Supply chain management is a constantly growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that professions in supply chain management will grow 7% in the next 10 years. Understanding logistics, managing transportation and operations, and gaining effective interpersonal skills and relationships are some of the key things students learn in supply chain management programs.
Almost every large scale company operates a supply chain, so it is crucial to have professionals in this field with experience. Supply chain management often operates on a global spectrum, with possibilities for professionals to work anywhere.
Should I Get an MBA in Supply Chain Management?
When choosing a program, students should first determine if they want an on-campus or online education. On-campus programs allow students the opportunity to participate in face-to-face class discussions, and develop lasting connections with peers and professors. On-campus students have a very different educational experience than online students. Students should compare the two settings to determine the right option for them. Online MBA programs are great for students who are already working professionals, especially if they are going back to college for a career change. These programs are also beneficial for students who have personal commitments, allowing them to have more flexibility in their schedule.
Project management MBA programs and supply chain management programs teach students all of the skills they need to thrive in the business world. They learn to develop strong interpersonal connections, understand logistics, and manage supply chains effectively. While in the program, students have the opportunity to network. They can connect with their peers and instructors, join organizations, and attend networking events. These opportunities can lead to all types of potential logistics careers. After graduation, the skills developed during a graduate program can help set them apart from other candidates and employees.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Supply Chain Management?
Graduates with an MBA in supply chain management have many career opportunities in front of them. Most professionals in the field work full-time jobs in an office setting. Sometimes, professionals do on-site work at construction sites or factory assembly lines. For those interested in working with the lifecycle of a product and in a fast-paced setting, a Logistician role is a great fit. Other jobs in supply chain management include: purchasing managers; operations managers; cost estimators; and transportation, storage, and distribution managers. Supply chain management professionals are organized, hardworking, and able to effectively plan and coordinate projects.
Logisticians coordinate and analyze a company's supply chain, they work in all types of industries and in very fast-paced jobs. They work on managing the lifecycle of a product, including how the product is allocated, acquired, and delivered.
Median Annual Salary: $148,700*
- Purchasing Manager
Purchasing managers include wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers. They plan, coordinate, and direct the activities of purchasing officers, buyers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, services, and products.
Median Annual Salary: $115,760*
- Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager
This job title is in charge of planning, directing, and coordinating companies and plays a vital role within organizations. Distribution manager's get transportation, storage, or distribution activities with government laws and regulations, and organizational policies.
Median Annual Salary: $92,460*
- Operations Manager
Operations managers direct, plan, and coordinate the operations of private and public organizations. They also manage daily operations and plan how to use materials and human resource departments to effectively manage organizations.
Median Annual Salary: $123,460*
- Cost Estimator
Cost estimators are responsible for collecting and analyzing data to estimate spending on materials, labor, and time required to manufacture a product, provide a service, or construct a building. They often specialize in a specific industry or product and work in offices, visit factory assembly lines and construction sites.
Median Annual Salary: $63,110*
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
How to Choose an MBA in Supply Chain Management Program
Program length and cost, curriculum, accreditation, location, and specialization opportunities are just some of the many things students should review when deciding which program is best for them. Many programs outline the average time required to complete the degree and advisors can work with students to explain different time frames for each program. For instance, some programs allow students to double up on credits if they wish to complete their program sooner.
Program cost is one of the biggest factors to keep in mind when choosing a program. Look at the cost of living, the room and board charges, and tuition and fees. Then compare these costs with estimated financial aid and scholarships. This will allow students to determine if they can afford a certain program. Every program has its own unique curriculum. Reviewing potential courses is a great way for students to determine if a program is right for them and their interests. Some programs also offer students the chance to choose a concentration for further specialization.
Programmatic Accreditation for MBA in Supply Chain Management Programs
One of the main purposes of attending an accredited institution is to let employers, graduate schools, and certifying boards know that the student received a high quality education. Accrediting agencies regulate programs so that employers and other learning institutions can have expectations of students who graduate the programs. There are two main types of accreditation: regional and national. Regionally accredited programs have more widely accepted credits when transferring, while nationally accredited program credits are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to transfer. Even though nationally accredited programs are often cheaper than those with regional accreditation, they are often excluded from tuition reimbursement plans while regionally accredited programs remain eligible. Programmatic accreditation exists within an already accredited institution and is called a specialized accreditation.
