Master's degrees specifically in distribution and material management don't exist. However, many schools offer master's degrees in organizational management and supply chain management. Master of Arts (MA) programs in organizational management help graduate students develop the advanced leadership and management skills needed for executive business positions. Master of Science (MS) programs in supply chain management help students develop the advanced skills need to succeed as managers of complex national and global supply channels. Courses cover topics such as logistics, distribution and inventory control in addition to business skills such as negotiation, finance and strategic thinking.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree, and they may need to meet a minimum GPA requirement (2.0 for MA programs in organizational management, 2.5 for MS programs in supply chain management). Students must also submit letter of recommendation, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores (if they are non-native English speakers). Related work experience may also be required for admission.
Master of Arts in Organizational Management with a Specialization in Supply Chain Management
With a specialization in supply chain management, students hone their skills in logistics, distribution, production, materials management and inventory control. Possible course topics include:
- Strategic thinking
- Problem solving
- Organizational behavior
Master of Science in Supply Chain Management
In MS programs in supply chain management, students learn to manage the life cycle of products from raw material to delivery, with the goals of increasing efficiency and reducing waste. Over the course of these programs, students become familiar with all facets of the supply chain as well as developing advanced management and logistics principles. Common course topics include:
- Managerial economics
- Negotiation skills
- Materials management
Many jobs in the distribution and materials management field are entry-level positions and require little more than an undergraduate degree. Master's degree program graduates are highly skilled and prepared to make their way up the corporate ladder. They may start their own businesses or seek upper-level management careers in the following industries:
- Human resources
- Raw material acquisitions
Employment Prospects and Salary Info
Graduates of an MS program in supply chain management are qualified for a variety of executive positions in the business world, including the following jobs:
- Purchasing agents
- Operations research analysts
- Management analysts
- Industrial production managers
- Logistics consultants
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for operations research analysts is expected to increase 30% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Analysts who hold a master's or doctoral degree in operations research or management science are expected to have the best employment opportunities. The average annual wage for operations research analysts was $84,180 in 2015, according to the BLS.
If you are interested in distribution and materials management, an MA in organizational management or an MS in supply chain management can provide you with the industry knowledge and leadership skills you need for an executive position in the field. Upon graduation, you have a wide range of career options in a variety of industries.