instruct students and conduct research at colleges and universities. They must also take on a wide range of administrative responsibilities, such as mentoring students or designing curricula for doctorate in supply chain management programs. Generally speaking, you must hold a doctorate to teach at this level.
    • Median Annual Salary: $80,300
    • Projected Growth Rate: 15%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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