Best Online Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleBachelor'sin Supply Chain Management2017
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As national and global economies grow in size and complexity, businesses face serious challenges when it comes to efficiently coordinating the production and distribution of services and goods, while keeping costs low and returns high. An online bachelor’s in supply chain management prepares students to effectively tackle these issues by teaching them how to oversee the flow of products and transportation, lead teams, and facilitate communication and funds between companies, suppliers, and customers. The best online supply chain degrees are based in business theory and best practices, which allows you the flexibility to work in a variety of industries or to pursue education past the undergraduate level.

Supply chain management is one of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in sales and administrative services management will see a 5% to 8% increase in the next seven years.

WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Yes, by pursuing an online bachelor’s in supply chain management you’ll gain new knowledge and skills and build upon your established knowledge. An undergraduate education provides students with a foundational knowledge of the field, while also giving you the flexibility to pursue advanced or specialized courses that support your interests and career goals. These programs also provide professional opportunities in terms of internships, networking, and job placement assistance.

DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?

It is unusual for online bachelor’s in supply chain management programs to require extensive work experience in order to qualify for application. However, experience in the field can only boost your chances of getting into a particularly competitive college or university. Work experience may also improve your chances of earning a scholarship if it directly relates to supply chain management. For many schools, students with applicable professional experience can also earn college credit for certain skills and expertise.

CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT?

Most online bachelor’s in supply chain management programs cater to working professionals and other nontraditional students. Courses in online programs are often asynchronous, allowing students to view class lectures and read course materials on their schedule. However, assignments, projects, and exams will usually be on a deadline or will need to be completed synchronously. Students who hold jobs in the field may also enjoy other perks, like tuition reimbursement from their employer or the ability to use their job to fulfill internship requirements.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide 69.77 3/5 48% Daytona Beach, FL

Embry-Riddle is respected around the world for its aviation and aerospace programming. The school has approximately 120,000 alumni spread across the globe. Online learning at Embry-Riddle features degree programs with nine-week sessions, multiple start times throughout the year, and personalized degree maps.

Among the school's completely online and hybrid degree programs is the 120-credit bachelor of science in logistics and supply chain management. The supply chain management degree online focuses on warehousing, distribution, and transportation operations; inventory management methods; best practices and regulations; and the tracking and analysis of supply chain performance. Ninety-three percent of graduates who are eligible to sit for various professional certifications are employed or in graduate school within six months. Certifications include the Institute for Supply Management, Certified Professional in Supply Management, Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity, and others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions in supply chain management will grow by 22% through 2022.

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2 University of Massachusetts-Amherst 68.86 3/5 70% Amherst, MA

UMass-Amherst, located on approximately 1,450-acres in Western Massachusetts, is a nationally ranked research university with a student body of approximately 23,000 undergraduate students. UMass offers a bachelor's in business administration in operations & information management online. It's a 120 credit program, and at least 45 credits must be taken through the university. The program teaches students the processes, technologies, and skills necessary to make businesses efficient and effective.

The curricula of this online supply chain management degree focuses on areas such as transportation and logistics, staffing, and quality assurance. This degree completion program allows students to customize the degree with upper level electives in areas including accounting, hospitality and tourism, management, and marketing. Admission requirements include a 3.0 GPA or higher and a minimum of 27 transferrable credits. The school evaluates applicants' work and military experience, among other factors, in admissions determination.

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3 Bellevue University 63.18 3/5 31% Bellevue, NE

Bellevue, located on a 46-acre campus in Nebraska, serves about 10,000 students at 15 campus locations in four states and online. Bellevue administers 70 degree programs in high-demand occupations, including 45 online bachelor's degree programs in fields ranging from accounting and psychology to security management.

