Degree programs in acquisition and contract management are offered at the bachelor's degree level but are more common at the graduate level, where such subjects can be explored in detail. When an undergraduate degree program specifically in acquisition and contract management is not available, a Bachelor of Business Administration program offers coursework that prepares students for work in the field. To enroll, students must have a high school-level education with satisfactory SAT or ACT scores. Most programs will require an internship or another form of hands-on learning.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Acquisitions & Contract Management
Studies begin by addressing various foundational business principles, such as accounting, management, and general business law that help students understand how contracts are set up and how to approach procurement ethically and effectively. The curriculum then specifically highlights such aspects as negotiating, pricing and administration of contracts along with fundamentals of contract law and the inherit responsibilities put in place at the initial awarding of a contract until its ultimate termination.
The curriculum focuses on subject matter such as:
- Contract formation
- Business ethics
- Management philosophies
- Acquisition administration
- Leadership and group dynamics
Popular Career Options
Once they've finished the program, students are primed to begin more advanced training at the graduate level or to embark on some immediate employment opportunities with titles such as:
- Contract manager
- Procurement specialist
- Logistics analyst
Salary and Job Outlook
Although these careers have overlapping duties, the salaries and employment growth vary. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for purchasing managers, including procurement specialists, was projected to increase by a slower-than-average rate of 1% over the 2014-2024 decade, while the demand for logisticians was projected to increase by a rate of 2% over the same period.
The BLS reported in May 2015 that wholesale and retail non-farm products purchasing agents earned an average annual salary of $59,270, and farm-products purchasing agents earned an average of $62,280. Purchasing agents who procure machinery and equipment earned an average salary of $66,120. In May 2015, the BLS reported that logisticians had an average annual salary of $77,470.
After completing their undergraduate studies, students are able to further solidify their understanding of contract administration and acquisitions by enrolling in a master's degree program in order to equip them for advanced leadership occupations in public or private arenas. Emphasis is placed on research as well as tangible applications of their knowledge within the field.
A bachelor's degree in acquisitions and contract management teaches students the skills needed to procure contracts in a variety of settings related to large-scale purchases and acquisitions. Graduates have a wide variety of careers to choose from, but can also advance to a master's degree.