Are you looking for a flexible program to offer you relevant skills and experience in a growing and in-demand industry? An Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management might be a great fit for you. This advanced degree is flexible and accessible for today’s professionals. An online Master’s in Supply Chain Management provides students with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to manage and optimize supply chain operations. It offers a flexible and convenient way to gain expertise in this rapidly evolving field and opens up a variety of rewarding career opportunities.
The need for good supply chain managers to keep supply chains effective and efficient is bigger than ever. This professional business field is in demand and provides excellent growth potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected it to have high growth development over the next decade. If you believe this might be the field for you or if you’re curious about what an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management might look like, check out our list at the end of this ranking guide to get a peek at some of the nation’s top programs.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management is a business field. It encompasses the systems, processes, and strategies for optimizing a product’s manufacturing and distribution. Its many facets include procurement, demand planning, inventory management, logistics, and supplier management.
The products that sustain modern societies are made and distributed by some of the most far-reaching systems ever created. A global network of supply chains brings consumers many things. These can include everything from the produce and packaged goods that line supermarket shelves to the chips that direct our smartphones and the raw materials needed for construction projects.
Supply chain management was developed as a paper-based process over one hundred years ago. Early 20th-century industrialists needed to optimize the manufacturing process. Today, supply chain management is linked to 21st-century technology.
In 2020, it took a worldwide health crisis to realize how fragile our global supply chains are. The pandemic revealed the need for global integration and accurate data. Cutting-edge technology can cause supply chain failure, or it can prevent it. Supply chain management has become a priority for many organizations.
It has been over two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economies and markets have recovered, and most supply chains have strengthened. For a time, factories ran below capacity because they couldn’t get raw materials or workers. Containerships backed up at ports, and there weren’t enough truckers to carry goods cross-country. For the first time in human history, the chaos made “supply chain” a household word.
Restoring the global supply chains that were upended by the pandemic was difficult. This guide to supply chain management explains some of the terminology, processes, trends, and issues you need to understand and ensure that supply chain technology will meet future demands.
What Are the Three Levels of Supply Chain Management?
Topic experts find it helpful to divide supply chain management into three levels that categorize its functions. These levels help ensure it serves the strategic, tactical, and operational business goals.
Strategic Supply Chain Management
Strategic supply chain management considers the entire scope of an organization’s supply chain network and strategy. It addresses the substantial long-term elements in a comprehensive process. Strategic SCM includes the type and number of suppliers, facilities, and technologies.
Tactical Supply Chain Management
The tactical level addresses the specific way to execute the strategy. This process includes software applications, production schedules, logistics, and contracts. Periods are shorter than in strategic supply chain management. Tactical supply chain management identifies standards and best practices. These result in crucial deliverables like cost, customer service, and efficiency.
Operational Supply Chain Management
The operational level deals with the daily operations of supply chain management. Production scheduling, forecasting, shipping, and invoicing are operational tasks.
A Working System
Some observers believe the globalization of manufacturing has turned supply chain management into a strategic function. They credit longer and more complex supply chains that present challenges and opportunities. These systems require more planning and analysis. Within this view, the tactical and operational levels focus on logistics.
The three levels of supply chain management influence each other. A strategy is an idea if it isn’t translated into operations and tactics. Operational decisions and tasks can be ineffective, risky, or wasteful. They may conflict with the organizing principles of the tactical level or the larger goals and mechanisms in the strategy.
This three-level supply chain management structure is critical in creating supply chain resilience for handling disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. A prominent example included the unavailability of supplies that would have shipped from virus hotspots and lockdown areas. It required manufacturers and retailers to drop their preference for the cost savings gained from using specific inventory models. Instead, they prioritized storing safety stock closer to customers with less priority for cost. Supply availability became paramount.
What is an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management is a business discipline centered on data-driven decisions. It helps a company run more efficiently, practice adaptability, and make sustainable business practices the norm.
The Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management degree is a top-shelf academic experience. It centers around the ways globalization impacts the business landscape. It teaches distance learners how to answer vital questions: How can I support vendors, service providers, and customer concerns? How can I ensure product safety and profit margins that get my products to the right consumer?
Online supply chain management graduates understand how to address many complexities in the current economic environment, including:
- Opening and closing of new markets.
- Implementing sustainable business practices.
- Navigating the regulatory landscape.
Many online master’s programs build on the foundation of supply chain management undergraduate programs and certificates offered at top business schools. The degree leverages the expertise of well-trained instructors from top business schools. Savvy distance learners will look for programs that let them learn from some of the best instruction in the field.
What Will Students Learn in an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degree?
An online supply chain management master’s curriculum has many advantages. It features lessons on data-driven changes to increase efficiency, improve organizational adaptability, and affect sustainable business practices. Throughout each course, graduate students learn about many topics, including the following:
- Technical elements of data and modeling.
- Logistics, including the flow of products.
- Production processes.
- Purchasing and procurement.
Program graduates bring a firm grasp of the supply chain process to their current or future employers. Online master’s program students develop marketable skills. They connect profit margins, support vendors, product safety, service providers, and customer concerns in a way that gets products to the consumer in a timely fashion. An online MS in Supply Chain Management will focus on concepts, functions, and enablers.
|Supply Chain Concepts
|Online students learn how supply chain management can deliver impactful organizational results.
|Supply Chain Functions
|Graduate students use knowledge of supply chain functions. They understand logistics, planning, sourcing, and manufacturing to support all supply chain concepts.
|Supply Chain Enablers
|Distance learners use critical levers. These include emerging technology and international trade to impact the end-to-end supply chain.
Is an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Worth the Effort?
Now more than ever, the pace of change in the world requires leaders with technical depth, leadership ability, and communication skills. An Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management degree is needed more than ever. It creates leaders who contribute to the conscious effort of organizations with a network of providers. These professionals develop and maintain supply networks to best benefit the customer and the organization.
What Factors Do I Consider When Researching Supply Chain Management Degrees?
Finding your online supply chain management degree program can take time and effort. There are many personal and professional variables one must consider. Attending a competitive graduate school requires substantial time and resources. Finding an online program that will meet your needs and provide a lucrative return on your investment is essential.
There are many issues to consider when choosing an online supply chain management master’s degree. Here are some vital features you should consider when making a short list of preferred supply chain management programs:
Expert instructors with extensive experience working in supply chain organizations bring real-world experience into the classroom. Supply chain graduate faculty have the hands-on experience to share their expertise with distance learners during the program. They continue to act as mentors after graduation. Faculty members who worked as consultants or supply chain leaders in previous organizations are a gold mine. They provide a wealth of knowledge and give networking opportunities to students who engage.
Supply chain management is a growing industry. A graduate degree within this discipline should focus on emerging technology. Graduate students are best served in programs that play an industry leadership role in the global supply chain management field. Students should gain direct knowledge of the latest industry trends. Well-equipped students transform the processes and efficiencies of their supply chain management teams.
A comprehensive curriculum prepares master’s students for complex supply chain management issues. Graduates should leave the program with a solid foundation in supply chain management functions, concepts, and enablers. The nation’s best online supply chain management curriculums serve students. They get critical thinking skills to use past business cases and strategies to solve future business issues.
A top-notch curriculum features frameworks to create lean supply chains and realize savings for companies struggling with costs. Capstone projects are valuable. The project allows students to address the roadblocks inside supply chain companies while earning credits toward master’s degree program graduation.
There are limitations to ranking systems. However, they provide additional insight into Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management programs. Rankings allow prospective students to see which programs best fit their values. Potential business students can determine how they weigh various program features. The important thing to remember is that every ranking has priorities. Find rankings that have similar priorities to yours and find more than one. Gain a consensus view.
