With everyone from small local businesses to global corporations relying on international trade, a global logistics and supply chain management associate degree from San Jacinto College positions graduates to become entry-level links in this chain of commerce.
"Whether you make your purchases online or in-person, you are relying on this industry," said Michael Gallaway, global logistics and supply chain management adjunct instructor.
The supply chain includes many sectors — from manufacturers, distributors, and intermediate customers to vendors and end users.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30% growth in the industry from 2020 to 2030. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations at 8%. San Jac offers two tracks in this program: a 60-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science degree and a 42-credit-hour certificate of technology.
Expect the unexpected
The day-to-day job duties for a logistician are fast-paced and rapidly changing. Although professionals are highly skilled at analyzing data to anticipate buying patterns and trends, some things are impossible to predict.
The eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajkull in April 2010 impacted global air traffic by canceling 48% of flights worldwide. This stranded 10 million passengers and stopped the transportation of goods, leading to approximately $1.7 billion in lost income in just a few days.
"This industry is built on predictable forecasts, but natural disasters and pandemics are beyond those capabilities," Gallaway said. "You see fear-based buying and supply chain disruptions that make it impossible to meet the demand. That's why the ability to remain calm under pressure and be adaptable are so important for logisticians."
According to Gallaway, other qualities needed to succeed in the industry include being detail-oriented, having impeccable customer service skills, communicating well, and thinking on your feet.
Perez proves detailed and dedicated
Jacob Perez, 26, earned his global logistics and supply chain management degree after years working in various industries and wondering what made them tick.
"As a fly on the wall, I observed and questioned how these companies were able to make such enterprises function — walking through the tunnels of ExxonMobil's headquarters or seeing how their buildings were configured in a way that made it simple to find your way around," Perez said. "It's truly interesting to see that all the goods we receive come from a far-off place, then are delivered to your local store, and end up in your home."
Unsure whether he could afford college, Perez studied independently while working odd jobs in oil and gas, air travel, maritime, and cruise ships.
"I would read books, hear people's stories, learn history, and try my best to understand the world around me," he said. "I knew then, as I know now, that I've always wanted to make a difference in this world for the better."
Gallaway saw the potential in Perez.
"Jacob was an excellent student," he said. "He had great attention to detail and asked good questions. A large part of what made him successful in my courses was his ability to communicate effectively."
Perez, who graduated in December 2021, is now pursuing his bachelor's degree in international business at the University of Houston-Downtown.
"My education at San Jac has been a blessing and has sparked a chain reaction of hope that has continued to spur on other dreams and aspirations I have in life," he said. "Long-term, I'd like to own my own business and give back to my community."
To learn more about the program, visit sanjac.edu/program/global-logistics-and-supply-chain-management.