The 127-credit bachelor of science in supply chain, transportation and logistics management is an accelerated, cohort program that gives working adults the skills needed to manage the procurement, warehousing, and transporting of goods. Admissions into the online supply chain management degree requires completion of an associate degree or a minimum of 60 transferable semester hours from a regionally accredited institution. The program provides a hands-on learning experience which applies theory and multiple disciplines. Disciplines includes economics, accounting, and information systems. Students take general education and elective courses. The major is 40 credits. Bellevue students are required to take the nine-credit Kirkpatrick Signature Series.

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4 Park University 62.95 2/5 41% Parkville, MO

Park, established in 1875, provides its students in Missouri and online with individualized instruction and a liberal arts curriculum. The school offers more than 40 degree programs, including 24 bachelor's degree programs delivered online.

The 120-credit bachelor's of science in logistics is a supply chain management degree that focuses on theories, practices, and techniques in general management and logistics systems management. Students planning to pursue careers in operations and/or industrial management will learn about the processes, systems, and functions in the sector.

The 27-credit logistics concentration includes topics such as transportation and distribution systems, quality control, purchasing and vendor management, and logistics management. Park's online courses are structured in accelerated, eight-week terms and are offered five times each year. The degree also provides students with the preparation required for graduate work in business administration and to sit for professional certifications.

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5 Northern Arizona University 58.86 3/5 49% Flagstaff, AZ

Northern Arizona's academic programming is designed to engage students in meaningful research and drive innovation that develops solutions to challenging problems. NAU offers 151 academic programs, including a catalog of online degrees in many fields.

The 120-credit bachelor of business administration (BBA)-logistics and supply chain management emphasis is a completely online or blended degree program. The supply chain management bachelor degree online requires at least 36 units of BBA core requirements, covering areas such as marketing, communications, business plan development, and negotiation and conflict. The BBA's 24-unit logistics and supply chain management emphasis covers topics including global logistics, environmentally focused logistics, and global financial analysis. Students must fulfill junior-level writing, liberal studies, diversity, and capstone requirements. Students with associate degrees can transfer a block of credits into the BBA. At least 30 credits must be completed at NAU and students need to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA at the school.

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6 Saint Leo University 58.18 3/5 43% Saint Leo, FL

Saint Leo, a top-ranked institution in Florida, has an academic curriculum rooted in the liberal arts and taught through the school's Catholic world-view. Approximately 16,000 students are enrolled at the institution from 49 states and 86 countries. The school is a top provider of higher education to military students and has a strong global reach through its comprehensive catalog of accredited online programs.

The 120-credit BA in business administration - logistics is a supply chain management degree online that's focused on the logistics processes for products and services in civilian and military organizations. The 24-credit logistics specialization prepares students in all aspects of cargo transportation, distribution, warehousing, quality management, and more. The program's business administration courses focus on a common business subjects, including accounting, microeconomics, marketing, and statistics. Courses include computer systems, logistics management, project management, and logistical specialization portfolio. Students may select two specializations.

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7 Murray State University 57.95 3/5 54% Murray, KY

MSU is a state-funded institution with approximately 9,000 undergraduate students educated on five regional campuses and online. The school's 245 programs lead to associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in fields including physics, music, and advertising. Murray State's fully online bachelor of science in business--logistics & supply chain management is designed to develop professionals versed in effectively managing the flow of products, materials, and information.

This degree completion program is among the online supply chain management degrees in Kentucky that allows students to transfer an AA earned through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. After transferring 73 credit hours from the AA with a required cumulative GPA of 2.25, students take 20 credits in core business courses and 27-credits in the logistics and supply chain management concentration. Courses include process management, logistics management, organizational behavior, and quality control. Transfer students will take 47 credit hours at Murray.

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8 Ohio Christian University 50.23 3/5 36% Circleville, OH

Ohio Christian offers an education that strengthens students professionally and spiritually. OCU has several campuses in Ohio and Georgia, and administers online learning that is convenient, relevant, and affordable. OCU Online's catalog of associate and bachelor's degrees are delivered one course at a time in a cohort group. Courses are asynchronous and assignments are due weekly.