What are the Typical Admission Requirements for an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management?
Online supply chain management master’s program applicants need a minimum bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. Many business schools use other criteria beyond GPA to make admissions decisions. Application materials include resumes, short-answer essays, and letters of recommendation.
Some supply chain management programs require applicants to provide GRE or GMAT scores. It is common for institutions to waive standardized testing requirements for candidates with solid academic credentials. The importance of standardized tests has waned in recent years. Many admissions departments nationwide have omitted them from the admissions process.
What’s the Difference Between a Master’s in Supply Chain Management and an MBA?
Master’s in Supply Chain Management degrees and MBA in supply chain management degrees are similar. They do differ in scope. A typical MBA curriculum covers many business-related management lessons. These topics include communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. An Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management emphasizes sourcing products, logistics, global supply management, and purchasing.
Both programs take two years of full-time study. There are accelerated options that shorten degree completion timelines to ten months, one year, or sixteen months. MBA programs and Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management programs include thesis or capstone requirements. These final projects have graduate students exploring solutions to real-world supply chain problems.
Professionals wanting to work in supply chain management will discover that a master’s degree in the field suffices. If your career goals include executive business leadership, an MBA with a supply chain emphasis can set you on the correct route.
What Courses Can I Expect in an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Program?
Marketing Strategy and Channel Management
Marketing impacts every level of the business process. Supply chain management professionals must develop a working knowledge of marketing concepts in distribution channels and competition, consumer preferences, and research and development.
Marketing strategy and channel management courses explain how marketing can affect supply and demand. Coursework covers supply chain marketing and management innovations like AI and big data.
Strategic Sourcing and Procurement
Sourcing methods are vital to efficient functioning in supply chain management. Effective supply chains improve profitability, making this course particularly helpful for prospective logistics managers.
Coursework explores real-world examples of procurement strategies. Distance learners grasp implementing strategic sourcing methods in the workplace. Graduate students also learn evaluation and negotiation approaches while communicating with suppliers and how to build effective purchasing departments.
Spreadsheet Modeling for Business Enterprise
Supply chain management professionals use big data in spreadsheets to forecast business outcomes. Relevant spreadsheet modeling maximizes efficiency in supply chain management by contextualizing data into real-world scenarios.
Learners understand how spreadsheet models allow business leaders to predict organizational scenarios and prepare potential responses. They study how to use these models to compare managerial techniques and adjust variables to maximize operational efficiency.
Operations Management and Process Analysis
Effective supply chain management requires wise decision-making to streamline time, cost, and quality. An operations management and process analysis course explores this balance. Students learn about capacity, flow time, and manufacturing logistics. These concepts allow organizations to evaluate whether they meet their goals and consumers’ needs.
Operations managers oversee the supply chain process. These professionals maintain stages of production, procurement, storage, and shipping. This course tackles the challenges of delivering products efficiently while ensuring they align with projects’ original plans.
Managing Supply Chain Projects
Handling a supply chain from beginning to end always presents issues. This truth is evident following the disruption of global supply chains in recent years. Supply chain project management courses cover scheduling, budgeting, project management software, resource management, and risk management.
Some programs focus on information technology-related issues in supply chain project management courses. Productive information technology initiatives allow supply chain management leaders to break down data for practical analysis, response, and decision-making.
What Can Graduates Do with an Online Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management?
The online Master’s in Supply Chain Management degree stands as an advanced academic credential. Program graduates often pursue managerial and upper-level roles. They work as operations managers, logisticians, purchasing managers, and supply chain managers.
How Much Can I Earn with an Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management?
Salaries vary within this field. Professionals with graduate degrees in supply chain management can earn wages that exceed the national average for other occupations. BLS data from 2021 reveals logisticians earn a median salary of $77,000. Purchasing managers reported a median salary of $127,000 within the same period.
