What You Should Know About This Degree
The rise in global interconnectedness in manufacturing and shipping, and an emphasis on efficiency has driven job growth in supply chain management, but that growth is tempered by an increase in automation and purchasing cooperatives. Therefore, some jobs within SCM, such as purchasing buyers and agents, are expected to decline by 2026. While an advanced degree can give you an edge in competitive job markets, carefully consider your career goals and which career paths have the most potential.
In competitive job markets, having professional certifications through the Association for Supply Chain Management or the International Society of Logistics can give your employability a boost. You may need to meet experience and educational qualifications, take exams, and pay fees to obtain these certifications, but they are worth exploring as an added confirmation of your aptitudes.
When selecting the type of degree you want to pursue, there are a few things to consider. MBA programs emphasize business principles and skills, with applications within SCM. They are usually geared towards students with a business background, and a few years of professional experience. Meanwhile, MS programs offer a deep-dive into foundational and advanced SCM skills, and can be more open to accepting students without much real-world experience. The type of degree you seek will depend on your career goals and experience level.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Masters Supply Chain Management programs:
- Does this program offer the concentration I want? Supply chain management is a broad field, so many programs offer the opportunity to concentrate on a certain aspect of the industry, such as accounting, global management, acquisition, or customer relations. If you are considering a concentration in a specific area, confirm that the program you are researching offers that option.
- What are the in-person requirements for the program? Even if programs are advertised as being offered online, they may still have minimal in-person requirements, like on-campus orientations, residencies, or internships. If you are looking at online programs, be sure to review their curricula carefully, and make sure that any in-person requirements are compatible with your schedule and budget.
Other questions you should ask at this stage involve financial aid and scholarships, and application requirements, procedures, and deadlines. Look at the admissions and financial aid webpages for your programs of interest, or contact an admissions representative to get more information. Getting this information early is essential to ensuring a smooth application process, and understanding how you will pay for your master’s degree.