Online MBA Programs in Supply Chain Management

Published November 15, 2022 · 5 Min Read

A supply chain management MBA can help you break into the field. Learn more about the courses you’ll need to join this growing industry and the careers that await.

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Students who graduate from an online MBA program in supply chain management may qualify for top logistics positions in this growing field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 7% rise in demand across all business and financial occupations from 2021-2031, outpacing the national average for all occupations.

Use this additional guide to hone your research of top online supply chain management MBA programs.

Read on to discover what to expect from a supply chain MBA, including potential curriculum, how to choose the right program, and ideas for funding a degree through scholarships.

What Is an MBA in Supply Chain Management?

MBA graduates concentrating in supply chain management set themselves up for success across a variety of career paths.

Top industries for logisticians include employers such as the federal executive branch, aerospace manufacturers, and freight transportation companies.

Payscale reports that graduates with MBAs in supply chain management earn a median annual salary of $96,000.

Entry-level operations managers may start with a median annual salary of $68,493, while directors of supply chain management earn $117,000 after five years' experience.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Supply Chain Management?

An MBA in supply chain management can lead to many careers. The degree provides a strong foundation for a variety of careers in logistics, operations, and business management.

Here are just a few of the available careers:

Logistics Engineer

Logistics engineers help optimize supply chain logistics by analyzing operations and suggesting improvements. They assess physical workflow, software, and transportation, working with other managers to create improvements.

These professionals may train staff, conduct studies for their organizations, and analyze the monetary gains of increased efficiency. Top skills include project management, logistics support analysis, and engineering design.

Logistics engineers earn an average annual salary of $71,802, according to October 2022 Payscale data.

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers deal with logistics for their organizations on a large scale. They communicate with vendors, sales teams, and customer service staff. They also analyze their organizations' efficiency to suggest improvements. They may work to optimize production processes, shipment processes, and employee performance.

Top skills include supplier management, operations management, materials requirement planning, data analytics, and supply chain. According to November 2022 Payscale data, supply chain managers earn an average annual salary of $84,426.

Demand Planner

Demand planners predict how much inventory various departments in their organizations need during specific times of year. They help manage inventory, materials, and procurement by studying and reporting on their target consumers.

Details include audience habits and demographics, plus market trends. Top skills for demand planners include SAP advanced planner and optimizer, business analysis, SAP supply chain management, and forecasting.

Demand planners earn an average annual salary of $69,597, according to November 2022 Payscale data.

Supply Chain Analyst

Often working on a project-by-project basis, supply chain analysts engage in troubleshooting tactics to improve supply chain operations for their organization.

They analyze reports and working conditions to suggest improvements and fix problems that may arise. They could deal with warehouse processes, transportation, and other supply chain processes.

Top skills for supply chain analysts include project management, supply chain, and data analysis. November 2022 Payscale data shows supply chain analysts earn an average annual salary of $62,738.

Logistics Manager

Logistics managers deal with a specific area of their organization's supply chain, such as a department or region. They supervise employees, often in warehouse, packing, and shipping, to ensure raw materials reach their destinations efficiently.

They facilitate storage, communicate with customers, and manage budgets. Top skills for logistics managers include leadership, supply chain, and operations management.

Logistics managers earn an average annual salary of $69,436, per October 2022 Payscale data.

Supply Chain Management Curriculum

There are many different courses that students studying supply chain management can take. Specific concentration courses vary by college.

Below are some of the common classes in a supply chain management MBA curriculum.

  • Supply Management

    This course prepares students to conduct vendor research and manage supplier relationships. Topics include contracts, global supply, relationship metrics, sourcing, logistics, and operations.
  • Supply Chain Models

    This course provides fundamental theory and popular models in supply chain operations. Topics include inventory development, forecasting, quality management, supply chain network design, and analytics.
  • Negotiation

    This course covers basics in contract negotiation, with topics including negotiation processes and styles, planning, communication, strategy, and ethics. Students often learn both individual and group negotiation tactics.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Supply Chain Management Program

Pay attention to multiple factors when selecting the right supply chain management program for your goals. Accreditation, degree, flexibility, cost, and extracurricular requirements all serve as important considerations.

A strong marker of quality, accreditation ensures that schools and programs adhere to certain standards. Accreditation assesses the school as a whole. MBA students may look for programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Consider whether to study in a full- or part-time program, given your schedule. Some programs offer both structures, while others are more rigid.

Timelines — how long you are in the program, when the university offers certain courses — may impact affordability. Location can also affect tuition costs; some schools allow out-of-state students to pay in-state tuition for online programs, while others do not.

Extracurricular graduation requirements — such as thesis papers, capstone projects, and internships — may offer important, resume-boosting experience for students just starting out.

Those already working in the field, on the other hand, may not need to complete these types of requirements.

Strong supply chain MBA programs often include partnerships with local businesses, demonstrating community confidence in the program and helping students to make connections.

Professional Organizations for Supply Chain Management

Students enrolled in top online MBA programs for supply chain management can benefit from professional organizations before they graduate.

Professionals rely on these organizations for networking, industry news and updates, and continuing education.

The list below provides details on key professional organizations for supply chain professionals.

Association for Supply Chain Management

A global organization committed to continuing education, ASCM has both individual and corporate members. Members can access a wealth of educational resources, connect with colleagues worldwide through the online network, and take advantage of career resources.

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply

An international organization dedicated to global thinking with a local mindset, CIPS offers professional resources like news, research, and online tools.

Members can also access e-learning opportunities, a robust online community, and career tools.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

With a focus on supporting supply chain management professionals from entry-level to veteran positions, the CSCMP provides members with publications and research, local roundtables, discounted conference admission, and online networking opportunities.

International Warehouse Logistics Association

Dedicated to supporting warehouse managers in North America, the IWLA serves its members through a vetted vendor database. It also offers insurance products, office products, and staffing services, plus an online career center and job board.

Material Handling Association of America

Emphasizing professional support and continuing education, MHI serves its membership of material handling and logistics professionals through an online learning center, career forum, and networking opportunities.

Common Questions About Supply Chain Management

How do I get a career in supply chain management?

To get a career in supply chain management, you'll need to get a relevant degree. An online supply chain management MBA is a great option for those hoping to enter the logistics field. Getting involved in professional organizations can also help students find jobs.

How does supply chain management help the economy?

Supply chain management supports the economy by helping businesses meet customer demand. Manufacturers and retailers use demand planning to understand what items people want. Then, they work to provide those items in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Businesses can cut costs and provide better customer service with supply chain management.

Is supply chain management a good major?

Supply chain management is a great major for strategic thinkers that want to enter a growing field. There is a high demand for supply chain professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% growth in the field from 2021-2031. Graduates in this major can work in a variety of industries.

Why are people interested in supply chain management?

People have an interest in Supply chain management because it is an important field. Supply chain management helps people access groceries, medical equipment, and other important goods. It is also a career that offers strong salaries and a positive job outlook.

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