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This week's hot job: Logistician
Becoming a logistician requires you to be excellent at communicating, analyzing variables, and planning. You'll be responsible for ensuring the movement of numerous items, organizing teams of people, and coordinating it all to work as efficiently as possible. It can be daunting to some, but with the proper training the job is manageable. Logisticians also can't be too rigid — there's plenty of room for things to go wrong, and they often do. Whether it's a crashed truck or a load that wasn't sorted correctly, you'll need to be able to handle things on the fly in concert with the entire operation.
Future logisticians can qualify with either an associate's degree in business or engineering or by simply taking courses in logistics. It's important to consider that the industry is continuously growing and many positions require a bachelor's in either business, finance, industrial engineering, or supply chain management. As with any job, your best chance at landing a job will be to achieve more than the industry standard. Applying for jobs when you have a four-year degree and up-to-date industry knowledge will help you stand out.
There are a few exceptions to the education requirement: Because military operations require a large amount of logistical work, some logisticians gain work experience while serving in the military, and some firms allow applicants to substitute several years of work experience for a degree. However, these are rare instances and would need to include exceptional job performance.
There are currently two certifications that future logisticians can obtain that will help in any job search. While not every logistician position requires them, they will give you a definite edge. The first is through the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL), and the second is through the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). Both programs offer a broad variety of programs which can culminate in a number of different logistical certifications. They also include conferences, journals, and access to logistician job listings. Joining either group will offer unparalleled industry knowledge, skills, and connections.
The best way to find and maintain industry connections for logisticians is through the ASTL and SOLE programs. Don't hesitate to follow up with your professors and colleagues with potential job leads, but the certification programs offer all the industry knowledge and community you need in a neat package.
If you're ready to dig into the job search, check out logistician listings on Monster.com.
American Society of Transportation and Logistics: www.astl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
International Society of Logistics: www.sole.org
More information on logistician education: http://education-portal.com/logistics_certification.html