What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Supply Chain Management Program?

With an online MBA in supply chain management, you can expect a program that teaches you to work with vendors to purchase raw materials needed to produce products, maintain inventory, and market products to consumers. Some graduates with this degree oversee imports and exports and make necessary changes to improve productivity, quality, and the efficiency of operations. You can expect this specialized online MBA program to offer the same quality as on-campus classes, allowing students to take courses from anywhere with an internet connection. These programs vary depending on the college or university, so it’s essential to research and find the program that best suits your career path and situation.

Available concentrations

At many colleges and universities, your program will feature the opportunity to concentrate on a particular area that interests you. Concentrations allow you to do a deep dive into one aspect of supply chain management and may prepare you for specific jobs in the field. Here are a few of the most common concentrations that you may find available through your program.

  • Transportation logistics: Covers everything involved with transporting and delivering goods from a company’s suppliers to the consumer. It also studies product storage, handling, inventory, and packing. This concentration equips students for jobs such as global logistics manager, supply chain manager, transportation manager, or material planner.
  • Logistics management: Focuses on meeting the customer’s demands, helping the company reduce its expenses while still providing excellent customer service. Graduates with this specialty area are well-suited for logistics manager, logistician, or transportation manager jobs.
  • Global business: Teaches students how to manage global business structures, including managing money across different countries and staying up-to-date on international trade laws. Graduates may take on jobs in senior management as strategic leaders or business practitioners.
  • Quantitative approaches: Focuses on analyzing and managing supply chains and equips graduates for cost estimator, supply chain manager, or operation manager positions.

Common degree curriculum

Classes for an online MBA in supply chain management vary. An individual’s concentration determines the exact coursework. Jobs in the field require excellent communication skills, knowledge of industry-specific computer software programs, and analytical, planning, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. Some potential classes are as follows:

  • Strategic Marketing Management: Covers the core marketing principles and offers insight into some of the most successful product brands. Students learn to use gathered data to locate the most likely customers and find ways to meet their needs.
  • Operations Management: Focuses on how businesses operate and the most critical factors of operations, including productivity, capacity, and quality.
  • Financial Management: Teaches potential supply chain managers how to plan and invest money in a business and handle other fiscal management concerns.
  • Global Logistics: Explores various approaches to constructing composite indices and some of the resulting problems.
  • Business Analytics: Examines the process of data-driven decision-making within an organization.

Certification and license preparation

Certifications can be helpful when searching for the best possible job opportunity since they show that an accrediting organization has vetted your skills. Some of the certifications available to those with an MBA in supply chain management include the following:

Program accreditation

Accreditation is essential when seeking an online MBA in supply chain management. It helps determine whether the courses meet or exceed the industry standards for quality. It can also determine whether you receive federal financial aid and determine which credits transfer if you decide to obtain a doctorate or if you decide to change schools. The Accreditation to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is one organization that examines a college or university’s programs. Since some employers may not accept job candidates with degrees from unaccredited institutions, it pays to determine whether your program is accredited before you enroll.

Program completion timeframe

The time it takes to complete an online MBA in supply chain management depends on several factors. Universities and colleges offering cohort classes create a group of students who complete the coursework together and graduate simultaneously. Classes may be offered once every year or every two years, which can slow down the degree program. Self-paced courses allow students to take as many or as few classes at a time, which may speed up progress. The MBA in supply chain management consists of around 45 credit hours, which typically takes students two years to complete when taking classes full-time. If you attend classes part-time, it can take as many as five years to complete the degree. A fast track is usually completed in 18 months or less.

Employment Outlook for MBA in Supply Chain Management Graduates

An online MBA in supply chain management can open doors to higher-level management positions and make it possible to branch out into other areas of the industry.

Among master’s degrees, business, financial, and sales occupations reported some of the highest wages of any profession in the U.S. When comparing those with a master’s in business and those with a bachelor’s, MBA graduates earned approximately $12,000 more annually.

Careers in supply chain management vary depending on the industry and the concentration. The relevant education is essential for anyone interested in logistics and purchasing, especially those seeking upper-level management positions. Here are a few potential job opportunities available to those with this degree, median salary rates, and job growth potential.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate
Cost Estimator Cost estimators use collected data to determine how much time, labor, money, and materials it will take to make products or for building. $71,200 per year -3%
Logistician A logistician manages a company’s supply chain throughout the entire cycle of a product. $77,520 per year 18%
Purchasing Manager Purchasing managers oversee the purchasing of products and services for an organization. They look for reliable vendors who provide quality goods at reasonable prices. $75,120 per year -6%
Operations Research Analyst An operations research analyst uses computer software and programming languages to examine and analyze data to help companies operate more efficiently. $85,720 per year 23%

Professional organizations

Connecting with others in the industry through professional organizations provides valuable networking opportunities. It also helps broaden your knowledge through seminars, publications, and annual conferences. Most organizations offer valuable job leads, allowing you to develop your leadership skills through personal growth.

  • American Production and Inventory Control Society: The APICS has more than 45,000 members worldwide. Membership provides access to the APICS certification, online access to the SCM Magazine, a job board, and the online mentor center.
  • Association of MBAs: The Association of MBAs was established in 1967 to help raise the standards of MBAs worldwide. The organization offers networking opportunities by connecting recent graduates to MBA employers worldwide. The group also holds events and training opportunities throughout the year.
  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals: The CSCMP works to connect and educate supply chain management professionals worldwide. The group offers SCPRO certification, corporate memberships, training, and educational opportunities.
  • Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply: CIPS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to global procurement and supply management. The group offers online training and holds events throughout the year. It has more than 200,000 members in 150+ countries.
  • Warehousing Education and Research Council: WERC helps businesses thrive in the warehousing and logistics industry. The group holds webinars and an annual conference and provides research on industry standards.

Financing Your Online MBA in Supply Chain Management Degree

Despite the affordability of an online MBA in supply chain management, most students still need financial assistance when paying for their degree. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available to all students seeking assistance, which helps you learn more about the available grants, scholarships, loans, and additional financing options available through the federal government. There are also private and public scholarships and grants for further assistance.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

Although you may have questions about the financial aid process, finding the answers doesn’t need to be complicated. You should start with the following resources, which can help guide your search for the best financial aid package for your needs.

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