What You Should Know About This Degree
A bachelor’s degree is typically considered the minimum level of entry into the SCM field, although some jobs are available to those with an associate’s degree and professional experience.
At the graduate level, individuals can choose between a master’s degree or a graduate certificate. A full master’s degree takes longer and costs more to complete than a graduate certificate, but the earning potential and job opportunities may increase more with a master’s. MBAs and MS degrees also have their differences. An MS degree covers specific SCM skills at the foundational and advanced levels, while an MBA focuses on general business principles and practices, with specific coursework in SCM. Consider your career goals and timeline when selecting which degree you want to pursue.
While the overall job outlook for SCM is good, some jobs within the field are expected to decline due to automation and outsourcing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for buyers and purchasing agents will decline 7 percent by 2028. The job prospects will be best for those with degrees in SCM.
Organizations like the Association for Supply Chain Management and the International Society of Logistics offer credentials for SCM professionals, which can make you a more attractive job candidate. Earning credentials typically involves meeting education and experience requirements, passing examinations, and paying fees.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Supply Chain Management programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? At the graduate level, many programs seek candidates with specific educational backgrounds or professional experience. Look at the qualifications for admission to ensure that you have the necessary coursework or experience to be considered for a program before applying.
- Are there in-person requirements for the program? Some online programs have in-person requirements for internships, residencies, or orientations. These requirements may include travel to campus, or in-person attendance at an experiential learning site. Be sure to review a program’s plan of study carefully, so you are aware of any in-person requirements, and can plan to accommodate them in your schedule and budget.
As you research programs, also take a look at their admissions procedures and deadlines. You will want to start gathering your application materials, so you can submit them well ahead of due dates.
Now is also the time to start thinking about paying for your degree. Visit the school’s financial aid page, or talk to a financial aid counselor about scholarships, assistantships, loans, and other funding sources. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers tuition assistance benefits.