Last Updated: May 03, 2021
Studying Supply Chain Management in the US
From raw material to consumer satisfaction
From procuring raw materials to selling the final product, there are a set of people who look into every network of a business - the supply chain managers. They are a group of people who manage every business aspect to ensure smooth production and distribution of the produce at reduced costs, without compromising on its quality. Such is the importance of their position that businesses are increasingly looking for skilled supply chain management specialists, thus making a degree in supply chain management an extremely lucrative educational option.
Since it is a specialization course, the course focuses on aspects ranging from basic humanities and sciences to business-related topics that can benefit students in all areas of their workspace. After completing the course, students can become a logistician or a distributions manager depending on their interests.
Bachelor's Degree in Supply Chain Management
A student of management studies can opt for a specialization in logistics and supply chain management that teaches the finer nuances of this aspect of business as part of the four-year educational course. While some institutions offer supply chain management as part of the regular four-year undergraduate program, some others offer it through their accelerated and part-time programs as well.
Application Requirements for BS in Supply Chain Management
The application requirements for the course change from university to university and it also depends on the mode of learning the student has chosen. The general requirements for most universities for this particular course are-
- Diploma from High School.
- Transcripts from High School.
- SAT/ACT Scorecard.
- A GPA of 2.5 and above.
Course Requirements for BS in Supply Chain Management
The general requirement for a full-time Bachelor’s program is 120 credits where the subjects that will be dealt with are related to sociology, sustainable operations, finance, accounting, etc which will aid them while working as a supply chain manager. The courses that are offered through the program may change titles from college to college but are essentially related to the following topics.
- Basics of Supply Chain Management
- Logistics Management
- Operations Management
- Shipping-Both on Ocean and Port Operations
- Supply Chain Finance
- Reverse Logistics
- Resource Estimation
- Resource Scheduling
- Project Management
Master's Degree in Supply Chain Management
While a two-year graduate study of management touches upon supply chain management, there are courses that focus mainly on supply chain management all the while providing them a chance to graduate in that one particular subject. The graduate program offered by colleges is provided as full-time, part-time, and accelerated programs all for the convenience of the students who enroll.
Due to the professional nature of the course, most candidates who apply for a Master’s in the subject will be from a working background and hence opt for the part-time option which makes the decision of returning to academia harder for most.
Application Requirements for MS in Supply Chain Management
The general application requirements for MS in Supply Chain Management for most of the universities are-
- Undergraduate Degree with GPA of 3 or above
- Duly-Filled Application Form
- Completed Essays in Application Form
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
Course Requirements for MS in Supply Chain Management
The courses that are included in the curriculum for the Master’s program are similar to the topics that have been introduced to the students in their degree program. The same subjects will be taken to a different level and students will then be provided with a choice of concentrations from which they can choose. The core courses will remain the same for all students whereas the concentrations offered will depend upon the faculties and their specializations. The concentrations that the student chooses will mostly be the same subjects they will take as their major or minor while doing their Ph.D.
The core courses that students have to take under this program include topics like-
- Business Analytics
- Project Management
- Data Management
- Sourcing Management
- Procurement Management
Concentrations Offered in MS in Supply Chain Management
Students who have been enrolled for the Master’s program will be able to choose their concentrations based on the field of their interest or the field they already work in and want the promotion for. The concentrations that overlap in most universities for the graduate program in supply chain management are as follows-
- Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
- Global Business
- Logistics and Transportation
- Global Supply Chains
- Financial Concepts
- Logistics Management
- International Trade
Doctoral Program in Supply Chain Management
Students interested in obtaining a doctorate in Supply Chain Management need to conduct intensive research and studies in this field under an expert's guidance. This program takes an average of five years to complete. However, individual educational institutions have their own timeline for the completion of this degree.
The different fields that students will encounter during this program are Logistics and Transportation, Supply Chain and Information Technology, Logistics Modeling, Industrial Organization, etc. among others. Students will also have to attend different seminars and submit a dissertation on the research they have done in their field of interest along with research papers.
Ideally, students will have only six steps in their Ph.D. which include course work, research paper submissions, exams, oral examination, Dissertation proposal, and dissertation defense.
Top Universities to Study Supply Chain Management
A degree in supply chain management can be earned either through regular schooling or through online programs. The top universities for taking up any course under Supply Chain Management are-
- Michigan State University
- Pennsylvania State University-University Park
- Arizona State University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Tennessee
- Ohio State University-Columbus
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Pennsylvania
Associate Degree vs. Bachelor's Degree in Supply Chain Management
While most entry-level job opportunities in Supply Chain Management and Logistics require people with an associate degree in the subject, a Bachelor's degree has its own added advantages like having a greater knowledge base and enhanced skill sets. In fact, the industry today is increasingly looking for Supply Chain Management professionals holding a Bachelor's degree. Besides, professionals with advanced degrees have been found to climb the career ladder faster and even enter into jobs at advanced posts soon after college. However, those who wish to step into leadership roles must consider completing an MBA in Supply Chain Management or earn a Master's degree in the subject.
Employment Opportunities after BS/MS in Supply Chain Management
Armed with a degree in Supply Chain Management, professionals can either work for a firm or become a consultant. Candidates can work as an inventory manager, materials manager, procurement manager, and under other job titles. Some of the most popular job opportunities for them include:
- Supply chain analysts: These professionals monitor, analyze and strategize to improve the company's supply-chain process. They oversee the entire supply chain process, predict logistic requirements, and strategize to improve the supply chain process. Supply chain analysts are mostly required by manufacturers and logistics service providers.
Median salary: $61,000
- Logisticians: These managers analyze and effectively coordinate a company's supply-chain process. Mostly required by manufacturing firms and government organizations, logistics managers handle practically every aspect of the supply chain, including procurement of products, their distribution, and final delivery.
Median salary: $76,270
- Transportation Managers: Controlling expense and operating transportation of goods within the legal ambit are just two of the prime responsibilities of transportation managers. They are responsible for efficient loading, transportation, and storage of goods.
Median salary: $96,390
- Distribution Manager: They are included in the processes of planning and organizing the distribution of products and the other services involved. It is their duty to stay on top of the laws and regulations that are being updated and ensure that there is no blockage in distribution no matter what factors come into play.
Median Salary: $96,390
- Storage Manager: They have to maintain contact with the transport companies that deliver the goods and at the same time be in charge of company policies. This job requires strong social interpersonal skills that managers will require while dealing with store staff and customers at the same time. They also have to maintain stocks, inventories and write reports as part of their jobs.
Median Salary: $96,390