Corporate Purchasing Degree Program Information

Many associate's and bachelor's degree programs in business, supply chain management or operations management contain courses in the principles of purchasing for corporations. Students learn decision-making skills and gain an understanding of business theory and logistics.

Essential Information

These 2- and 4-year programs are available in a number of different fields, like supply chain management, purchasing management, business administration, and operations management. All programs will include instruction in basic business principles such as accounting, finance and business law. Both programs also include general education classes, such as English composition, science and social studies and require applicants to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Bachelor's programs also look at letters of recommendation, any previous coursework completed at the associate's level and scores on the SAT and ACT. Both programs equip students for entry-level employment upon graduation.

Associate's Degree in Supply Chain Management

Associate's degree programs related to purchasing, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management or Associate of Applied Business in Purchasing Management, cover relevant topics associated with the principles and logistics of purchasing for corporations. Students can develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills as they apply to supply chain management. These programs combine studies in the humanities, arts and social sciences along with introductory courses in the supply chain major. Students take courses covering the following topics

  • Basics of purchasing
  • Basics of accounting
  • Introduction to management principles
  • Logistics in purchasing management
  • Basic business law

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Business and Commerce, General
  • Business Statistics
  • Customer Service Management
  • eCommerce
  • Logistics, Distribution, and Materials Management
  • Management Science
  • Office Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • Purchases, Acquisitions, and Contracts Management
  • Transportation Management

Bachelor's Degree in Operations and Supply Management

Undergraduate programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in supply chain management or Bachelor of Science in Operations Management, are designed for students considering a career in operation and supply chain management. Bachelor's degree programs can equip students with a working business vocabulary and the technical skills required for professional employment. Students take courses in other disciplines, such as the humanities and natural sciences, as well as introductory and advanced courses covering topics specifically related to the supply chain management major. Typical course topics include:

  • Basics of supply chain management
  • Advanced supply chain management
  • Project management
  • Planning strategies for operations management
  • Basic financial principles for operations management

Popular Career Options

Graduates of an associate's degree program are equipped to seek internships or potential entry-level employment in or leading to the following career paths:

  • Inventory clerk
  • Purchasing agent
  • Retail buyer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that out of the 443,200 buyers and purchasing agents employed in 2014, many worked in the wholesale trade and manufacturing industries ( In May 2015, the BLS noted that mean annual salary for purchasing managers was $114,130, while the mean annual wage was $66,120 for purchasing agents (except wholesale, retail and farm products) and $59,270 for wholesale and retail buyers (except farm products).

Continuing Education

Although no graduate degree exist specifically in purchasing, interested students can apply to a master's degree program in supply chain management, which can offer courses and concentrations in purchasing. The BLS notes that graduate degrees usually allow for the greatest amount of employment opportunities and can lead to managerial positions, as well as increased pay and benefits.

There are several degree programs at the associate's and bachelor's level that will help students gain the critical knowledge and skills to enter the world of corporate purchasing.

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