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Today we will dive in and have a look at the Top Online Supply Chain Management Degree and Industry Salary, Careers, Opportunities, etc.
Compare supply chain management degrees and career options to see which path best matches your goals and interests.
Online Supply Chain Management Degrees
Click on the field that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:
- Supply Chain Management
- Logistics & Transportation
Although supply chain management and logistics are similar fields, there can be some differences in the day to day duties.
Supply Chain Management
Studying for a degree in supply chain management can help prepare you to oversee distribution processes from beginning to end. Whether you want to be involved with coordinating the transportation of raw materials, securing competitive pricing or managing a distribution center, a supply chain degree can help you achieve your goals.
The courses for a supply chain management program are designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts in supply chain management, both at home and abroad. Common topics of study are warehousing, transportation, and purchasing.
There’s a good deal of data analysis that goes into supply chain management positions, so classes on statistics and modeling are typically included as well. There will probably be business classes on accounting, finance, and management also.
With this degree, you might find work as a buyer or a purchasing agent. You could also pursue jobs in logistics, warehousing or distribution or you might simply hold the title of supply chain manager.
Logistics & Transportatio
A degree program in logistics and transportation focuses on one sector of the supply chain field. If your interest lies in making sure that material and products get where they need to go, then this degree might be for you.
To become logistics experts, students take classes on the various forms of transportation that are used for moving goods from one place to another. The topics may include rail, truck, ship, and air and pipeline transportation. Another important topic of discussion is the intricacies of transporting items across international borders.
Other common topics of study include how to store items, package them, and oversee distribution. There may be classes on logistics technology, and you may learn to evaluate the financial impacts of your transportation choices.
Your studies may prepare you to work as a transportation or logistics manager. You could also pursue work as a consultant or an analyst who advises other organizations on logistics matters.
Supply Chain Management Careers & Salaries
When you first graduate college, you may start with entry-level jobs in the field of supply chain and logistics. For example, you might become an expediting clerk, a purchasing agent or a buyer. There’s also a chance that one of your first jobs could be as a logistics analyst or a logistics engineer.
As you gain experience, you may move up in the ranks and become qualified to take management positions. These jobs can give you greater responsibilities and the opportunity to supervise teams of employees.
You might be a purchasing, logistics, transportation, or warehousing manager. Other roles could put you in charge of contracts, procurement, or inventory.
Supply chain professionals work in a wide variety of industries. You may need to become quite familiar with your company’s area of focus so that you’ll know the best way to handle materials and troubleshoot problems.
Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and transportation companies rely on the expertise of logisticians. The government is another major employer of logistics experts. Schools, hospitals, and other institutions also need the insights of procurement and storage professionals.
Supply chain management doesn’t always deal with tangible goods or products to be displayed on store shelves. You might also oversee the movement of energy supplies or other critical infrastructure components. Sometimes, these materials move through wires or pipelines instead of by truck or boat.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a logistician is $76,270 per year. The lowest 10% of salaries are under $44,190, and the highest 10% of earnings are over $122,580. Government and manufacturing positions often have the highest salary rates.
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Manufacturing Logistics Engineer||$77,840|
|Business Operations Specialist||$77,420|
|Buyer or Purchasing Agent||$66,690|
Your supply chain logistics salary will vary based on the job and how much education and experience you have. To increase your earning potential, you may want to pursue a graduate degree, such as an MBA in Logistics, at some point during your career.
Choosing an Online Supply Chain Management Degree
Selecting a supply chain logistics program is a personal decision. Your choice may be based on both a program’s strengths and your preferences for how you want your college experience to look.
- Accreditation – Regional accreditation is the most important distinction to look for. Since supply chain management is a business program, you may also want to consider programmatic accreditation from an organization like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
- Degree and concentrations – Some schools have broadly focused supply chain management programs, but others focus more specifically on logistics and transportation. Within those majors, select schools may offer specialization tracks, such as global supply chains or reverse logistics.
- Experiences – You may want to look for a program that includes practicums, internships or other field experiences.
- Format – One of the first things to consider in terms of format is whether a program requires an on-campus, online or hybrid attendance model. Even among online programs, there can be great variation, such as whether a school uses a traditional semester calendar, a year-round accelerated schedule or a self-paced system.
- Length of study – While many people think of a bachelor’s degree as a four-year program, some accelerated online programs can be completed much more quickly — sometimes in just two years or less.
- Tuition – When comparing the cost of schools, be sure to consider the price per credit hour, any additional fees and the effect that your financial aid package will have.
Ultimately, which school you choose is up to you. Come up with a list of criteria on which you’d like to base your decision, evaluate a number of different programs, and formulate a list of your top choices.
Send applications to those schools, and then make your final choice after receiving one or more acceptance letters.
Supply Chain Management Curriculum & Courses
For a logistics and supply chain management degree, students take a variety of classes about the fundamentals of materials management and product distribution. The curriculum is usually designed to provide a business foundation as well, so students can be more prepared to operate within the context of a retail, manufacturing, or service company. Here are some common courses that are often taken for this degree:
- Accounting: This business-oriented course can help prepare you to keep accurate records or interpret financial reports.
- Financial Considerations in Supply Chain Management: In this course, students can discuss the role that transportation decisions play in the overall health of organizations.
- Global Supply Chain: Moving goods across borders requires a keen understanding of international laws and customs regulations.
- Introduction to Supply Chain Management: This foundational class is designed to set the course for your studies. It can help you learn about the various aspects of the supply chain and how they interact with one another.
- Logistics Systems: This class can help you learn how to work with digital tools that logisticians use to improve quality and efficiency.