The bachelor of arts in business--logistics management concentration educates students who are prepared for careers in areas such as inventory, distribution, and warehouse management; manufacturing logistics; and transportation management. The 120-credit supply chain management degree online incorporates Christian principles and strengthens student's critical thinking and decision-making. Admission to OCU requires the transfer of at least 50 semester credit hours and at minimum 2.0 GPA. To graduate students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and meet all other requirements. Concentration courses are three-credits and take five-weeks to complete.

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9 Athens State University 49.55 4/5 40% Athens, AL

The three tenets of learning at Athens State are friendliness, affordability, and convenience. The school has a student body of approximately 3,000 and offers over 40 majors, including a catalog of completely online degree programs.

The 124-credit bachelor of science in logistics and supply chain management integrates production, distribution, and logistics processes. This online supply chain management degree immerses students in the theoretical principles of the field, which they learn to apply in real-world contexts. An emphasis is placed on these functions in a governmental setting. Study areas include operations management; management of change, logistics and supply strategy; and project management. Courses include project management, management of change, financial management, and supply chain strategy. Graduates are prepared for careers as supply chain managers, materials planners, and global logistics managers. Athens State offers a graduate, minor, and certificate program in logistics.

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10 Florida State College at Jacksonville 44.55 2/5 35% Jacksonville, FL

Florida State serves the First Coast community with multiple locations in Duval and Nassau Counties. FSCJ is a large institution serving about 50,000 students each year with more than 150 associate, bachelor's, and certificate programs. The school offers some online degrees in an accelerated format. The 120-credit bachelor of applied science in logistics teaches students the inner-workings of supply chain management, global operations, logistics technologies, strategic transportation, financial management, and more.

This online supply chain management degree requires 60 credits in upper division courses. The degree program is delivered through Blackboard. Students may be eligible to earn credit for prior learning through the Prior Learning Assessment in which industry certifications, credit by certification, etc., are considered. Florida State offers an associate in supply chain management. Graduates are prepared for careers as operations managers, logistics coordinators, warehouse managers, and more.

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Supply chain management professionals handle the procurement, warehousing, and transportation of goods in a complex and fast-paced economy that demands quick thinking and creative solutions to logistical challenges. Below, we list what you can expect from a degree in supply chain management online. However, this information may change based on the program you choose. It’s always best to consult with a school’s academic advisor before applying.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Sample coursework can be found below. It reflects the topics found in this kind of degree. Specific academic requirements vary from program to program.

  • Foundations of Supply Chain Communication: Courses like this lay the groundwork for much of what is taught in a supply chain management program, which includes problem solving, effective and persuasive communication, and collaboration. Strategies in employee motivation and retention are also covered.
  • Fiscal Management: This course focuses on the practical applications and processes of accounting practices and financial data analysis. Information systems related to business transactions are also discussed, providing a comprehensive framework for the creation and maintenance of management strategies.
  • Global Logistics & Transportation: This course prepares students to build and maintain efficient and cost-effective strategies for delivering products across various modes of transportation within the framework of the global supply chain. Students will look at the ways government regulations, legal actions, and safety concerns affect how goods and services are transported and how businesses run.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT?

An online bachelor’s in supply chain management degree consists of 120 credits or more in general education, major, adjunct, and elective coursework. Depending on the nature of the degree, like whether it is structured as a bachelor of science or bachelor of business administration, there may be room for students to craft concentration areas or pursue a minor. Most students finish an undergraduate degree in four years, and online degrees usually cater to nontraditional students through a generous transfer policy, which enables them to transfer some, if not most, of their credits from a community college or another university.

When looking for the right school, you should also look at whether the program subscribes to an independent or cohort learning model. The field of supply chain management requires a great deal of teamwork and leadership, so it may be beneficial, based on your career goals, to enroll in a program that highlights group projects and professional opportunities, such as internships. However, programs taught through a cohort format usually take longer to complete.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT PREPARES FOR

  • The Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP): Granted by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), the CSCP credential is a professional certificate that reflects an individual’s knowledge and organizational skills in the supply chain field. According to APICS, holding this distinction may help you increase your salary by an average of 12%. One exam is required to earn the CSCP, and renewal must be gained every five years.
  • The Certificate in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM): The CPIM, another professional designation granted by APICS, is recognition of an individual’s expertise related to demand management, supplier planning, material requirements, sales and operations planning, and other core and advanced skills. The CPIM exam includes five modules, and those who earn the CPIM are eligible to earn even more advanced credentials from APICS.

