With the approval of the bachelor in business administration in logistics and supply chain management by the Board of Regents on Wednesday, Dalton State College now offers 23 bachelor degrees.
Logistics and supply chain is a growing field. The Georgia Department of Labor projects regional management positions related to the field to increase by 16 percent, and logistician positions are expected to grow by more than 25 percent, said Larry Johnson, dean of the Wright School of Business.
“The upcoming Georgia Ports Authority’s Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County will enhance the regional need for well-educated candidates in logistics and supply chain management,” Johnson said. “There is not currently a four-year degree in this being offered in this area, and conversations with supply chain managers in the floorcovering industry and with the Georgia Ports Authority suggest Dalton State should offer this major in logistics and supply chain management.”
This degree is broad and is designed to give students the knowledge needed to fill jobs in various areas within industries or service companies, said Marilyn Helms, professor of supply chain management and sesquicentennial chair.
“This field looks like a big spiderweb with lots of nodes, and you can work on any one of those nodes,” Helms said. “It takes logistics, transportation, accounting, marketing and everyone involved in the production process. This is a critical field in our area, but can also give students the opportunity to move elsewhere if they choose. It’s especially relevant in this area right now because of the upcoming inland port in Murray County. The port will help small manufacturers reach a global market now because goods can come in and go out easier, so there will be more demand for graduates in this field.”
The way consumers purchase goods has changed tremendously in the last few years. More and more people are buying online instead of in brick and mortar stores, Helms said, and that has changed the supply chain.
“Everyone wants what they’ve purchased same day and they don’t want to pay shipping,” she said. “Amazon is looking at drones right now, and it’s not far-fetched, and it involves skills learned in this degree. We’ll be working on this hands-on in our classes. We’ll be identifying and solving problems. We’ll work with companies on projects, and we’ll go on tours of industries. Plus, we’ll continue to bring in speakers who are professionals in this field. These skills are universal. Logistics and supply chain jobs are plentiful, growing, and pay well.”
Programs such as logistics and supply chain management not only address the local needs of the community, said Pat Chute, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
“They are paramount to the growth of national initiatives that help make the U.S. a leader in the field,” she said. “Dalton State students will graduate from a program that not only houses expert faculty in this area but will work closely with industry representatives. Our Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited Wright School of Business will add one more quality opportunity for business students at Dalton State.”
Dalton State’s Wright School of Business offers seven bachelor degree options, which include accounting, finance and applied economics, management, management information systems, marketing, and technology management, and now the logistics and supply chain management degree.
“Dalton State continues to provide degree programs to meet the needs of this region and today’s students,” said Margaret Venable, president. “I am very proud of the quality and academic rigor of the college, as well as our efforts to coordinate with local school systems and higher education providers to ensure that the needs of this region are best served to promote our economic development needs.”