Supply chain management is the active management of supply chain activities to achieve a competitive advantage and maximize customer satisfaction. As supply chain management becomes an increasingly critical component of running a lean and efficient business operation, a growing number of people are pursuing a supply chain management degree. In supply chain management schools, students learn about the supply chain of purchasing, producing, moving, and marketing goods and services on a global level. If you are interested in this field, learn more about supply chain management programs now.
Overview of Supply Chain Management Programs
Degrees in supply chain management are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Associate’s degree will take two years to complete, bachelor’s degree programs typically last four years, and master’s degree programs are two years beyond the bachelor’s degree. Doctoral programs will require either a bachelor’s or master’s degree prior to admittance and will typically last from three to five years.
Education requirements for jobs in supply chain management typically vary depending on the size of the organization. Small organizations may hire candidates with just a high school diploma or associate’s degree in supply chain management, but large companies generally prefer hiring candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field.
In order to advance to top-level supply management jobs, a master’s degree may be preferred. The purpose of PhD programs in supply chain management is to prepare graduates to conduct research or teach at the university level.
Required Supply Chain Management Courses
Supply chain management is a diverse field that draws from various disciplines, including logistics, procurement, operations management, and information technology. Supply chain management courses may discuss:
- Fundamentals of accounting
- Organization & management
- Business statistics
- Principles of marketing
- Business communication
- Operations management
- Financial management
There are also a variety of professional certifications available to those seeking employment in supply chain management. Each designation asks for candidates to sit for an exam and meet a range of education and experience requirements. Although not required, professional certifications may boost employment prospects. Possible certifications include:
- The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
- Certified in Transportation and Logistics (CTL)
- Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (PLS)
- Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP)
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Supply Chain Management Career Opportunities
Overseeing essential business processes that affect a company’s profitability, supply chain managers plan and organize the transfer of goods and materials from manufacturers through to suppliers and customers. Their duties may include tracking the movement of goods through depots, monitoring stock levels using computer databases, overseeing the arrival of shipments, and dealing with staff recruitment and training.
Types of Jobs
Organizations in virtually every industry use supply chains in their operations, In order to be a good supply chain manager, strong problem-solving and communication skills are a must. Potential jobs in supply chain management include:
- Purchasing manager
- Purchasing agent
- Industrial buyer
- Transportation manager
- Warehouse operations specialist
- Production planner
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of logisticians is expected to grow at a much faster than average rate of 22% through 2022. The growth is expected due to the strategic role that logistics plays in the transportation of goods. States with the highest employment level for logisticians are California, Texas, Washington, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
In 2012, the median annual wages for logisticians was 72,780. The bottom 10% earned $45,190, and the top 10% earned $112,100. Software publishers and mining support services were the highest paying industries. The highest paying states were DC, Maryland, Virginia, Alaska, and Washington.
Earning Your Supply Chain Management Degree
Supply chain management is a broad field that covers everything from product development, sourcing, production, and logistics to the information systems required to manage these activities. Supply chain managers are crucial to an organization’s ability to position itself and its supply chains in today’s competitive global market. As logistics and supply chain networks become increasingly complex, having postsecondary supply chain management training can be highly beneficial. If you would like to enter this field or advance your current career, start exploring supply chain management degree programs today.