Top 10 Supply Chain Management Jobs
|Chief Operating Officer (COO)
|Vice President (VP), Operations
|Director, Supply Chain Management
|Demand Planning Manager
|Supply Chain Manager
|Supply Chain Planner
The Best Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degrees
These are 20 of the best Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management programs offered from top business schools. Schools are listed in alphabetical order.
One of the nation’s best online Master’s in Supply Chain Management programs is featured at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. This program is perfect for students interested in learning how supply networks are managed. Graduates provide maximum benefits to consumers and companies.
The online MS in Supply Chain Management degree program helps distance learners gain technical knowledge and hone leadership and communication skills. These graduate students will compete for positions in the U.S. and worldwide.
The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University provides an excellent online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This 30-credit hour degree covers topics from inventory/warehouse management to supply chain strategy.
Online students can continue their employment or take care of a unique personal situation. Auburn’s online MS degree offers the same high-quality lessons as the on-campus degree, allowing students to study when and where they want. This stellar online MBA features a blend of knowledge and practical skills.
An online degree in supply chain management program is at Clayton State University’s College of Business. This Master of Science in Supply Chain Analytics is an interdisciplinary program. It meets the need for supply chain professionals with knowledge and skills in business analytics.
The analytics focus within supply chain management makes this online program unique in Georgia and the Southeast. The sky is the limit for business professionals earning this online MS in Supply Chain Analytics.
Duquesne University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business features an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management program. Enrolled students extend their professional capacity and excel in logistics careers. This online MS in Supply Chain Management accelerates careers. It features a robust curriculum of online business analytics and supply chain courses. Hybrid classes are included in the curriculum.
Duquesne equips students. They gain expertise in forecasting, demand management, global fulfillment, and sustainability. Graduates become competitive candidates for high-level professional jobs. This Master’s degree makes all the right moves.
Florida International University’s College of Business features an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This online Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at FIU is stellar. It prepares students for managerial jobs in the supply chain management and logistics industry.
The online MSLSCM program takes ten months to complete. It is offered fully online or in a hybrid format. This flexible program provides a rigorous graduate education focused on logistics technology, data analytics, and distribution modeling. This is a highly interactive online supply chain program.
Georgia College & State University’s J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and Technology houses a top online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This online Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management positions graduates for career advancement and leadership opportunities within the supply chain and logistics industry.
Graduate students wanting to move up in their existing companies or obtain a position in a new company will enjoy the curriculum. Enrolled students become better managers and prepare for executive leadership. The Master’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Management will help you accomplish your goals.
Marquette University’s College of Business Administration offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. The online MS in Supply Chain Management equips students with the competencies and tools to lead business.
This online program gives students the flexibility to learn on their schedules. Courses are delivered online with residential workshops at the program’s beginning, middle, and end. You will get a lot from this online Master’s in Supply Chain Management.
The Max M. Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University features a Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This flexible online program focused on supply chain management at Ohio State is one of the best.
Program leaders develop professionals for the critical supply chain field. Graduates of the degree possess the technical expertise and business skills to understand every link in the chain. Distance learners learn how to manage goods from inception to the consumer. This distance degree helps students address today’s global economic challenges.
The Smeal College of Business at Penn State offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This supply chain management master’s degree is delivered in an online format through Penn State World Campus. Enrolled students can expect to gain higher-order abilities and skills.
Penn State’s supply chain program remains a top graduate supply chain program in the United States. It is led by the internationally ranked Smeal College of Business. The convenient online program will fit your busy lifestyle and career goals.
Purdue University’s Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This stellar online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management program is perfect for the serious business professional. An analytics emphasis strengthens the entirely online program.
All online courses are taught by the faculty members who instruct the business school’s top-ranked in-residence MS Global Supply Chain Management. This program is in a highly flexible format in pacing and sequencing.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark and New Brunswick’s Rutgers Business School offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This online MS in Supply Chain Management fosters a supportive and engaging learning community of professionals. Most enrolled students in this program work full-time.