MBA in Supply Chain Management Program Admissions
Online programs tend to have more rigorous admission processes than on-campus programs. Online students, though they have instructors, are often able to complete coursework at their own pace. Due to this difference, some admissions teams require online students to submit more in-depth application materials than on-campus students. The application process helps to determine if a student is ready to take on the responsibilities that come with studying online.
- Bachelor's Degree: MBA programs require students to complete their bachelor's degree before they can apply for a master's program. They must submit official transcripts with the application.
- Professional Experience: Professional experience is not required by all MBA in supply chain management students, but certain programs might ask that students provide their resume to demonstrate job experience and how it relates to the program.
- Minimum GPA: Most programs require students to meet a minimum GPA requirement, typically between 2.5 and 3.0.
- Application: Every program requires students to complete and submit an admissions application. Applications usually require very general information.
- Transcripts: Students need to submit transcripts when applying to MBA programs and usually cost students a small fee.
- Letters of recommendation: Many MBA in supply chain management students have to submit letters of recommendation with their application. Most students use professional and education references that can attest to their skills and experience.
- Test Scores: Though not all programs require test scores, most require students to submit GMAT or GRE scores, and have minimum score requirements.
- Application Fee: Application fees are required when students submit their application to a program. These fees vary depending on the university, but average about $50-$75.
What Else Can I Expect From an MBA in Supply Chain Management Program?
Many MBA supply chain management programs provide students with the opportunity to specialize degree programs to their career goals and personal interests through concentrations. Concentrations usually prepare students for a specific career in the supply chain management field. Not all programs offer concentrations, so check with the school first.
|Logistics Management||The logistics management concentration provides students with a strong foundation in the quantitative and qualitative methods used by transportation and logistics managers of global supply chains. The concentration emphasizes the decision-making process for transportation managers, warehouse and distribution operations managers, and logistics network designers.||With a logistics management concentration, students will be prepared to work as logisticians, logistics managers, or transportation managers.|
|Global Business||Students will learn about managing global business structures, decision-making competency in logistics, multinational finance, and international trade in a global business concentration. They study environmental, political, technological, social, economic, and market aspects of global business.||This concentration prepares students for jobs as senior professionals, business practitioners, and strategic leaders.|
|Quantitative Approaches||Students pursuing a concentration in quantitative approaches focus on how to use their skills to analyze and manage complex supply chains. The concentration highlights decision-making based on quality and information in networks of partners, facilities, domestic and international stakeholders, and suppliers.||The quantitative approaches concentration prepares students for careers as cost estimators and operation managers. They can pursue almost any job in the supply chain management field.|
|Logistics and Operations||Combining two fundamental areas of supply chain management, the logistics and operations concentration teaches students the best practices for business operations in regards to logistics. They learn about business law and finance, economics, accounting, and marketing.||There are many careers available to students who pursue a concentration in logistics and operations. Opportunities include logisticians, operations managers, and logistics managers.|
|Logistics and Transportation||Covering topics such as business law, operations management, logistics, reverse logistics, and finance, the logistics and transportation concentration introduces some of the most vital elements of supply chain management to students. They explore supply chain management, spreadsheets, and improvement techniques.||Supply chain managers, global logistics managers, transportation managers, and material planners are some of the many jobs students can learn in this concentration.|
Courses in an MBA in Supply Chain Management Program
Courses in supply chain management programs range in subject matter. Each program offers its own unique curriculum and students can often review what courses a program offers before deciding to enroll.
- Global Supply Chain Design and Management
Studying processes, concepts, and models used in design, analysis, development, and management of global supply chains are some of the core things students focus on in a global supply chain design and management course. Topics in the course include electronic commerce, facilities locations, transportation decisions, distribution planning, and global procurement.
- Supply Chain Systems Integration
Students will study the main types of supply chain strategies and learn management information systems and applications in the supply chain systems integration course. They learn to design and apply appropriate management systems to maintain supply chain environments. Focusing on management issues, processes, models, and supply chain strategies, students will be able to manage supply configurations and interrelationships effectively.
