Last Updated: January 22, 2020
Supply chain managers oversee the production and distribution of products, beginning with the materials used to make the products and extending through the distribution of the products to consumers. Management teams create networks and systems to plan, design, and manufacture products. These teams also deal with delivery and other distribution logistics.
Earning an MBA in supply chain management qualifies learners for higher salaries and more advanced positions in the field. Supply chain managers work in varied, fast-paced environments, serving in all kinds of roles and positions to keep their businesses' production lines moving efficiently. Jobs for professionals in supply chain management roles continue to grow and expand, making the career an enticing choice.
This page provides details on earning your supply chain management MBA, including what to expect from the program, career options, and a ranking of the best programs available.
2021's 10 Best Online Supply Chain Management Degrees
|1||University of Maryland-College Park||College Park, MD|
|2||Pennsylvania State University-World Campus||University Park, PA|
|3||University of La Verne||La Verne, CA|
|4||Florida Southern College||Lakeland, FL|
|5||Bethel University||Saint Paul, MN|
|6||Oregon State University||Corvallis, OR|
|7||University of Nebraska-Lincoln||Lincoln, NE|
|8||Ohio University||Athens, OH|
|9||Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA|
|10||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
What Is Supply Chain Management?
For the last century, business owners and logisticians have attempted to build and evolve the supply chain management field. Beginning in the late 1880s with the development of the basic hand truck, companies started to create and implement new technology to simplify the production and delivery of goods. In the 1950s, the first steel shipping containers were produced, followed by the first computerized inventory and shipping system in 1967.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, computers and new technology continued to emerge and contribute to the evolution of supply chain management and logistics. Into the 2000s, transportation grew more energy-efficient and faster, allowing companies to distribute products widely without substantial increases in cost or time.
Today, supply chain management covers all positions geared toward the design, manufacturing, and distribution of products. This includes the acquisition of basic materials, forecasting demand and sales, and managing transport.
Supply chain managers work in all types of industries, and many work in fields where products and physical goods are produced and sold. They work for businesses of all sizes, handling supply chains on both smaller and more substantial scales. Supply chain managers keep production and manufacturing moving, ensuring manufacturers get the materials they need to create goods and consumers enjoy easy access to the finished products.
Over 188,000 supply chain logisticians worked in the U.S. as of 2019, and the field continues to grow at a rate comparable to the national average.
Why Get a Supply Chain Management MBA?
The MBA has become the most popular graduate degree in recent years, leaving prospective students to wonder if the credential is still worth it. Despite becoming more common, the MBA still holds clout, providing graduates with more advanced job opportunities and higher average wages.
Earning a specialized master's, such as an MBA with a specific focus like supply chain management or managerial economics, may equip students for careers in specialized fields. See below for other benefits of this degree.
- Higher Salary Potential: Data shows that earning an MBA can lead to a substantial increase in pay. Those with an MBA earn 38% more than those with a bachelor's in business, according to a 2018 report.
- Available Jobs: A bachelor's is the typical minimum requirement for supply chain managers, but an MBA could increase career options for graduates entering the job market. More advanced degrees tend to open doors to more career opportunities.
- Opportunity for Advancement: Earning a graduate or other advanced degree, like an MBA, often provides learners with a pathway to career advancement. Higher degrees often lead to higher and more advanced positions, including those in leadership.
Ranking the Top 15 Online MBAs in Supply Chain Management, 2021
Learn about the 15 best online MBA in supply chain management programs for 2021. See the link below for more information about how we rank schools.
What the Best Supply Chain Programs Have in Common
College experiences and programs vary, but many of the best online MBA in supply chain management programs share similar characteristics. Below, we describe common features of the best schools that offer online supply chain management master's degrees.
They are accredited. Accrediting agencies evaluate higher learning institutions to ensure their curricula meet standards of academic excellence. Attending an accredited school makes it easier to transfer credits between schools and get financial aid. All the schools on this list are regionally accredited by one of the following agencies:
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Some schools are also programmatically accredited, which means their MBAs have been audited to ensure they prepare students professionally. For business programs, these accrediting agencies include:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- They are affordable. The best schools offer scholarships and other financial aid to a high percentage of their students. For example, the University of Maryland offers a financial award of some type to 100% of the school's full-time MBA students. We also assess affordability by looking at net price, average amount of aid awarded, and loan default rates.
- They are reputable. Earning your MBA in supply chain management from a school with a good reputation improves your chances of getting an adequate education and landing internship and job opportunities after graduation. For example, Oregon State University's business college boasts an 84% job placement rate, signaling their programs provide adequate preparation to succeed in business.
- They offer strong academic programs. We measure academic strength by looking at a variety of factors, including full-time faculty proportions, graduation rates, and online enrollment rates. For example, Penn State World Campus understands high-quality distance education, offering more than 150 completely online programs featuring the same curricula and top professors as its on-campus programs.
1. University of Maryland-College Park
|Public university in College Park, MD, accredited by MSCHE and AACSB|
A public research institution founded in 1856, the University of Maryland-College Park is the state's flagship university. UMD hosts more than 800 campus organizations and clubs and 20 NCAA Division I teams.
UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a 54-credit online MBA in supply chain management that takes 24 months to complete. The program features small class sizes, experiential learning, and a global alumni network of more than 66,000. Students are required to complete two three-day residencies on campus.
The data-driven curriculum includes classes like innovative solutions to supply chain challenges, global trade logistics, and supply chain risk management. The same top faculty members who teach in the on-campus program also provide instruction online. Students develop leadership, communication, analysis, and decision-making skills. The program also offers online MBA candidates the opportunity to spend ten days studying abroad.
Applying to UMD
Applicants need a bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited university. The admissions committee considers undergraduate GPA, GMAT/GRE scores, professional background, and letters of recommendation. Some applicants may need to complete an interview.
Program at a Glance
2. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
|Public university in University Park, PA, accredited by MSCHE and AACSB|
Launched in 1998, Pennsylvania State University-World Campus is the global distance education arm of Penn State. The World Campus offers more than 150 online academic programs.
The Smeal College of Business at Penn State World Campus offers a 48-credit online supply chain management master's degree. The program features an interdisciplinary curriculum that covers all facets of business. Students develop teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. They also get access to specialized career coaching, global immersion trips, personal advising, and a variety of networking opportunities.
MBA in supply chain management students complete a five-day in-person residency that provides the chance to meet classmates and instructors, attend career development workshops, and network with alumni. Required courses include managing and leading people in organizations, operations management and demand fulfillment, and supply chain performance metrics and financial analysis.
Applying to Penn State World Campus
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students from non-business backgrounds may need to complete prerequisite courses. The program requires official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, and two professional references.
Program at a Glance
3. University of La Verne
|Private university in La Verne, CA, accredited by WSCUC|
A private university founded in 1891, the University of La Verne is located in La Verne, California, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The school's 7,000 students choose from more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Designed for midcareer business workers, La Verne's online MBA for experienced professionals (MBAX) with a concentration in supply chain management only admits applicants with at least three years of working experience. The one- to three-year program features online, asynchronous classes.
The curriculum focuses on management and leadership strategies, using real-world scenarios. The 33-credit MBAX includes core courses like corporate finance, technology-based operations management, and theory and practice of organizational behavior. The program also requires a three-credit strategic management seminar, the supply chain master's degree's culminating experience.
Applying to La Verne
La Verne's MBA in supply chain management program requires a bachelor's degree in any field. Applicants must submit college transcripts, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement summarizing your professional goals.
Program at a Glance
4. Florida Southern College
|Private college in Lakeland, FL, accredited by SACSCOC and AACSB|
A private college in central Florida, Florida Southern College offers more than 70 academic programs. Its 3,500 learners benefit from a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Florida Southern's fully online supply chain management master's degree features virtual advising, seven-week classes, and real-world consulting for business clients. The 33-credit AACSB-accredited MBA includes courses like operations management, Six Sigma processes, and strategic management. Each student is paired with an experienced executive who provides mentorship and assistance throughout the 12- to 24-month program.
