Master of Business Administration (MBA): Supply Chain Management

An MBA in Supply Chain Management focuses on supply, delivery and management subjects, such as customer behavior, pricing, communicating with suppliers, quality management and financial strategies. Find out more about the curriculum and future options for graduates.

Essential Information

Students in supply chain management degree programs learn about multiple areas of production and supply management. Most MBA programs in supply chain management take two years or more to complete, and students may be required to complete internships or study abroad programs. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree. Combined with work experience, the supply chain master's degree can be a stepping stone to further professional certifications and credentials.


Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management Degree

MBA programs typically include general courses in marketing, finance, and economics. Students who choose to specialize in supply chain management also learn to handle contract negotiations with vendors and oversee the methods that firms use to purchase, store and market supplies. Common course topics include:

  • Logistics
  • Project management
  • Operations management
  • Supply chain cost and design
  • Negotiations in supply chain management

Popular Career Options

With an MBA in Supply Chain Management, students are prepared for careers in purchasing, procurement, or inventory management. Possible job titles include:

  • Logistician
  • E-business manager
  • Supply chain manager
  • Storage and distribution manager

Salary Information and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 2% increase in employment for logisticians from 2014 to 2024. In 2015, the majority of logisticians were earning between $45,830 and $115,960 a year, according to BLS data. Supply chain managers are part of the 'all other managers' category, and these jobs are expected to grow slower-than-average, by only 2%-4%, from 2014 to 2024; a 2% growth is expected for storage and distribution managers as well. BLS statistics show that the median annual salary for 'all other managers', including supply chain managers in 2015 was $104,850; for all transportation, storage and distribution managers, it was $86,630.

Continuing Education and Professional Certification Options

For those who desire further education, the next step is a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management. These programs are typically available to individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree in a related area. Students generally complete coursework in areas such as retail supply chain management, and logistics. They also conduct research leading to a final dissertation.

Supply chain management professionals can bolster their careers by earning professional credentials from organizations like the Association for Operations Management (APICS) and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). APICS offers a Certified Supply Chain Professional credential to individuals who meet experience and/or education requirements and who pass an exam (www.apics.org). ISM offers multiple certifications, including the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and the Certified in Supply Management (CSM) credentials (www.ism.ws). The CPSM exam requires three years of professional supply management experience and a bachelor's degree, while the CSM requires a high school diploma or associate's degree and three to five years of experience, depending on the applicant's education level.

MBA in Supply Chain Management programs include specialized training in inventory management, including its movement, storage, and processing, alongside general business studies. When they finish, students are ready for managerial positions in the field and to seek professional certification.


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