- Modeling and Statistics: This course can help you learn how to work with data so you can analyze past trends and make future predictions.
- Purchasing and Inventory: In this course, students study how to keep necessary items stocked by negotiating with suppliers, managing contracts, and tracking inventory.
- Quality Control: This class is designed to provide tools for ensuring that products meet quality standards and supply chain processes are carried out in economical, efficient ways.
- Transportation Methods: This course covers a variety of transportation methods and discusses the logistics of combining multiple methods along a supply chain.
- Warehousing: The layout of your warehouse will affect your company’s quality and efficiency, so you’ll need to explore ways to maximize your storage setup.
In addition to your school’s core curriculum, you may also have opportunities to enroll in electives. These may help you get ready to carry out supply chain work in a certain industry.
A school will make its determination about admitting you to the supply chain and logistics program based on your application.
You’ll need to include several components to help give the admissions committee a well-rounded understanding of your strengths and abilities. In addition to a basic application form and a fee, you may need to submit the following materials.
- Essay – Answering an essay question helps the school get to know you and your goals.
- References – High school teachers or supervisors from professional or volunteer work can write letters about the strengths that you’ll bring to the program.
- Test scores – The school may request the results of your ACT or SAT exam.
- Transcripts – Records of your high school academic work will show whether you took college-prep classes and what grades you received.
If you have any questions about a college’s requirements, reach out to the admissions staff for assistance.
Schools that consistently do a good job of educating students are eligible to receive regional accreditation.
This distinction can only be given by one of the seven regional accreditors approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These include the Higher Learning Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Regionally accredited colleges are more respected than unaccredited ones. Employers will likely trust your degree more if it came from an accredited school.
Other schools are usually more willing to accept your college credits if they came from a regionally accredited institution. This can be useful if you decide to switch colleges before completing your degree. You’ll also need an accredited degree if you want to pursue a master’s degree in supply chain management after graduation.
Also, federal financial aid can only be used at accredited schools, such as those with regional accreditation.
Supply Chain Management Professional Organizations
You can boost your knowledge and build a network of supply chain colleagues when you join a professional association. These groups offer opportunities for interaction, learning, and industry support. Your membership dues will grant you access to an organization’s resources and contribute to its advocacy efforts.
- American Production and Inventory Control Society – Once an independent organization, APICS has now merged with the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), but APICS’ certification programs are still available.
- Association for Supply Chain Management – On a mission to help professionals continually refine and upgrade their supply chain procedures, ASCM offers membership benefits like seminars, online courses, certification discounts, digital tools, and publications.
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – CSCMP provides mentoring programs, magazines, continuing education, job search tools, and other resources to help its members enhance the field of supply chain management.
- Institute for Supply Management – Supporting supply chain professionals since 1915, ISM offers free continuing education classes, a magazine subscription, weekly resources, online tools, industry research reports, professional events and local chapters.
- International Warehouse Logistics Association – IWLA represents warehouse operators and those who provide services for the warehousing industry, and members can take advantage of special interest councils, regular communications, professional discounts, job boards and legal guidance.
- Material Handling Industry of America – MHA provides market insights, print and digital publications, online tools, networking opportunities and special interest groups for people who work in materials handling and logistics.
Before joining a professional organization, you may want to explore whether a student membership rate is available.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
There’s always a cost involved with going to college, but financial assistance can help reduce your school expenses.
Government aid is available in the form of grants and loans. The distinction is that grants do not need to repaid, but you’ll eventually have to pay back your loans along with interest. Both the federal government and your state of residence may have programs for which you qualify.
Scholarships may make a sizable dent in your college costs. You can win these financial gifts by submitting applications to charitable organizations and other scholarship programs. Good grades, personal achievements, leadership experience or volunteer service may set you apart as a top candidate for these awards.
Scholarships may range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. An award may be a one-time gift, or it may be renewable for each year of your schooling.
If you still need more funding after accruing government assistance and scholarships, you may want to consider private loans. Although these loans can be useful, you should be aware that they might carry higher interest rates than their government-issued counterparts might.
For those already in the workforce, you may be able to receive tuition assistance from your employer. Ask your human resources department whether your company offers such a program for employees.
To learn more about your options for college assistance, consult the Federal Student Aid website or your school’s financial aid department.
How Much Can You Make With a Supply Chain Management Degree?
In an entry-level position as an expediting clerk, you may earn around $49,640 each year. As you move into supply chain logistics management positions, your salary is likely to increase. Purchasing managers, for example, earn an average annual salary of $125,940.
Wages for logisticians usually fall somewhere in the middle of those two ends of the spectrum. The median yearly salary for that job category is $76,270 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management?
For most bachelor’s degree programs, you’ll need to earn around 120 credit hours before graduation. If you enroll in a traditional college program, it will probably take you around four years to achieve that goal.
With online studies, you may be able to graduate more quickly. Many schools offer year-round enrollment and fast-track classes. With that approach, you may be able to complete your degree in just one to three years.
What Is the Average Supply Chain Management Degree Salary?
According to the Center on Education and the Workforce, people who hold bachelor’s degrees in operations logistics earn a median annual salary of $71,000. Those below the 25th percentile earn less than $51,000 each year. Workers above the 75th percentile earn more than $98,000 annually.
Your job title, your experience level, and your geographic location may influence your personal earnings.
Is a Supply Chain Degree Worth It?
If you’re interested in improving business operations through the careful and efficient movement of goods and materials, then a supply chain degree may be an ideal fit for you.
Once you enter the workforce, holding a supply chain or logistics degree may help you find a good starting position and later advance to supervisory or management roles.