The best online bachelor’s in supply chain management programs will be accredited at the national, regional, and professional levels. National accreditation indicates that a college or university adheres to broad standards of academic quality and integrity, which gives them access to national funds and professional inclusivity. Nationally accredited schools tend to be vocational or technical schools.

Regional accreditation is granted by one of seven national organizations. This level of accreditation reflects an institution’s adherence to state-specific standards in education, research, and professional development. Regional accreditation is usually more valuable.

Employers look for both forms of accreditation in order to ensure the quality of their hire. A supply chain management program can be recognized by revered private organizations in the field, such as the American Production and Inventory Control Society and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Two organizations, the US. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), grant the national level of approval to colleges and universities. The DOE is a government organization, whose stamp of approval is needed in order for schools to receive federal aid. The CHEA is a private institution that establishes another set of academic and professional standards. For more information, explore the DOE’s and CHEA’s websites.

CAREER PATHS

The best online supply chain degrees prepare you for a variety of careers in diverse industries, such as construction, sales, manufacturing, and management. At its core, the degree trains students to understand the financial and business theories that go into effectively running an organization’s logistics as well as motivating and incentivizing human assets. These skills are essential for a number of positions, including purchasing management and civil engineering. The degree in supply chain management online also acts as a stepping stone for related master’s and doctoral programs.

Sales Manager

These professionals train, direct, and evaluate an organization’s sales teams to ensure it meets company goals and standards. They also analyze data and create strategies to grow a company through production and distribution.

Median Annual Salary: $117,960

Projected Growth Rate: 5%

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative

These salespeople conduct business transactions with government agencies, businesses, and other organizations. They contact potential customers, explain product or service advantages, and negotiate prices, among other tasks.

Median Annual Salary: $60,530

Projected Growth Rate: 7%

Cost Estimator

Cost estimators conduct research and collect data in order to analyze a product or service’s value to a company’s overall growth. They usually specialize in a specific industry or even on a particular product.

Median Annual Salary: $61,790

Projected Growth Rate: 9%

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

Pursuing a master’s or doctoral program will provide you with advanced knowledge in the field and more opportunities to build professional credentials and relationships. Statistics published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2015 point to a substantial wage increase for professionals in related positions. Individuals employed in business administration, management, and operations experienced a 22% increase after gaining a master’s degree.

BACHELOR’S IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT SALARY

Employment in the supply chain field is growing at rate that is substantially higher than other fields, as reported by the BLS. Positions in wholesale and manufacturing sales are seeing growth across several industries. The data below shows the median pay for these representatives across five sectors. As business transactions become more complex and multifaceted, it is unlikely that careers in this field will see decline any time soon.

Industry Wholesale Electronics, Agents, Brokers Professional and Commercial Equipment Manufacturing Machinery and Related Equipment Grocery and Related Products
2016 Median Annual Wage $68,240 $66,960 $63,080 $59,240 $54,220

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

In addition to gaining a degree in the field, students interested in a supply chain management career should consider membership in one or more professional organizations, like those found below. You’ll gain access to the organization’s literature and professional training (such as certificates granted by APICS and ISM) and its social and networking events, which include small meetings and large annual conferences.

A variety of financial aid opportunities are available to you. While loans are a common choice when it comes to paying for college, it is not the only option and should only be pursued when other possibilities are exhausted. By completing the FAFSA, you gain access to federal and state scholarships and grants based on need, merit, or academic interests. Students pursuing a degree in supply chain management online should also look into institutional and private awards from professional organizations and businesses.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.