Bachelor’s in Supply Chain Management Program Guide

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August 19, 2021

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While stocking extra inventory can be costly for companies, they must ensure they have enough materials to meet consumer demand. Supply chain managers help businesses maintain this balance. They analyze the sourcing, purchasing, and transportation of supplies and goods. They also develop long-term plans to reduce costs and improve profitability. When COVID-19 disrupted manufacturing and movement of goods, supply chain managers found alternative sources and supplies.

Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% job growth for logisticians and supply chain managers. Many industries need supply chain managers, including manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and government agencies. A bachelor's degree in supply chain management prepares you to work in this fast-paced field.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Supply Chain Management?

A bachelor's degree in supply chain management brings together concepts from finance, economics, and logistics. Courses equip students with skills in these areas and build organizational, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Communication and interpersonal relationships are also essential in this field.

Most industries need experts in supply chain management to help plan and guide their logistics programs. The majority of supply chain managers work full time and receive benefits, but some may find the work stressful. Some jobs may also require travel.

Courses equip students with skills in these areas and build organizational, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

Many colleges and universities offer degrees in supply chain management through their business school or as a concentration within a business administration degree. Earning a bachelor's degree requires at least four years for completion. An online bachelor's degree in supply chain management often allows students to earn their degree while continuing to work.

Supply chain management continues to evolve. Individuals must stay informed of advances and developments in the field. The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) helps professionals network and learn from one another. The association also offers professional credentials that verify your knowledge and skills in planning and inventory management; logistics, transportation, and distribution; and supply chain management.

Find the best online bachelor's in supply chain management programs.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Will I Learn in a Supply Chain Management Bachelor's Program?

A bachelor's degree in supply chain management builds on fundamental business concepts through economics, accounting, and business ethics classes. Many business and supply chain management classes require an understanding of advanced mathematics, so expect to take courses in calculus.

Students learn to use various software, including programs for inventory management, presentations, and data analytics. Specific courses may focus on designing and managing effective supply chains, working in a global supply chain environment, and executing advanced logistics.

A supply chain management curriculum also builds leadership skills with management principles, conflict management, and strategic management. Internships help students put their skills to work in a professional setting. Many programs require this capstone experience.

The concentrations listed below complement a bachelor's degree in supply chain management. Concentrations require three or more courses on a specific topic.

Concentrations

Entrepreneurship
This cross-disciplinary concentration focuses on developing a new business. Coursework helps students analyze business opportunities, identify funding and investment sources, and create business plans.
Project Management
Project management includes a series of processes to help plan, implement, and measure a specific business initiative. Students in this concentration learn to identify resources, develop budgets, and incorporate stakeholder input with timelines to keep projects on track.
International Business
Most businesses operate in a global environment. This track prepares supply chain management students to understand how to work with global partners to source supplies, build relationships, and manage international economics. This concentration may offer opportunities to study abroad.
Leadership
Students focusing on leadership take courses in team building, conflict management, and business communication. Learners develop skills in communication, people management, and business improvement processes.
Marketing
A marketing concentration helps students identify a company's consumer value and communicate that value to the appropriate customer. Courses often include marketing analysis, branding, sales management, and digital marketing.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Supply Chain Management?

The ASCM's 2020 salary survey found that supply chain professionals primarily work in planning. Additional duties include sourcing materials, supervising manufacturing, delivering products, and enabling business operations. Job titles can vary by industry and employer, but examples include inventory analyst, procurement specialist, operations manager, and logistics manager.

An online bachelor's degree in supply chain management prepares you for positions in a variety of industries. The skills you gain during your studies remain in high demand in manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and other industries.

You can also continue your education through graduate studies or a professional credential. Supply chain management changes quickly. It's important to continue studying to stay up-to-date on trends and best practices.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continuing Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Supply Chain Management?

According to the BLS, logisticians earn a median annual salary of $76,270. The ASCM's survey found that supply chain professionals earned $50,000-$158,000 in 2020 in base pay, with entry-level supply chain managers earning $60,000 with two years of work experience or less. Salary expectations vary by location, industry, experience, and education.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Supply Chain Management Programs

What is supply chain management? true

Supply chain management refers to the processes companies use to purchase, transport, and use product and materials and the delivery of their product to customers. The field involves planning, inventory analysis, warehouse management, and transportation.

Is supply chain management a good degree? true

Yes. A bachelor's degree in supply chain management provides students with a foundation in business administration in areas, such as strategic management and leadership. Coursework often builds on these skills with training in common software.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in supply chain management? true

Public four-year universities charged in-state students an average tuition of $10,560 per year in 2020, while private schools charged $37,650. Financial aid, including grants and scholarships, reduces the published cost of a degree, and federal student loans can help finance your education.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in supply chain management?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in supply chain management requires at least four years. If you have earned college credit or completed professional or military training, your school may award you transfer credits for your prior learning. These credits can reduce the time necessary to earn your degree.

Are supply chain management jobs in high demand?

Most industries need the skills and expertise of supply chain managers. The BLS projects 4% job growth in this field from 2019 to 2029, an increase of about 8,200 new jobs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images | Luis Alvarez | 1272562578

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