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Goods that move in and out of Washington state ports, such as the Port of Seattle, have created a thriving global logistics industry in our area. Highline’s BAS degree seeks to help students tap into those careers.

Highline logistics degree can help you trade up to a new career

Mark Wilkins Staff Reporter Nov 24, 2021

Highline offers a BAS in global trade and logistics for those interested in the industry of international trade.

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Washington state exported $41.3 billion worth of goods in 2020, making it the ninth largest exporting state in the U.S.  In the same year it imported $48.9 billion worth of goods, making it the 15 largest importing state in the U.S.

Top commodities traded include aircraft parts, medical instruments, automobiles, video game consoles, petroleum oils and distillates, and soybeans, wheat, and various other agriculture products.  

According to the Washington Council on International Trade, approximately 40 percent of all jobs in the state are tied to international commerce, making Washington the most trade-reliant state in the nation.

As a result, there is an abundance of available jobs in the global trade and logistics industry here in Washington state.  While global trade related jobs can be a broad expanse including airline cargo sales agent, truck driver, longshoreman, warehouse worker, etc., international logistics is a more specified industry.

International logistics is the process of planning and managing the flow of goods and products in your company’s supply chain from acquisition to customer purchase, where part of the process involves crossing at least one international border.

Popular jobs in this industry can include working in the import or export department of a freight forwarder, where you will secure space on airlines and steamship lines for the international transport of your customer’s product.  It may also include working as a customs broker, arranging the customs clearance of your customer’s imported goods.

You may also work in the shipping department for any company that imports or exports product internationally, where you will process the required documentation and make the appropriate arrangements with a third party to facilitate the exporting or importing of their product.

The Highline BAS in Global Trade and Logistics can help land you a job in this fast-paced industry, professors in the program say.

Highline’s business department has been offering the degree since 2014.  The degree is a gateway to a potential master’s degree in various business fields, as well as a catalyst to employment in the international trade industry.

“It is a great pathway with many jobs at the other end,” said Raegan Copeland, program coordinator and business professor.  “It’s an exciting field and logistics happens in every sector, so it allows you to work in many diverse industries.”  

The degree covers many areas of study: “supply chain, global marketing, big data analytics, project management, purchasing, and logistics/transportation,” said Copeland.

She said the professors have experience in the business world.  In addition, “four of the courses are taught by Central Washington University and our students and their students learn together,” she said.

The bachelor of applied science degree in global trade and logistics can be a segue to further education, Copeland said.

Master’s in supply chain management and master’s in business administration are a couple common master’s degrees the BAS in global trade and logistics can lead into, said Copeland. 

An advantage to this degree is that it opens doors to many potential careers, she said.

“Buyer and purchasing agents, purchasing manager, product manager, project management specialist, supply chain management, operations manager, and import/export specialist,” are some, said Copeland.

“It is a growing and exciting career pathway,” she said.  “It is currently very much in demand, especially in this state.”

She said there are a few things students should know prior to applying for the degree.

“The degree requires 180 total credits,” Copeland said.  “An AA or AAS needs to be completed before the BAS is finished, but you can apply for admission and start taking classes when you are within 30 credits of an associate’s.”

“The best pathway is an AAS in business or international business, but we can make it work with others,” Copeland said.

She also said it is important to speak with a department faculty adviser.

“Make sure you speak with a faculty adviser in the business department as soon as you think you want to pursue the BAS,” she said.  “It is important to get in the prerequisite courses into whichever associate’s level degree you complete.”

Copeland said the college has a specific website for this degree.

“I would also tell them to go to the website of our center of excellence for global trade and supply chain management and research the career fields,” she said.  The link is: