Last Updated: October 19, 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.
The 10 Best Online Supply Chain Management Degrees
|1||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|2||Arizona State University||Tempe, AZ|
|3||University of Nebraska – Lincoln||Lincoln, NE|
|4||Lehigh University||Bethlehem, PA|
|5||North Carolina State University||Raleigh, NC|
|6||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|7||University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC|
|8||University of Wisconsin||Whitewater, WI|
|9||Quinnipiac University||Hamden, CT|
|10||Missouri University of Science & Technology||Rolla, MO|
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 10 Online MBAs in Supply Chain Management, 2020
Prospective learners researching MBAs in supply chain management must consider a variety of factors when selecting the best program for them. This includes weighing each school and program against their own career goals and what they want to get out of a program in supply chain management.
The ranking of supply chain management programs below comes from a list of more than 375 programs. From that list, we vetted each program based on five crucial factors: tuition costs, accreditation, early career salary potential (with data from PayScale), prestige, and overall graduation rates.
All of our program rankings use a deliberate methodology. For this supply chain management ranking, we obtained and vetted a list of over 375 online MBA programs based on the following five factors, which we weighted equally and averaged together.
- Estimated Tuition Cost: Estimated tuition data gives students great insight on a possible return on investment. We gathered this information from the most recent data given on each specific program/school website.
- Accreditation: We value each program based on whether it holds regional accreditation from one of the six regional higher accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, we rank each MBA program depending on whether it holds program-specific accreditation from IACBE, ACBSP, or AACSB International. AACSB International is regarded as the highest level of accreditation for a business school, so those with AACSB International accreditation received the highest marks.
- PayScale Early Career Salary: This data comes from the PayScale College Salary Report. The early career salary data is important for potential students to consider because it directly affects their potential return on investment. Programs without recorded PayScale average salaries were calculated at zero because of no available third-party data.
- Prestige: The prestige for each program was calculated with data from the most prestigious rankings systems. Data was collected from U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, the Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds. We ranked schools based on how many lists included their MBA program.
- Overall Graduation Rates: We collected overall graduation rate data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This data reflects sustained student satisfaction, showing if students were motivated and inspired to finish their degrees at their particular institution. Programs without recorded NCES graduation rates were calculated at zero because of no available third-party data.
#1 Northeastern University D'Amore-McKim School of Business— Boston, Massachusetts
|The Online Master of Business Administration program, which includes a specialization in Supply Chain Management, offered through the D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. This program tops ours ranking because of its exceptional reputation and excellent 84% graduation rate among students.|
For over a decade, Northeastern University, located in Boston Massachusetts, has offered its students an online MBA program through the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. The online MBA program with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management is comprised of two parts; the first featuring 13 hours of core courses and the second being five elective courses of the student's choosing. All students must complete Northeastern's Global Supply Chain Management course but only need to choose four courses from The Transportation Industries, Executive Roundtable in Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management-Procurement, IT Applications in Supply Chain Management, Market-Driven Supply Chains, and Offshore Outsourcing. The 50-credit hour program is priced at $1,513 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $75,650. The top notch accreditation by the AACSB and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education is only matched in quality by its excellent average early-career salary of $73,400 for its graduates. Princeton Review names this program as its 10th best in the nation and US News online puts it in the#68 spot.
Northeastern University was founded in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, as a four-year, private, nonprofit institution offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. Today, the school has a student body of almost 20,000, is comprised of nine colleges, and has developed learning environments in places like Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. Northeastern adopted the "Huskies" as their nickname in 1927. Today a Husky statue stands proudly on campus offering good luck with a rub on the nose by any of the 20,000 current students or 165,000 alumni that live throughout the United States and 122 countries globally.
Estimated Program Tuition: $75,650
#2 Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business— Tempe, Arizona
|The W.P. Carey School of Business is located at Arizona State University and offers an online MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. The 2nd best program on our list made the cut by offering affordable tuition, an excellent early-career salary for its graduates of over $70,000, and a placement of #4 on the Princeton Review.|
An online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management is offered by the W.P. Carey School of Business, located at Arizona State University. This 60-hour online MBA program is priced at $492 per credit hour for a total tuition cost of $29,520. Online MBA students who pursue the Supply Chain Management specialization enjoy the flexibility of working their coursework into their existing work schedule but still will enjoy the same course content taught by the same instructors as full and part-time students who attend classes on campus. The term of completion for this degree can be as short as 21 months with a start date of either January or August. Students complete one course at a time over a 5-week term. Students in this program are required to have 5-10 years of work experience and may take electives online or at international locations. The average early-career salary for graduates of the online MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management is reported at $71,900. The W.P. Carey School of Business is listed as #4 in the Princeton Review ranking.
The four-year, public research institute, Arizona State University, is located in sunny Tempe, Arizona and boasts many recent awards for both its programs and graduates including being named the #1 innovative school for 2016 in the United States by US News and World Report and Wall Street Journal's #1 school in Arizona and #4 university in the US for "best qualified graduates." The 52,000 students pursuing an education at ASU are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs. The school's mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil, maroon and gold are the university's official colors, and the basketball team is coached by the stand out college player and national champion for Duke University, Bobby Hurley.
Estimated Program Tuition: $29,520
#3 University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration— Lincoln, Nebraska
|The 3rd best online Master of Business Administration program with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management belongs to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Business Administration. This program is affordable for students at just over $25,000 for tuition and has excellent accreditation through the AACSB and The Higher Learning Commission.|
Lincoln's College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln features an online Master of Business Administration program with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management. This program, ranked 17th by the Princeton Review, requires students to complete their required course in Supply Chain Management while also choosing three courses from the electives of Topics in Lean Supply Management, Advanced Enterprise Management Systems, Planning and Controlling Supply Chain Systems, and Managing Logistics in the Supply Chain. The cost-per-hour for this 48-hour online MBA program is $531 bringing the total cost of tuition to $25,488 for the degree. Accreditation for College of Business Administration is provided by the AACSB and The Higher Learning Commission. Although not required, recommendations for applicants of this degree include two years experience, 3.0 GPA, and a GMAT score of 600.
Founded on February 15, 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a four-year, public institution located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Some notable achievements from the school's rich history include its being a global trailblazer in establishing a psychology laboratory for its undergraduate students and the founding of the published magazine Prairie Schooner for the Sheldon Museum of Art reflecting the school's high priority of literature and the arts. The university has been recognized by many national rankings including a nod from the Princeton Review as being a Best Value Public University in 2014 and a Best Values in Public Colleges in 2016 by Kiplinger's. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln currently has over 25,000 students pursuing associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
Estimated Program Tuition: $25,488
#4 Lehigh University College of Business and Economics— Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
|Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University offers an online MBA through its College of Business and Economics. The program has an excellent 88% graduation rate which put it 4th on our list.|
Lehigh University, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, offers an online MBA with a Supply Chain Management concentration through its College of Business and Economics. One thing that makes this program an exceptional choice for a student seeking an online MBA is their incredible 88% reported graduation rate showing that students in the program thrive in an environment of quality oversight, high student satisfaction, and access to the latest trends in business, communications, and Supply Chain Management principles. The 36-credit program is set at a cost of $1,075 per credit making the total tuition cost $38,700 for the online Master of Business Administration degree. The College of Business and Economics receives their accreditation through the AACSB and Middle States Commission on Higher Education while the pay scale salary for graduates completing this program in Supply Chain Management is set at a favorable $72,900. Specific to the Supply Chain Management concentration, Lehigh strives to give their MBA students a "hands-on environment that uses case studies and industry experts, students explore the multiple factors that have impact on a company's supply chain."
Spread over 2,300 acres is the scenic and historic campus of Lehigh University, established in 1865 by industry pioneer and philanthropist, Asa Packer. The almost 7,000-strong student body is comprised of 55% male students and 45% female students. The four colleges featured on the campus are the College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Economics, and P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. The school offers 25 intercollegiate sports programs for its men and women's athletics competing at the NCAA Division I level while offering other students over 40 intramural and club sports opportunities on campus.
Estimated Program Tuition: $38,700
#5 North Carolina State University Poole College of Management— Raleigh, North Carolina
|North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management features an online Master of Business Administration with a focus on Supply Chain Management. The program nabbed our top five with a great balance between early-career salary, high graduation rate, and its inclusion in Princeton Review's top 20.|
An online Master of Business Administration with a focus in Supply Chain Management is featured at North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management. The 40-credit hour program has a total cost of tuition priced at $42,195. The Poole College of Management receives its elite accreditation through the AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Commission on Colleges while the pay scale salary for online MBA students seeking a specialization in Supply Chain Management is $62,900. This program, rated at #20 by the Princeton Review, is highlighted by a 75% graduation rate among its students. Online MBA students have the flexibility to take all coursework 100% online or enjoy a hybrid experience of taking some classes on campus in Raleigh or the school's Research Triangle Park. Coursework for the Supply Chain Management concentration can be completed in as little as 21 months or as many as six years based on a student's schedule. The two required three-day on-campus courses are waived for any active military personnel and instead can be substituted for other elective courses.
North Carolina State University opened its doors in 1887 under the name North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts with the principle that a quality education should not be reserved for a select few of society but made available to the working class as well. Today, the four-year public school located in Raleigh, North Carolina offers associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs for its almost 34,000 student body. NCSU educates more native North Carolina students than any other university in the state, offers over 600 student clubs and organizations on campus, and retains a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.
Estimated Program Tuition: $42,195
#6 Syracuse University Whitman School of Management— Syracuse, New York
|Syracuse University of New York features an online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management through the Whitman School of Management. The school's elite accreditation and outstanding graduation rate make it an excellent choice for online graduate students.|
An online MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management is offered at Syracuse University in New York through the Whitman School of Management. Princeton Review puts this program at #18 on their best-of ranking. This 54-credit online Master of Business Administration costs $1,443 per credit making the total tuition rate $77,922. Thirty-six credits of this degree include core business courses, 15 credits are specialization-focused electives, and three are credits of US and global residencies. The reported early-career salary for this degree in Supply Chain Management is $58,100. The Whitman School of Management receives its accreditation through the AACSB and Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This program goes above and beyond with several resources offered to students not commonly found in online MBA degrees. These resources include a Virtual Career Center, Personalized Career Coaching, and stellar networking opportunities.
Syracuse University, located in Syracuse, New York, is a four-year, nonprofit school which offers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Syracuse currently has a total enrollment of just under 22,000, with students attending from all 50 states and over 120 countries world-wide. The student body is made up of 55% women and 45% men while minority students account for just over 25% of the student population. Many well-known celebrities and professional athletes studied at Syracuse including television personality and producer Dick Clark, Hall of Fame football player Jim Brown, television host Bob Costas, and actress Vanessa Williams.
Estimated Program Tuition: $77,922
#7 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School— Chapel Hill, North Carolina
|An online Master of Business Administration specializing in Supply Chain Management is offered by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill through the Kenan-Flagler Business School. This program has the highest pay scale salary on our list at $91,600 and was the #1 pick for the Princeton Review.|
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill offers an online Master of Business Administration specializing in Supply Chain Management through the Kenan-Flagler Business School. This 100% online MBA touts "highly collaborative online classes, interactive coursework completed outside of class and high-level networking opportunities" as the qualities that make it a stand out among similar programs in the field. The 66-credit online MBA comes in at a cost of $1,585 per-credit hour making the total cost of tuition $104,664. The tuition cost of the program specializing in Supply Chain Management is the most expensive on our list, yet also is the highest pay scale salary for online MBA graduates at $91,600. Two other major factors affecting the program's high ranking are the 90% graduation rate showing a strong sense of student satisfaction and program consistency and a #1 ranking from the Princeton Review.
Chartered in 1789, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill would go onto educate students as the first public university in the United States in 1795. Today the four-year public school, which offers degrees in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral fields of study to its almost 30,000-member student body, prides itself as an institution building a reputation for prioritizing diversity and a unique academic opportunity for its students. A long-withstanding member of the Association of American Universities, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill offers "78 bachelors, 112 masters, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences." Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named UNC as their best among the top 100 schools in the nation at offering students a top-tier education at an affordable price for 15 years running.
Estimated Program Tuition: $104,664
#8 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics— Whitewater, Wisconsin
|The online Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Supply Chain Management at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is offered through their College of Business and Economics. The degree stands out within this ranking with its exceptional commitment to affordability as the only program in our top 20 listed for less than $25,000.|
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater features an online Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Supply Chain Management at their College of Business and Economics. The 36-credit program, ranked #73 out of the top 100 by US News online, comes in at a price of $628 per credit making the total cost of tuition $22,608. The lower tuition of this online MBA program, which is accredited by the AACSB International and The Higher Learning Commission, paired with the pay scale salary of $56,300 for graduating students makes this degree a quality investment. Within the Supply Chain Management emphasis, students will grasp "topics essential to efficient and effective management of supply chains such as operations management, operations strategy, quality management, product development, sourcing, and logistics." Some of the classes offered in this concentration are: Management of Innovation, Supply Chain Systems, Global Operations Management, Global Operations Strategy, and Quality Issues in Operations.
Located in Whitewater, Wisconsin, The University of Wisconsin — Whitewater was originally founded in 1868 and became a member of the family of University of Wisconsin schools in 1971. The just over 12,000-member student body is comprised of 52% male students and 48% female students while the top 3 declared majors for undergraduate students are Accounting, Marketing, and Biology. Graduate students pursue Business Administration, Counseling, and Professional Development as their most sought-after degrees. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, also known as UW-Whitewater, is a four-year public institution that provides associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
Estimated Program Tuition: $22,608
#9 Quinnipiac University School of Business— Hamden, Connecticut
|Quinnipiac University features an online MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management through its School of Business. The program is endowed with exceptional accreditation through the AACSB, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.|
Quinnipiac University features an online MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management through its School of Business. The 46-credit 100% online MBA program is divided into an initial track each student must take consisting of 34 core required MBA courses followed by 12 credits of Supply Chain Management-specific courses that allow students to "build skills and prepare for a highly rewarding professional career in purchasing, operations, transportation, logistics, supply chain management or other similar fields." Elective courses to choose from include Strategic Sources and Supply Management, Operations & Supply Chain Management, and Managing Marketing Channels. The School of Business receives excellent accreditation by the AACSB and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The university combines this elite accreditation with a great reputation, known for consistently being ranked as one of the best universities in the nation by US News and World Report. The total cost of the online MBA program is $42,550 based on a per-credit cost of $925.
Quinnipiac University is a four-year private nonprofit university located in Hamden, Connecticut. Of the 9,000+ student body, 6,500 students are undergraduates while 2,500 are pursuing graduate degrees. Quinnipiac University was first begun as a small college in New Haven in 1929 before blossoming into a university that houses eight schools and colleges, including those for law and medicine. Educators at Quinnipiac place a high value on community involvement and volunteerism evident by the many student organizations and Connecticut volunteer groups that include a good percentage of the student body.
Estimated Program Tuition: $42,550
#10 Missouri University of Science & Technology College of Arts, Sciences, and Business— Rolla, Missouri
|Missouri University of Science & Technology's College of Arts, Sciences, and Business provides this top 10 online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. The program is selected for this ranking because of exceptional early career salary, giving alumni a great return on their investment.|
The College of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Missouri University of Science & Technology offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. The school receives its excellent accreditation through the AACSB and The Higher Learning Commission. They show a high expectation of quality when it comes to their online MBA applicants that includes a "proven academic ability, (ability to) perform under pressure, a demonstrated leadership potential, and characteristics of being disciplined and determined."The 36-credit online MBA program offers a price tag of $1,230 per credit hour for a total tuition cost of $44,292. The value of the degree really shines with an early career salary of $70,000 for graduates completing this program, which consists of 21 core credit hours and 15 elective courses.
Missouri University of Science & Technology, also known as Missouri S&T, is a four-year, public university that offers graduate, undergraduate, and doctorate programs for the almost 9,000 students who attend classes at their campus in Rolla, Missouri and online; 7,000 of which are undergrad and 2,000 are graduate students. The school offers 97 degree plans in almost 40 areas of study including business, computer science, engineering, humanities and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T has been recognized by Newsweek as being a Best Investment among public universities for out-of-state students. Established in 1870, the university was one of the first technical institutions to be founded west of the Mississippi.
Estimated Program Tuition: $44,292
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.