- Strategic Purchasing and Supply Management
In the strategic purchasing and supply management course, students learn about the role of supply management activities in the creation of competitive advantage. They develop an understanding of how to purchase and manage the necessary materials and service and come up with effective business strategies.
Intermodal transportation, regulatory issues in logistics, capacity and scheduling, risk and contingency planning, and international logistics terms are some of the key concepts students will learn in this course. They also focus on financial transportation decision making and carrier and service quality.
- Decision Modeling for Supply Chain Managers
The decision modeling for supply chain managers course provides students with a thorough introduction to decision modeling for supply chain managers. They cover topics including forecasting, linear regression, decision modeling with spreadsheets, and game theory. Students practice the fundamentals as they apply course tools to real-world situations for problem solving.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Supply Chain Management?
An MBA in supply chain management usually takes students about two years to complete. Different factors can have an impact on the amount of time it takes students to complete their program. Students can choose their enrollment type; either as a part-time or full-time student. Program lengths are usually based on full-time enrollment, so part-time students should expect to take longer than two years to complete their MBA in supply chain management. Credits vary depending upon the program, but most MBA in supply management degrees require about 45 credits. Many programs offer students the chance to double credits or take summer credits if they would like to finish their degree sooner.
How Much Is an MBA in Supply Chain Management?
The cost of a supply chain management MBA varies; each program features its own tuition costs and tuition structures. Many programs offer in-state and out-of-state tuition costs, while others offer one flat rate. Some programs even feature discounted tuition rates for online students or will grant them in-state cost since they will not be using on-campus resources. Military discounts are a feature that a lot of universities offer to active duty and veteran students.
Aside from tuition, there are several other elements that can impact the cost of an MBA in supply chain management degree. Students will want to research room and board, and any additional fees required by the university, such as books, web programs, and other program materials,.
Certifications and Licenses an MBA in Supply Chain Management Prepares For
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
The CSCP certification provides professionals with a mastery of the best practices in supply chain management. The program allows professionals to become experts in their field with a high skill and knowledge level. They review supply chain understanding, customer relations, information technology, international trade, facilitating supply chain functions, and physical logistics.
- Certificate in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
Preferred by employers in supply chain management, the CPIM certification provides professionals with the skills they need to evaluate and understand inventory and production activities within global operations. The program focuses on supplier planning, master scheduling, supplier relationships, quality control, and procurement management.
- Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)
The CPSD certification provides professionals with the chance to create high impact supplier diversity outcomes. Since supplier diversity is in high demand, salary data shows that professionals with their CPSD certification hold higher average salaries than professionals with no certification.
- Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
With employers increasingly requiring the CPSM certification for career advancement, more professionals are pursuing their CPSM. This certificate allows professionals to master the core competencies and foundational aspects of sourcing, contracts, negotiation, leadership, and procurement. Salary data shows that employees in supply chain management with their CPSM average higher salaries.
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
The PMP certification is a high level project management certification. The certification validates professionals' competencies to be a project manager and direct projects and teams. Professionals will understand the language of project management and connect to professionals and organizations all over the world.
Resources for MBA in Supply Chain Management Students
With student organizations at multiple universities, the Logistics Association provides students with the necessary resources to increase their knowledge of logistics and supply chain management.
Michigan State University is one of many universities with a resources page on their website for supply chain management students. Students can read articles relative to their field of study, request additional program resources, and live chat with someone from the department.
Students can access the Watson Supply Chain website to view webinars, register for ebooks, and learn more about supply chain optimization and business-to-business collaborations.
The Supply Chain Management Association features student organizations at many universities. Students can visit manufacturing sites and benefit from networking opportunities within the organization.
Featuring articles, videocasts, and educational resources, the Supply Chain Digest website provides students with plenty of information regarding supply chain management.
Professional Organizations for MBA in Supply Chain Management Students
Graduates with their MBA in supply chain management have the opportunity to join professional organizations in the field. Joining an organization has many different benefits. Members can network with others to build lasting professional connections that could lead to potential job opportunities. Additionally, members often have access to training resources and professional development opportunities. These resources can help members build upon skills and advance their careers.