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Online Masters Degree in Supply Chain

Supply chain management may seem like a Herculean task, as you plan and oversee sourcing, procurement and logistics in your organization and in your supply chain of partners, suppliers, third-party services and customers -- while keeping costs down, increasing efficiency and adding value. A master's degree in supply chain management can provide the education you need to do the heavy lifting.

Earning master's degrees in supply chain logistics

Graduate programs have different emphases, including business administration with a supply chain concentration. A program focused on global trade may cover multi-cultural operating environments and offer short residencies in key economic regions such as Europe and Asia.

Coursework varies but can include fundamentals such as business ethics, communication, economics, marketing, negotiation, risk management and project management. Classes may examine cost analysis, operations strategy, sustainability and total quality management. Some subjects target the logistics field:

  1. Advanced supply chain analysis
  2. End-to-end supply chain planning and design
  3. Governmental/environmental compliance
  4. Transportation and distribution

Those seeking master's degrees in supply chain management typically have a bachelor's degree and work experience. Online programs may require brief, intensive periods of on-site attendance.

Supply chain career options, outlook and salaries

Logisticians analyze the total supply chain and manage a product's journey from supplier to consumer. For these specialists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster than average increase in employment between 2010 and 2020. Modest or average growth is likely in other related occupations. In some potential careers, the BLS reports these median annual salaries for 2010, shown with projected 2010-2020 job growth:

  1. Industrial production managers: $87,160; 9 percent
  2. Logisticians: $70,800; 26 percent
  3. Operations research analysts: $70,960; 15 percent
  4. Purchasing managers: $95,070; 7 percent
  5. Transportation, storage and distribution managers: $80,210; 10 percent

A bachelor's degree is often the entry-level requirement, but the BLS notes that many employers prefer a master's degree, particularly for managers. To explore economics, operations management, logistics and information technology in the context of supply chain management, you can seek a Ph.D., which prepares you for research or teaching in academia.

Online master's degrees in supply chain allow professionals to continue working while they earn their degrees. You can use the supply chain knowledge you gain to tackle real world problems in your own organization. Web-based programs let you interact with fellow students across the country and around the world to understand the global perspective that is becoming critical in business.

Featured Online Supply Chain Degree Programs

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