The globally focused degree includes an international field experience option, which 60% of MBA candidates participate in. Florida Southern gives out one-time $500-$1,500 merit scholarships to those who submit a GMAT/GRE score as part of their application.
Applying to Florida Southern
The MBA in supply chain management requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit a resume, a personal statement of professional goals, one letter of reference, and GMAT/GRE scores (waiver available).
Program at a Glance
5. Bethel University
|Private university in Saint Paul, MN, accredited by HLC and ACBSP (pending)|
A private evangelical Christian university in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Bethel University started in 1871 as a Baptist seminary. Motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel prepares graduates for scholarship, leadership, and service.
Bethel's 42-credit MBA in supply chain management takes 24-30 months to complete. Courses start every six weeks, and students can complete the degree entirely online. The curriculum focuses on supply chain analytics, technology, design, and systems. MIT professors teach the supply chain management concentration through the MITx MicroMasters program in supply chain management.
Bethel's core business courses include worldview, ethics, and leadership; engaging your potential; and strategic communication for leaders. Graduation requirements also include an MBA portfolio and a three-credit integrative team capstone. The program offers networking opportunities with local business leaders and one-on-one career coaching.
Applying to Bethel
The online MBA in supply chain management requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and at least two years of work experience. Applicants must submit transcripts, two professional references, a resume, and a statement of purpose.
Program at a Glance
6. Oregon State University
|Public university in Corvallis, OR, accredited by NWCCU and AACSB|
A public land-grant research university in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University enrolls 32,000 students from all U.S. states and more than 100 countries.
OSU's MBA in supply chain management and logistics prepares students for careers in the logistics, operations, supply chain management, and manufacturing industries. The curriculum focuses on qualitative and quantitative methods, management plans, and global operations and supply chains.
The 60-credit, fully online degree takes 30 months to complete. Students with a background in business, however, can take the accelerated version of the program, which only requires 45 credits. Required classes include business legal environment, markets and valuation, organization leadership and management, and managing ethics and corporate responsibility.
OSU's College of Business offers a variety of financial assistance to MBA candidates, including scholarships, fellowships, and other types of aid. The business college also offers advisors dedicated to working specifically with business students at the Career Success Center.
Applying to OSU
The online supply chain management master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. Applicants must submit college transcripts, a resume, short answer questions, and references. The program also requires GRE/GMAT scores (waiver available).
Program at a Glance
7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
|Public university in Lincoln, NE, accredited by HLC and AACSB|
The state's flagship research institution, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was chartered in 1869. Nebraska is a land-grant university and a member of the Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Academic Alliance.
Nebraska's fully online 48-credit supply chain management MBA program features interactive eight-week courses and a customizable curriculum. New MBA students choose from start dates in fall, spring, or summer and can take multiple classes simultaneously. The same experienced Big Ten faculty members who teach in Nebraska's on-campus MBA program also provide instruction to online students.
The AACSB-accredited program develops strategic thinking and leadership skills. MBA students can network with instructors and their classmates, who have completed, on average, nine years of work experience. The program also offers access to a career coach and online resume review.
Applying to Nebraska
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GMAT/GRE scores, three references, a personal statement, and a professional resume. Applicants with at least seven years of professional experience and an acceptable undergraduate GPA can request a GMAT/GRE waiver.
Program at a Glance
8. Ohio University
|Public university in Athens, OH, accredited by HLC and AACSB|
A public research university in Athens, Ohio, OU was chartered in 1787 and offers more than 250 majors, minors, and certificate programs. OU's alumni include 49 Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni.
OU's online MBA is a 35-credit, two-year degree that emphasizes changing technology, globalization, and process improvement methodologies in business. The AACSB-accredited supply chain master's degree does not require the GMAT.
