A variety of online programs are available for students who wish to earn their MBA in Supply Chain Management. Some schools allow students to mix online courses with on-site classes, and some online programs have one- or two-week residency requirements. In addition to specialty courses in supply chain management, students must take a number of core MBA courses, such as management accounting, marketing management and global economics for managers.
Overview of a Supply Chain Management MBA
An online MBA program in supply chain management integrates instruction in operations, logistics, transportation and supply management. The program provides students with an advanced understanding of how they function together as a whole. Students learn the principles and theories behind supply chain management, including the development of a seamless flow of raw materials, financial capital, information, products and services. Concepts beginning from the initial supply chain design process clear through distribution to the customer and customer satisfaction are covered. In addition to being offered as an MBA degree, this field of study is commonly available as a Master of Science program as well.
Program Information and Requirements
An online MBA program in supply chain management can typically be completed within two years. Curriculum requirements can range from 30-50 credit hours. Although most programs are conducted completely online, some require students to attend one or two week-long residencies on-campus to meet with professors and get to know their fellow students.
List of Common Master's-Level Supply Chain Management Courses Offered Online
Most online courses are offered asynchronously, meaning there are no scheduled class times. Students are expected to complete course assignments at their own pace while still meeting appropriate deadlines.
Global Supply Chain Management
This online course focuses on contemporary issues that affect the supply chain operations and planning for companies that conduct business internationally. International trade and development issues are covered, including government policy and the corporate perspective.
Negotiations and Relationship Management
In this online course, students study the processes of selecting, developing and executing sourcing strategies. Students examine the theories of negotiation, ethics of fairness, conflict and complaint handling. Both internal and external relationship building is covered.
Supply Chain Design and Cost Management
The philosophy of conducting business through processes and integration is emphasized during this online course. Students study the strategic design and development of supply chains, as well as the effective planning and cost control measures needed to manage supply systems.
Career and Certification Information
Graduates are prepared for careers in product and supply chain management, logistics, operation management, purchasing and operations analysis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), purchasing managers made a median average wage of $108,120 in 2015. The BLS also reports that employment opportunities within this field will grow at an average rate of two percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). An optional certification, the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSPS) designation, is offered by APICS, the Association for Operations Management. Individuals interested in this credential are required to have several years of experience and pass a national exam.
Continuing Education Options
Supply chain managers can take advantage of learning opportunities offered through continuing education programs at universities and colleges. Regional conferences and other continuing education options, including an annual conference and expo, are also offered through the APICS. Supply chain management Ph.D. programs are available for those individuals interested in pursuing a higher level of formal education. Most Ph.D. programs require on-campus study and offer very few courses online.
Students have the option to do a fully online or hybrid program to obtain an MBA in supply chain management that focuses on courses such as negotiations and relationship management and global supply chain management. Graduates have the option to pursue more education in the form of Ph.D. programs to advance their career and further their education.