January 24th, 2017

Is it Time for an Advanced Supply Chain Management Degree?

The supply chain field is hot right now, as nearly all organizations rely on the skills of supply chain management professionals to keep their goods and services flowing to the marketplace quickly, efficiently, and as cost-effectively as possible. It’s cause for many professionals to consider an advanced supply chain management degree.

Land of Opportunity

This has made supply chain management (SCM) a bright spot among up-and-coming careers, according to the University of San Francisco’s Dean Vella. Vella points out that with its employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries—and within firms of all sizes—SCM offers a “challenging career with a variety of specializations, as well as prospects for advancement.”

Is it time for an advanced supply chain management degree? http://ajilon.co/2kq7qLK via @ajilon

In Demand Positions

“Skilled logistics managers are in demand because of their ability to spot complications and create effective solutions,” Vella writes.

Whether you’re currently working in supply chain or you’re a recent graduate, the Graduate Management Admission Council says that an advanced SCM degree could give you the boost you need to get ahead in your career. Twenty-seven percent of corporate recruiters plan to hire graduates with Master of Supply Chain Management degrees.

According to GMAC, graduates from SCM programs are in greatest demand in the manufacturing, technology, and products/services sectors. Graduates of master’s-level programs in data analytics are in greatest demand in the technology sector, sought by 43 percent of companies — nearly twice as many companies as in other industries.

Finding the Right Place

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a rapid increase of SCM programs at colleges and universities nationwide. This trend is opening specialized education up to a larger group of adult students. “Many business schools offer master’s degrees in supply chain management, giving prospective students a range of options,” writes Delece Smith-Barrow in U.S. News & World Report’s Study Supply Chain Management for a Career Boost. “In these programs, students learn about managing and distributing products, as well as sustainability.”

Key Considerations

When selecting a program, Smith-Barrow says students should consider format (online, traditional classroom setting, or a hybrid option); required work experience (this can range from zero to 8+ years); and degree options (general MBA or master’s degree in supply chain). Other key considerations include location, cost, program length, and faculty. To complete your selection checklist, check out Campus Explorer’s Ten Things to Consider When Choosing a Graduate School.

Advanced Supply Chain Management Degrees

If you’re considering an advanced degree in SCM, here are a few resources to explore when selecting a program:

  • GradSchools.com: Highlights the top schools and programs, giving descriptions and requirements for each. The Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Wisconsin, for example, offers an MBA in Supply Chain Management and a cross-functional curriculum that takes an integrated business process view of supply chains, including marketing, sourcing, logistics, operations, and customer service.
  • U.S. News & World Report’s Education Ranking: Updated annually, this U.S. News ranking focuses on the top business schools for supply chain/logistics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan), which offers a 10-month supply chain management degree program, tops the list for 2016. Their Supply Chain Management Program (SCMr) leads to a Master of Engineering in Logistics degree, which is designed to provide the global logistics industry with “a new type of supply chain professional who is highly trained in both analytical problem solving and change management leadership.”
  • Gartner’s Top 25 North American Supply Chain Graduate Programs: For 2016, Pennsylvania State University topped the research firm’s list of graduate supply chain programs, followed by the University of Tennessee, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan. A summary of the report is online here, and you can register and download the full report by clicking here.

For more information on the supply chain industry, check out ajilon.com..

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