Online programs in supply chain management give students the opportunity to learn about the logistics of business operations without attending a physical campus.
Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and may lead to a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science or graduate certificate in this field. Some online bachelor's programs are designed for students who already have associate's degrees. Admissions requirements vary, but those seeking graduate admission are usually expected to have both relevant work experience and a bachelor's degree, since programs at this level are often for business professionals.
Bachelor/Master of Science - Supply Chain Management Specialization
Online courses in supply chain management focus specifically on how to handle the logistics of running a business. Some programs may consist of just one class. However, many others are more in-depth and require several courses. A benefit of using an online training program is that students see firsthand how the lessons they learn can be put in place in an actual workplace situation, an experience that can't be matched in a traditional college program.
Many degree programs include some type of capstone experience that may include significant research or, in some cases, even fieldwork. It typically takes around four years to complete all bachelor's level coursework and two years to finish the master's-level curriculum. Globalization has greatly changed business operations in the last several years, so some supply chain programs may offer distance learners the opportunity to participate in short-term study abroad experiences.
Students typically take courses in:
- Introductory supply chain management
- Demand management
- Research and development
- Data analysis
- Statistical management
- Lean operations management
- Production management
- Strategy development
Graduates have their pick of jobs in nearly every industry. These careers include strategic planner, logistics operator, transportation director, negotiator, content manager, purchaser and inventory expert.
Most people who work in supply chain management are considered to be top-level executives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 2 million people were employed as either general or operations managers as of 2014. From 2014 to 2024, employment in this field is expected to increase 7%. BLS data also shows the median salary for these professionals was $97,730 in 2015.
Online programs in supply chain management are readily available at both the bachelor's and master's level. Students can expect to complete a capstone project or thesis at the end of their studies and may even have the opportunity to study abroad.