Students take online classes like management of Lean Six Sigma programs, supply chain risk management, and project management. The MBA also requires a two-day in-person residency for OU's Leadership Development Program (LDP). Held multiple times a year, the LDP includes guest speakers, networking, and the chance to interact with classmates and instructors.
Applying to OU
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and two or more years of professional experience. The program requires two letters of recommendation, a current resume, a professional statement, and official college transcripts.
Program at a Glance
9. Liberty University
|Private university in Lynchburg, VA, accredited by SACSCOC and ACBSP|
Liberty University, a private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers over 700 programs, including 450 available online. The school's total enrollment exceeds 110,000.
Liberty's 45-credit online supply chain management master's degree takes two years to complete. The university lets students transfer up to 50% of the required MBA credits. The program features eight-week, fully online, asynchronous courses and does not require any on-campus intensives or a thesis. New students choose from eight start dates a year.
The ACBSP-accredited curriculum emphasizes leadership training and requires classes like business research methods, organizational design and structure, supply chain management, and logistics. MBA candidates gain critical thinking, management, and leadership skills. Liberty offers tuition discounts to military and veteran students across the world.
Applying to Liberty
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Liberty requires official college transcripts and completion of undergraduate business prerequisites.
Program at a Glance
10. Syracuse University
|Private university in Syracuse, NY, accredited by MSCHE and AACSB|
A private research institution in Syracuse, New York, the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Syracuse University in 1831. The university offers more than 200 customizable majors from 13 colleges and schools.
Syracuse's Whitman School of Management offered the country's first supply chain management program in 1919. The 54-credit online MBA in supply chain management features live, synchronous courses and takes 24 months to complete. The curriculum incorporates personalized career coaching, global networking opportunities, and access to a virtual career center. Classes explore topics like Lean Six Sigma, project management, and business analytics.
Designed for busy working professionals, the program offers classes six days a week via mobile app, self-paced multimedia coursework, and virtual breakout rooms for group projects. MBA candidates must also complete three in-person residencies, giving them the opportunity to connect with classmates and faculty.
Applying to Syracuse
Supply chain management MBA students need at least one year of business experience to apply to Syracuse's program. Students are eligible for GMAT/GRE waivers if they have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a degree in business or related field, or a previous master's degree. Applicants also need to submit two essays, two letters of professional recommendation, transcripts, and a resume.
Program at a Glance
11. University of Dallas
|Private university in Irving, TX, accredited by SACSCOC and AACSB|
A Catholic university established by the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur in 1956, the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, welcomes learners of all faiths. More than 1,400 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students attend UD.
UD's AACSB-accredited online MBA in supply chain management program aligns with the industry-recognized Gartner supply chain talent attribute model. Though the program's core curriculum is taught by UD faculty, the supply chain management courses are offered online from the Quinlan School for Business at Loyola University Chicago.
These concentration-specific classes from Loyola include classes like global logistics, supply chain analytics, purchasing management, and inventory management. Each course lasts ten weeks. Online UD MBA candidates qualify for financial aid, and the Gupta College of Business offers a variety of scholarships for business majors.
The 42-credit degree takes four terms to complete and features fully online, asynchronous instruction. The program features nationally recognized faculty members and the chance to learn at UD's Supply and Value Center, which includes more than 70 corporate members.
Applying to UD
Admission requirements include a U.S. bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited university and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants must complete prerequisite coursework in marketing, business economics, and the foundations of management and strategy. Prospective students must submit a resume and transcripts.
Program at a Glance
12. Abilene Christian University
|Private university in Abilene, TX, accredited by SACSCOC and AACSB|
Founded in 1906 as Childers Classical Institute, Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, offers a variety of in-person and online undergraduate and graduate programs rooted in Christian values.
Designed for working professionals, ACU's fully online 36-credit MBA in supply chain management emphasizes leadership, data-informed decision-making, faith, and organizational innovation. The AACSB-accredited MBA takes 24 months to complete.
