What Can You Do with a Supply Chain Management Degree?

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Want a ticket to greater job satisfaction and a good shot at being promoted? If you’ve reached a dead end in your career or your salary just isn’t delivering the lifestyle you’d imagined, reinventing yourself with a supply chain management degree might be the answer. A Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management from National University packs a one-two punch: Not only will you have an MBA that employers covet, but expertise in one of the hottest professions today.

Typical Supply Chain Management Courses

By earning a Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management, you’ll develop your business acumen through courses in finance, organizational management, accounting, and marketing. You’ll also hone your expertise in specialized topics such as the principles of supply chain, procurement and supplier relations, transportation and distribution management, supply chain risk and compliance, and inventory management.

Is Supply Chain Management a Good Career?

Supply chain management is a rapidly growing field fueled by the explosive expansion of e-commerce and new technologies such as AI and blockchain. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, supply chain managers work in nearly every industry, and demand for this fast-paced job is expected to grow 28% over the next 10 years, much faster than the average job growth. Salary.com reports the median salary for people with a master’s degree in supply chain management is $117,255 to $125,525.

Thriving Industries and Sectors

Supply chain managers are hired in thriving industries and sectors such as manufacturing; the federal government; professional, scientific, and technical services; management of companies and enterprises; and wholesale trade.

Is Supply Chain Management a Future-Proof Career?

Rapidly evolving technology can land entire professions on the extinction list. Think switchboard operators and typesetters. Now more than ever, it’s important to find a future-proof career, an occupation that’s likely to still exist for decades to come, such as supply chain management.

The promising future of supply chain management is rooted in the past, when the COVID-19 pandemic created the biggest supply chain disruption in the past 100 years. Only 2% of companies responding to an Ernst & Young survey reported being fully prepared — a costly mistake companies don’t want to repeat. After the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the supply chain, 67 percent of CEOs report they will increase investment in disruption detection and innovation processes to build resilience into their supply chains moving forward.

For a glimpse into the brave new world of supply chain management, Gartner, a provider of research and consulting services for businesses in the IT sector, paints the picture in The CSCO’s Guide to Supply Chain Innovations.

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How Do I​​ Prepare for a​​ Career in Supply​​ Chain Management​​?​

Preparing for a career in supply chain management begins with education and training to gain the tools and background you need to hit the ground running in your new job. Afterward, certification and licensure from recognized supply chain associations can fast-track your career. Here are details on what you need to succeed.

Education and Training

By earning an MBA in supply chain management, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to thrive in this growing and complex field. It will equip you with the ability to analyze data and make sound decisions that can improve operational efficiency, including how to use technology to streamline supply chain operations. As you learn from experienced professionals in the field, you’ll also develop a valuable network of industry contacts that could open important doors for your career in the future.

Certifications and Licensure

Beyond that impressive MBA on your resume, certifications, and licensure provide further proof that you have the knowledge and skills to do a job and demonstrate your commitment to continuous study of the field. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals provides training and certification programs covering all verticals, from sourcing to customer service, that are applicable to all industries and business types. The Association for Supply Chain Management also offers a variety of certifications and credentials that strengthen skills and certify competency.

Supply Chain Management Careers for Graduates

What are the types of jobs you can get with a supply chain management degree? Indeed.com provides a snapshot of six:

  1. Purchasing agent: National average salary: $44,164 per year. Primary duties: This professional is responsible for buying the equipment, supplies, and services their organization needs to operate. They negotiate contracts with vendors and suppliers, create purchase orders, and analyze financial reports.
  2. Logistics analyst: National average salary: $58,839 per year. Primary duties: The logistics analyst oversees the entire production life cycle of a product, beginning with the purchase of raw materials and ending when the product leaves the distribution warehouse. They evaluate each step of the process as they look for opportunities to streamline operations, reduce overhead costs, and improve productivity.
  3. Logistics manager: National average salary: $60,297 per year. Primary duties: This professional oversees the entire supply chain of the company, including establishing guidelines and protocols for how the company purchases products, services, and raw materials, as well as distribute the products they create. They also oversee other logistics professionals.
  4. Operations manager: National average salary: $63,207 per year. Primary duties: By hiring and training the right staff members, an operations manager improves an organization’s productivity. They review existing policies to identify areas for improvement, implement guidelines to help onboard team members, and collaborate with other department leads to develop more efficient systems. They also create budgets and keep records related to personnel management.
  5. Data analyst: National average salary: $66,164 per year. Primary duties: This professional helps company leaders make more informed decisions by gathering, organizing, and interpreting data. They conduct surveys, run statistical tests, and research important information relevant to their organization’s business procedures. Data analysts use the information they gather to identify trends, generate reports, and provide suggestions that improve organizational processes and increase revenue.
  6. Purchasing manager: National average salary: $67,963 per year. Primary duties: A purchasing manager supervises a company’s procurement strategies, analyzes their purchasing needs, negotiates agreements, and forms partnerships with new suppliers. They also oversee inventory levels and manage the disposal of outdated products and materials. They’re often responsible for building their own teams of purchasing agents and buyers whom they train and manage.

Career Paths in Supply Chain Management

Increasingly companies are recognizing the key role that supply chain management plays in their business success, creating more opportunities for advancement than ever before. According to the Occupational Information Network, less than a third of supply chain managers have a master’s degree or higher level of education. An advanced supply chain management degree like the Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management offered by National University is the kind of credential that can set you apart from the competition and position you for a successful career as a supply chain executive.

Some corporations have elevated supply chain management to the C-suite with the role of chief supply chain officer (CSCO). But that’s just one potential job for supply chain executives. Other leadership roles include senior supply chain manager, senior supply chain analyst, supply chain director, and chief procurement officer.

If your long-range goal is supply chain management — even the C-suite —  an advanced supply chain management degree is an important asset.

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National University can give you the qualifications you need to launch or advance your career in supply chain management. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Supply Chain Management prepares you for leadership and management positions in this exciting and ever-changing business environment. As globalization and outsourcing impact nearly every market and industry, you’ll gain mastery of supply chain management skills that have become essential for competitive businesses, professionals, and managers.

A Veteran-founded nonprofit, National University has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, and achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 40,000 students and 230,000+ alumni around the globe. Find out how National University’s MBA in Supply Chain Management can be your stepping stone to the career of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Supply Chain Management (SCM) involves the management of the flow of goods and services, including all processes that transform raw materials into final products. It involves the active streamlining of a business’s supply-side activities to maximize customer value and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Yes, a Supply Chain Management degree is versatile and can be applied to job opportunities around the world. Many large corporations operate globally and require supply chain professionals to manage their operations in different countries.

There are plenty of opportunities for advancement in a Supply Chain Management career. With experience, you can progress from an entry-level position to managerial and executive roles. Obtaining professional certifications and continuing education can also enhance your career prospects.

Some professional associations related to Supply Chain Management include:

  • APICS (Association for Supply Chain Management)
  • ISM (Institute for Supply Management)
  • CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals)

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