Purchasing Manager Degrees by Degree Program Level

Essential Information

Bachelor's programs in logistics and supply chain management begin with general business coursework and then go on to cover inventory management, transportation, distribution management, purchasing, warehousing and cost analysis. Admission requirements for these programs typically include a high school diploma or equivalent and standardized test scores.

Master's degree programs often require previous work experience in purchasing or supply chain management to enroll, in addition to a bachelor's degree. Master's programs include coursework in supply chain research, supplier analysis, quality assessment, information technology and logistics management. Students in both program levels often gain hands-on experience in supply change management through internships.

Bachelor's Degree in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

Managers responsible for purchasing are typically in charge of larger supply chain and logistics management. For this reason there are a variety of bachelor's degree programs that incorporate purchasing training but culminate in Bachelor of Arts, Science or Business Administration degrees with a focus in purchasing, logistics and supply chain management. These four-year programs provide students with the skills to analyze, plan and oversee distribution, pricing, warehouse, inventory and transportation operations. Bachelor's degree programs in purchasing and supply chain management begin with basic business coursework before moving into a more focused study of logistics, purchasing and supply chain analysis and management.

  • Accounting
  • Business economics
  • Warehouse and inventory management
  • Materials, supplier and purchasing management
  • Cost and quality analysis
  • Supply chain and logistics management

Master's Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Master's degree programs in business administration, operations, logistics and supply chain management provide students with advanced training in purchasing management. At the graduate level, the study of purchasing management includes instruction in supplier partnership development, contract negotiation, global sourcing, supply chain planning and logistics management. These programs offer career advancement skills, enabling graduates to plan and manage all facets of a supply line, including purchasing, distribution, storage and transportation. The curriculum of a master's degree program in logistics and supply chain management will vary depending on whether the program culminates in the Master of Science or Master of Business Administration degree. Regardless, most programs take two years to complete and incorporate a series of core courses in general business management as well as focused, advanced courses in supply chain management. The following course topics are generally covered:

  • Managerial strategies
  • Quality assessment
  • Global logistics
  • Supplier analysis
  • Warehouse solutions
  • Supply chain information technology

Continuing Education Information

Graduates from a bachelor's degree program in purchasing and supply chain management are qualified for purchasing manager positions with a variety of companies and agencies. However, many students go on to earn graduate business degrees, which provide further training in management and logistics in addition to providing further qualification for higher leadership positions.

A master's degree in logistics and supply chain management provides students with a comprehensive understanding of purchasing management and related operational skills. Graduates are well-prepared for purchasing management positions without further training, though students interested in research and teaching may go on to earn a doctoral degree in business administration with a supply chain management focus.

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in supply chain and logistics management use both in-class lectures and hands-on field training to prepare individuals wanting to pursue careers in purchasing management.

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