The Christ-centered curriculum requires classes like foundations of analytics, business law and ethics, and global supply chain management. Potential career outcomes include supply chain strategist, international supply chain manager, and supply chain strategist.
Applying to ACU
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA for standard admission. Those with at least two years of work experience and a minimum 2.5-2.9 GPA may qualify for probationary admission. Additional requirements include a resume, letter of intent, and GMAT/GRE scores (waiver available). Students must also complete prerequisites in accounting, economics, and statistics.
Program at a Glance
13. DeSales University
|Private university in Center Valley, PA, accredited by MSCHE and ACBSP|
A private Catholic institution founded in 1964, in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales University serves more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
The ACBSP-accredited MBA in supply chain management from DeSales offers open enrollment, letting admitted students start classes any time of year. Though the program accepts applicants from any undergraduate background, students need prerequisite coursework in seven key areas. The school offers graduate-level foundational classes for those without previous business experience.
Supply chain master's degree students take online classes like project management essentials, value chain operations and quality management, strategic procurement and financial risk management, and logistics management. The program also requires a capstone integrating course that focuses on policy and strategy. Students can get experience with business consulting and research at the Kamran Afshar Data Analytics Center at DeSales.
Applying to DeSales
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students with lower undergraduate degrees may be required to submit GMAT scores. Additional requirements include a current resume, three professional recommendations, a personal statement, and official college transcripts.
Program at a Glance
14. University of North Texas
|Public university in Denton, TX, accredited by SACSCOC and AACSB|
A public research university in Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas offers 109 bachelor's degrees, 94 master's degrees, and 36 doctoral degrees. The school enrolls more than 38,000 students and employs 4,600 faculty and staff members.
UNT's AACSB-accredited online MBA in supply chain management cultivates teamwork, quantitative analysis, and strategic management skills. The 36-credit degree requires classes like operations management, strategic supply management, and industrial distribution and logistics management. Faculty members who teach in the program come from nationally and internationally recognized universities.
MBA candidates can graduate in 14 months. The G. Brint Ryan College of Business hosts the Center for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, which offers a variety of research and learning opportunities. The center also awards scholarships to MBA students each year.
Applying to UNT
Applicants must submit a personal essay, resume, three letters of recommendation, and GMAT/GRE scores. Some prospective students may qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver. UNT's MBA sometimes requires students to have completed background coursework in several areas, including quantitative foundations, business law, and accounting.
Program at a Glance
15. Anderson University
|Private university in Anderson, SC, accredited by SACSCOC and ACBSP|
A Christian liberal arts institution, Anderson University in upstate South Carolina is one of the fastest growing private universities in the U.S. AU offers 78 undergraduate and graduate academic programs.
AU's 36-credit MBA in supply chain management takes 12-24 months to complete and welcomes students with and without a business background. The program's asynchronous online classes last six weeks each and most learners take just one at a time. The program's journey coaches help students navigate the entire university process, including creating an individualized program plan.
The curriculum emphasizes case study research and includes courses such as management thought and application, global business operations and management, leadership and ethics, and financial management. Students without a business background may need to take foundational courses in financial accounting, principles of economics, and statistics. The university's International Business Research Center lets students learn about and participate in global-minded research projects.
Applying to AU
Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a minimum 2.75 GPA or GMAT score of 510 or better, and three professional references.
Program at a Glance
What to Expect From Supply Chain Master's Degree Programs
Like many graduate programs, an MBA in supply chain management requires 18 months to three years of study beyond a bachelor's. Enrolling part time vs. full time can also affect how long it takes to complete an MBA.
Typically, MBAs in supply chain management require between 45 and 60 credit hours. This variance accounts for concentration options, core courses, and other requirements in individual programs. Some supply chain management programs also exist outside the MBA, including MS and MA options. While the MBA generally emphasizes core courses in business, MS and MA degrees may focus their core courses in other areas. Learn more about these options below.
