Logistics Goes to School: Why STEM Degrees Are the Future of Logistics

A STEM education offers better insight into new processes, techniques and modes of movement used in logistics

Lauren Willison
Lauren Willison

The logistics industry continues to be reshaped by technologies such as Big Data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), drone delivery and algorithm-based forecasting. Keeping pace with these changes is an increasing demand for logisticians who can accurately and proficiently use this technology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the number of jobs for logisticians nationwide is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, almost double the average for all occupations.” Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused universities that offer logistics degree concentrations help meet the demand with hands-on course work to prepare future logisticians for this evolving career field.

Logisticians are expected to develop better shipment processes, monitor production, route transportation, find adequate storage and determine methods of distribution. The fields of STEM introduced advanced formulas such as algorithm-based forecasting and radio frequency identification (RFID) to improve customer purchasing predictions and enhance product tracking. This gives major distributors like Amazon the ability to predict future purchases and recommend these items to the purchaser as they shop.

The influence of STEM within the logistics industry can also be seen in data-driven analyses, which logisticians use to boost customer service and reduce costs. A data-driven analysis allows companies to develop software for enterprise warehousing, improve fleet management and calculate price negotiations. This improves overall service and accuracy, and allows end-users to track packages online. That, in turn, answers growing pressure from investors, managers and consumers to manage supply chains in a sustainable way.

A pragmatic STEM education offers students better insight into the new processes, techniques and modes of movement used in logistics. STEM graduates who enter the logistics field are capable of performing various data-driven functions and are better prepared to handle real-world problems on their own. Logisticians need to be well-versed in technology and STEM-related studies are a key starting point to build the right skills.

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