What is a Master’s in Supply Chain Management?

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A Master's in Supply Chain Management prepares students for a variety of rewarding jobs in the fast-paced, enormous field of supply chain management. Companies across the globe seek efficient supply chain managers with solid operations skills and who can find the balance between noticing the smallest details and looking at the big picture. The most successful supply chain managers help companies manufacture and deliver products cheaper, faster and better. The field of supply chain management requires the ability to multitask, good organizational skills, fast responses and precision. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, individuals seeking a career in this industry should consider earning a Master in Supply Chain Management degree to make themselves appear more attractive as applicants and to land higher and better-paying positions.

Is a Master's Degree Important?

Each day, supply chain management positions in the operations sector tackle the daily management of people and product flow. On the other hand, supply chain management positions in the planning sector deal with issues such as troubleshooting customer problems, inventory control, performance analysis, supply management and demand forecasting. A master's degree covers these subjects and more, allowing students to fully develop an understanding of all the inner workings of the field, including global operations, logistic management, sustainable operations management, information analysis, inventory and forecasting, transportation and distribution.

What is Involved in a Master's in Supply Chain Management Degree?

Each academic institution will have their own credit hour requirements and time for completing the degree. However, students can expect to take courses in supply chain management and supply chain analysis as well as transportation and distribution. Elective courses may include strategic procurement, supply management and negotiation and logistics in the supply chain.

Another option is a Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management. Similar to the Master's in Supply Chain Management degree, this path includes courses such as operations management, financial management, strategic marketing management, quantitative analysis and accounting. It is geared more toward the global aspect of the field. In addition, some students may wish to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree at the same time to better their chances of securing a position after graduation.

If a school does not offer a specific Master's in Supply Chain Management, students may then pursue a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in supply chain management. These programs integrate global processes and information across functions, including logistics, supply management and operations. The MBA curriculum prepares students to analyze problems, lead and build strong global organizations. Students will begin their studies with core courses such as managerial economics, analytical tools and financial accounting. Some MBA degrees allow students to choose an area of specialization, including electronic supply chains, management of product variety, supplier management, global operations, distribution and transportation and inventory and information management.

Related Resource: Top 10 One-Year Online Master's Programs

Regardless of the institution where the degree is earned, it is important to find a program at a school that is fully accredited. Master in Supply Chain Management degrees can be found online, on-campus or a hybrid model that combines both distance learning and in-person coursework. Upon graduation with a Master's in Supply Chain Management, students can then seek positions with prospective supply chain management employers such as service companies, production and manufacturing companies, government agencies, colleges and educational institutions, third-party logistics firms, retailers and distributors.