What Is an Online Master's in Supply Chain Management Degree?
A master's in supply chain management explores topics like lean production, supply chain coordination, logistics management, and risk mitigation. The goal is for graduates to understand how to create business strategies that use integrated approaches to solve supply chain issues.
Programs that offer a supply chain management MBA online also emphasize broader business concepts, like finance and accounting. Students also develop skills that are useful in any field, including effective decision-making, data analysis, process optimization, and leadership.
The best candidates for an online master's in supply chain management already have professional experience. Some programs even require 2-3 years of work experience as a prerequisite. Applicants typically hold a related bachelor's degree from an accredited school.
Choosing an Online Program
Schools develop their own curricula, which means that requirements and course formats vary. An online master's in supply chain management may require in-person residencies, internships, or synchronous sessions. However, some programs may not require any in-person or live attendance.
The links below provide more information about how to select an online program.
What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Supply Chain Management Program?
An online master's in supply chain management may offer multiple specializations and elective courses. Nevertheless, most programs cover the same fundamental topics, including the following sample courses.
Supply Chain Management Curriculum
- Supply Chain Analytics: This course explores ways to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency using strategic, data-driven methods. Students examine modern issues using case studies about major organizations. Students learn to use data analytics to create strategies that improve cost efficiency.
- Transportation and Logistics: In this course, students learn about key areas and activities needed to move products through a supply chain. Topics may include modal characteristics, transportation risk management, and third-party providers. Learning outcomes include method evaluation, identifying issues that impact profitability and security, evaluating international alternatives, and creating strategic recommendations.
- Sourcing and Procurement: This course explores quality assurance, selection, supplier evaluation, and global sourcing. Course objectives include describing the way procurement fits within an organization, identifying associated risks, and learning how to formulate make-or-buy analyses to uncover the best solutions for organizations.
Supply Chain Management Careers
The supply chain management process requires excellent planning and understanding of consumer demand. A master's degree in supply chain management prepares graduates to manage the behind-the-scenes needs of organizations in nearly every industry.
Some supply chain positions may require a master's degree or higher, along with professional experience. Certain jobs may also require specific certifications. The following list explores three potential careers for online master's in supply chain management graduates.
Purchasing managers buy services and products that organizations need for operations or plan to resell. This role requires evaluating the quality of suppliers, being aware of what vendors and suppliers offer, analyzing proposals, and negotiating contracts.
Most purchasing managers work in manufacturing. However, wholesale trade and the federal government also offer opportunities.
|Median Salary: $74,750
||Projected Job Growth: 5%
Logisticians oversee the entire supply chain cycle of a product. Duties include allocating materials, developing professional relationships with suppliers and customers, understanding consumer demand, and reviewing logistic functions for areas of improvement.
The best candidates have excellent critical thinking, active listening, and coordination skills. Candidates can find entry-level positions with an associate degree and professional experience, but most employers require a bachelor's degree.
Students who earn a master's in supply chain management can become distribution managers. These professionals work in nearly every industry, monitoring large quantities of inventory. Duties include managing warehouse employees, collaborating with warehouse supervisors, maintaining product quality, and ensuring on-time delivery.
The best candidates have excellent organizational, communication, problem-solving, and time management skills. Other relevant skills include knowledge of analytical or inventory management software. Employers typically prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree and experience in warehouse management.
Supply Chain Management Professional Organizations
Students who earn a master's in supply chain management enter a fast-paced, competitive field. Professional organizations can help emerging professionals build their networks and learn about changes within the field.
ALA has over 100 years of experience offering research, sales information, and advice for selling to military grocery stores. ALA strives to enhance members' ability to sell products, build market opportunities, and improve business processes.
ASCM specializes in developing supply chain talent and improving supply chain performance. This organization includes over 45,000 members spread across 100 countries. ASCM offers APICS certifications for supply chain professionals, and other membership benefits include webinars, workshops, and conferences. ASCM also provides career coaching, mentorship, and job boards.
Established in 1963, CSCMP serves over 9,000 members, nearly 70% of whom are executives with their organizations. Membership benefits include networking opportunities, access to the EDGE Supply Chain Conference, and online resources.