Online supply chain management degrees offer students more flexibility in where and when they complete coursework. Online programs often offer asynchronous courses, and on-campus programs require class attendance at specific times.
Typical admission requirements for an MBA in supply chain management include a competitive undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and standardized test scores from the GMAT or GRE.
Supply Chain Degree Options
As mentioned above, learners can pursue supply chain management degrees other than the MBA. Master of applied science, science, and engineering degrees provide unique perspectives and prepare students for different aspects of working in the field.
- Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management: Applied science degrees prepare students for hands-on careers in supply chain management. Students hoping to work in the industry or in consulting might benefit most from this option. As the name indicates, the applied science degree emphasizes the actual application of skills in supply chain management.
- Master of Science in Supply Chain Management: Master of science degrees offer students wider learning perspectives, building the foundation for a variety of roles and careers. These degrees equip learners to work in the industry or for further graduate study, including a Ph.D. or professional degree.
- Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management: The Master of engineering option may provide students with more flexibility to work outside of their immediate departments. This degree may allow learners to work on individual projects, emphasizing practice and design over research-based courses. The engineering degree may require different prerequisites as well.
- MBA in Supply Chain Management: The MBA in supply chain management provides a strong foundation in business, management, and ethics. Learners study aspects of procurement, logistics and operations, supply and demand, and fulfillment. The MBA prepares students for leadership and management roles in the field and may allow them to pursue multiple concentrations in business, increasing their marketability.
Popular Supply Chain Management Courses
Depending on which school you choose for your MBA in supply chain management, you may take different courses and complete different degree requirements. These programs offer a variety of courses, including core courses (often in business), elective options, and potentially capstone or project-based courses.
The courses listed below serve as examples of possible courses you may take in an MBA in supply chain management program. Keep in mind that course offerings vary, but many programs offer some version of these common courses below.
- Leadership and Teamwork: Often included as a foundational course, students learn about taking on leadership roles and the key skills required to thrive in these positions. The course emphasizes both skills and experience-based learning.
- Introduction to Supply Chain Management: This foundational course in supply chain management covers the basics of supply chains, production, and manufacturing. Students learn about the flow of products from creation to distribution and examine the process of development.
- Supply Chain Management Application: This course emphasizes the implementation of skills in supply chain management and practical application for different roles within the process. Students examine topics in logistics, procurement, and operations, developing an understanding of how management functions within these systems.
- Business Economics: This course provides a foundational overview of economic concepts, emphasizing business-related processes and ideas. Students learn about market trends and behavior, production and costs, and other key concepts in business and economics.
- Capstone: Some programs may require students to complete a capstone or thesis course. This course allows students to explore specific research topics within the field and work closely with instructors to develop and create projects surrounding those topics.
Financing your Supply Chain Management Degree
Financing a graduate degree requires a sizable investment, as tuition and fee costs for graduate-level programs often cost more than for undergraduate programs. Identifying different forms of financial aid can help relieve some of the stress of paying for your degree.
Graduate students enjoy access to a variety of aid options, including public and private loans, grants, teaching assistantships, scholarships, employer assistance programs, and even part-time work to fund their degree. Some of these options, like loans, require repayment, and others, like grants and scholarships, do not.
Regardless of which finance options you choose, you should have a solid plan for paying for your degree prior to committing to a program.
What Jobs Can a Supply Chain Management Degree Get You?
Earning an MBA in supply chain management offers a wealth of advantages over earning an associate or bachelor's degree. Graduate degrees like an MBA lead to more advanced career roles and higher salaries across the spectrum of industries and sectors.
Graduates with an MBA earn nearly 40% more than those with a bachelor's in business, and a recent survey from The Wall Street Journal showed that MBA graduates who switched careers ultimately doubled their salaries. Those working in supply chain management jobs typically earn comfortable salaries, and the field continues to grow rapidly.
A supply chain management MBA prepares graduates for a variety of careers with high earning potentials.
All types of industries use the skills of trained supply chain managers, including healthcare, manufacturing, corporations and large businesses, and logistics and shipping companies.
