Purchasing Degree Programs for Aspiring Purchasing Managers

Few schools offer specific programs in purchasing, but aspiring purchasing managers can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration. Find out how this degree can prepare you for a career as a purchasing manager, along with prerequisites, courses, and career information.

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Essential Information

A 4-year degree in business administration exposes students to most aspects of business, including purchasing, production, management, finance, marketing, sales, and advertising. Some programs allow students to choose one of these aspects as a specific area of study or concentration. Admission to a bachelor's degree program in business administration typically requires completion of a high school diploma or the equivalent, in addition to submission of SAT or ACT scores.

Those seeking to obtain mid- to upper-level purchasing management positions are generally encouraged to pursue a master's degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in supply chain management may be useful to further a career as a purchasing manager. The admissions requirement for this degree include a bachelor's degree, as well as a background in accounting, finance, microeconomics, macroeconomics, management, and statistics.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) program who wish to become purchasing managers will likely take several introductory and advanced courses in the following topics:

  • Purchasing
  • Purchasing and business management
  • Marketing management
  • Supply chain management
  • Strategic planning
  • International business

Master's Degree in Business Administration

Program coursework for an MBA program for those seeking to become purchasing managers or advance their careers in this field may include several types of management courses, including:

  • Operations management
  • Strategic and marketing management
  • Production management
  • Supply chain management
  • Management economics
  • Change management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Jobs in purchasing management are expected to increase by 2% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that the mean annual salary for a purchasing manager was $114,130 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

The Institute for Supply Management offers a voluntary Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) credential for bachelor's degree graduates with at least three years of purchasing and supply management experience. C.P.M. applicants also must pass an exam that includes sections on management, the purchasing process, supply environment and value enhancement strategies. Re-certification is required every five years, during which a C.P.M. must earn at least 84 continuing education hours.

A bachelor's or master's degree in business administration can teach you the skills needed for a career in purchasing management. You'll learn the different factors that go into managing inventory, managing supply chains, and various other business staples, as well as prepare you for various certification options.

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