MBA students draw on their unique experiences. The distance-learned curriculum takes a holistic end-to-end view of the supply chain. Graduate students take classes covering all elements of supply chain management. This degree will take you places.
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse has an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This online MS in Supply Chain Management program meets the needs of the industry. It prepares the next generation of inventive supply chain leaders.
Enrolled students earn their degrees online from wherever they live. The curriculum helps students make meaningful decisions through risk management and financial management. This online MSSCM includes ten courses and prepares tomorrow’s supply chain experts.
The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas features an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This top online MS in Supply Chain Management equips students with the knowledge and skills to drive success and deliver organizational value.
Coursework prepares distance learners for planning, operations, transportation, and new product launch leadership roles. Classes cover end-to-end supply chains. Graduate students learn a systems approach to sustainability. This degree is incredible.
The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This Supply Chain Management master’s program provides skills in high-demand areas across industries worldwide.
The program curriculum includes a capstone project. Distance learners are immersed in real-world experiences. Progressing through the coursework increases confidence, knowledge, and resume appeal. Students transfer skills from the classroom into a meaningful career. This supply management degree delivers tons of value.
The C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston features an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. The entire STEM-certified MS in Supply Chain Management is delivered online.
They understand that going back to school is a big decision. The admissions team is there to help. Candidates can schedule time with an Online Program Recruiter at any point in decision-making. It is an exciting and critical time to pursue supply chain management.
The University of Oklahoma has an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management at the Michael F. Price College of Business. This online MS in Supply Chain Management is a 32-credit program. Distance learners can complete it in 16 months.
The entirely online curriculum is tailored for working adults and features industry-experienced instructors. Distance learners can access career coaching, lifetime connections, and a business degree from a nationally recognized business college and university.
The University of Rhode Island College of Business offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. This Supply Chain Management and Applied Analytics MS has excellent features. It equips students with the skills needed to succeed in a dynamic field.
All distance learners operate under the guidance of a committed staff of academics and practitioners. The curriculum includes how to develop innovative solutions to global supply chain issues. Do not sleep on this high-quality supply chain management degree.
The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business delivers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. USC’s online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management program is a highly-regarded degree. It combines a world-class academic foundation in supply chain management with relevant applications.
This Global Supply Chain Management program prepares students for an increasingly ever-evolving world. The MSGSCM program works with professionals’ academic goals. It is completed at USC’s campus in Los Angeles or online. Convenience is the name of the game with this supply chain program.
The University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business offers an online Master’s in Supply Chain Management. Enrolled students stay ahead of supply chain shifts with this top-ranked master’s degree for tomorrow’s leaders.
Program leaders show how to leverage supply chain management concepts and functions to deliver real impact to organizations. Distance learners develop critical thinking skills to synthesize strategy in solving real business issues. This solid online degree will get your career going places.
An online master’s degree in supply chain management is available through the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas. This online Master’s in Supply Chain Management is a STEM program.
It offers a flexible 12-course/36-semester-credit-hour degree plan. Distance learners do it at their own pace. The curriculum includes earning certifications in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or ASCM Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution. Give this online degree a second look.
Supply chains are valuable to all facets of business and modern life. They encompass the structures that move products from the design stage to customer delivery. Each step in the supply chain process depends on careful oversight. When each link in the chain operates, stakeholders enjoy reduced costs, streamlined processes, and increased efficiency.
An Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management grows future supply chain professionals and develops a network of reliable business leaders. Distance learners gain deep supply chain knowledge and skills from proven curriculums. They learn how their supply chain management processes create value for an organization.
Online supply chain management master’s program candidates can sharpen or develop leadership skills. They can use this credential to leverage advanced positions overseeing logistics departments. After graduating, online master’s graduates apply for careers in business and logistics, like purchasing agents, supply chain managers, and logisticians. This degree has what it takes to move professionals into the driver’s seat.