See below some example career paths for graduates of in-person and online MBA in supply chain management programs.
Logisticians: Logisticians work with companies to analyze and manage their supply chain, which encompasses all steps of production from manufacturing to distribution to consumers. They handle the acquisition of materials, oversee purchasing, and direct the flow of transportation and distribution. They utilize computer and software systems to monitor the flow of products and handle costs and timelines.
Management Analysts: Management analysts help businesses run more efficiently. To identify areas where a business could improve, these analysts examine financial records, interview employees and managers, and analyze existing systems. Often brought in as independent consultants, these analysts may work with many types of companies in all kinds of industries.
Industrial Production Managers: Industrial production managers handle the day-to-day operations of manufacturing plants and facilities. These locations mark the start of the supply chain, making supply chain managers especially great candidates for these positions. These managers ensure effective production and make sure production schedules stay on time and within a set budget.
- Required Education: Bachelor's (MBA preferred)
- Job Outlook: +1% (2019-29)
- Median Annual Salary: $105,480
Selecting Your Supply Chain Management MBA Program
Choosing the best supply chain master's degree program for you should include some careful thought about key factors that may affect selecting the right school. This guide's ranking offers a great starting point, but as you search, also consider the following factors:
- Accreditation: Each school on our ranking holds accreditation from a regionally accrediting body. As you research schools, consider programs with programmatic accreditation as well. Most business programs like the MBA earn program-specific accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. You can double check this accreditation through the agency's website.
- Cost and Funding: Consider how much the school charges per credit hour and how many total credits the program requires. Private universities and colleges may charge more per credit hour than public schools, and graduate tuition sometimes costs more than undergraduate. Seek programs with funding opportunities for MBA students as well.
- Program Length: Weigh the program length against how long you would ideally like to spend in school, and how long it would take to enter the career field after beginning your degree. Many MBA programs last between 18 months and two years.
- Concentrations/Specializations: Look at what focus or emphasis options the program offers. Students hoping to explore a wider range of courses and topics might prefer programs with multiple tracks and elective areas.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA?
Each year, more and more students pursue online learning. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that as of fall 2018, 35.3% of postsecondary students were taking at least one online class. Of all undergraduate and graduate students at that time, 16.6% were enrolled in exclusively distance education courses.
Online learning offers students the flexibility and accessibility of completing their coursework at any time, from anywhere. It also allows them to enroll in schools outside of their home state without uprooting and moving. MBA students may particularly benefit from the option to pursue a degree while continuing in their current jobs.
Before enrolling in an online MBA in supply chain management, consider the following:
- Online learning best suits students with strong skills in organization and time management.
- Online learners must be self-starters, as these courses often take place asynchronously, without set meeting times.
- Some schools may offer tuition breaks or incentives for online students, such as in-state or fixed rates per semester.
- Online students may take advantage of the same services available to on-campus students, including career services, library databases, and writing tutors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an MBA in supply chain management worth it?
Yes. Studies show that earning an MBA leads to a substantial increase in earning potential, and MBA graduates may take on more advanced careers, including those in leadership positions.
What can I do after an MBA in supply chain management?
Graduates of MBA in supply chain management programs go on to work in a variety of roles and industries. They may work as operations managers, logisticians, and management analysts, to name some examples.
What kinds of supply chain management degrees are there?
In addition to the MBA in supply chain management, students may choose to pursue other master's degrees in the field. Programs leading to a master of applied science, a master of science, or a master of engineering may offer concentration options in supply chain management.
What does a supply chain manager do?
Supply chain managers oversee the entire flow of a product from creation to distribution. This begins with the acquisition of raw materials and manufacturing of a product, and it continues through the logistics of transporting the product to consumers.
Are supply chain managers in demand?
Yes. The supply chain economy includes a vast number of jobs and job roles, dealing with everything from manufacturing products to distributing them. Growth continues to expand across all aspects of this spectrum.