Online MBA Degree in Supply Chain Management Overview
Often a relatively wonky subject, the supply chain struggles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have brought the topic of supply chain management into regular conversation. In short, supply chain management is the oversight of the intricate flow of goods spanning their planning, manufacturing, shipping, and eventual use. This network of moving parts can feel staggeringly complex, and executives managing supply chains often utilize specialized training and professional experience.
An online MBA in supply chain management offers a gateway towards leadership roles within a vast number of professional settings. These degrees provide students with foundational business knowledge while also providing specialized expertise in supply chain management and logistics and can prepare graduates for executive roles and careers such as management analysts, logisticians, and supply chain managers.
The following guide explores the benefits of online MBAs in supply chain management and what you can expect during the degree. We also walk you through the admission process and spotlight several top-performing online MBA programs. Continue reading to learn more about online MBAs in supply chain management.
What Can I Do With An MBA In Supply Chain Management?
Unlike a master’s in supply chain management, where a student dives deep into the intricacies of logistics and supply chains, an MBA program takes a slightly broader view while focusing on foundational management, leadership, and business skills. As a result, graduates with an MBA in supply chain management are uniquely situated to tackle leadership roles within various manufacturing and business situations. We’ve highlighted several careers relevant to supply chain management and leadership.
Supply Chain Management MBA Salaries, Careers, And Outlook
Salary: $76,270 Outlook (2020-2030): 30%
Description: Logisticians can be found in countless industries and utilize specialized training to analyze and manage a business’s supply chain. From overseeing a product’s lifecycle to developing client relationships, these professionals play an essential role in the planning, manufacturing, selling, and delivering of goods.
Salary: $87,660 Outlook (2020-2030): 14%
Description: Working to enhance an organization’s efficiency, management analysts review organizational functions, gather and analyze data, and develop creative solutions to various business issues. Whether working as a consultant or directly for a business, these professionals often rely on specialized knowledge such as supply chain management to recommend changes to boost profitability.
Salary: $107,680 Outlook (2020-2030): 8%
Description: Working within the context of supply chains and logistics, top executives plan and execute strategies designed to enhance efficiency and boost profits. Instead of micro-managing people and projects, top executives work closely with department heads and other executives to cut costs and increase performance.
Earning An Online MBA Degree In Supply Chain Management
While there is debate surrounding the value of an MBA, there’s no doubt that the quality, accessibility, and flexibility of online MBAs have expanded B school opportunities. And while online programs may have had a questionable reputation in the past, online programming has continued to evolve. At the end of the day, graduates from an online program receive the same diploma as in-person learners.
Online programs traditionally offer the same academic content as on-campus options. And even though online learners may not have the same experience as on-campus students, the flexibility, affordability, and accessibility of an online MBA is an excellent option for many working professionals. We highlight some of the pros and cons of an online MBA below.
Pros And Cons Of Online Programs In Supply Chain Management
|Flexible||No face-to-face interaction|
|Cheaper than on-campus options||Requires serious self-discipline|
|Learn at your own pace||More professional experience required|
How Long Do Online Courses Take To Complete?
The length of online MBA classes can vary between schools, but most programs follow semester or quarter formats, and classes typically last 6-8 weeks. That said, some online programs offer accelerated academic tracks where students can complete coursework more quickly. Regardless of duration, online programs offer students the flexibility needed to complete coursework while keeping up with personal and professional obligations.
Courses In Supply Chain Management MBA Programs
Students enrolled in an MBA specializing in supply chain management tackle coursework from two areas: foundational major coursework and specialization classes. We’ve listed some standard courses below.
- Applied Business Statistics
- Leading Organizational Change
- Strategic Opportunity Management
- Organizational Strategy
- Optimizing Brands
- Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making
- Operations Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Global Trade Logistics
- Supply Chain Risk Management
- Innovative Solutions to Supply Chain Challenges
- Supply Chain Performance Metrics and Financial Analysis
Skills Learned In Supply Chain And Logistics MBA Programs
For professionals interested in maximizing their career prospects and earning potential, an online MBA can help students fine-tune existing skills while providing foundational knowledge designed to shape leadership skills. Additionally, supply chain and logistics students gain a nuanced understanding of the deeply rooted complexities of that discipline. From soft skills to technical competencies, we’ve highlighted some essential skills prioritized in MBA programs below.
- Communication skills
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Digital know-how
- Strategic thinking
- Leadership skills
- Decision making
- Resilience in tough situations
- Time management
How Long Does It Take To Get An Online Supply Chain Management MBA?
Various factors determine the duration of an online MBA in supply chain management. A student’s full-time or part-time learner status can dramatically impact how long it takes to receive their diploma. Additionally, some programs offer an accelerated track where students can graduate in just one year, while more traditional MBA timelines require between two and three years of coursework.
Choosing The Best Master of Business Administration In Supply Chain Management
There’s no single “best” online MBA in supply chain management. Sure, some programs offer a degree bearing the name of an elite institution. Still, the best program is the one that mirrors a student’s unique needs, along with their academic and professional goals. When searching for the school that best meets their needs, prospective students should consider cost, program outcomes, academic specializations, and the specificities of the program’s online delivery.
Continue reading as we highlight some top-performing online MBAs with a concentration in supply chain management.
Universities.com’s Top Supply Chain Management Schools
When ranking schools, universities.com takes a metrics-based approach and considers factors such as cost, academics, and diversity. You can learn more about our ranking methodology here.
In the section below, we spotlight several top-performing online MBAs that offer a specialization in supply chain management. Continue reading to see which programs stand out.
Located in Alabama, Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business offers an online MBA that students typically complete in 31 months. This online MBA connects students with course content through the CANVAS learning platform, where degree-seekers complete the exact academic requirements as in-person learners.
Throughout this online MBA track, students complete 39 credits before graduation. In addition to foundational business classes like financial analysis and operations excellence, students tackle specialization classes such as supply chain strategy, global financial markets, and supply chain management and manufacturing.
Prospective students must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Additionally, applicants should have at least two years of work experience in a relevant business setting.
Offered through the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, this online MBA focuses on the communication, strategic, and analytical skills essential to the next generation of business leaders. Boasting an international alumni network exceeding 66,000 graduates, this AACSB-accredited program highlights both foundational MBA coursework along with a supply chain management focus.
Foundational coursework for this online MBA degree includes essential topics such as corporate finance, strategic information systems, and managerial economics, and public policy. Additionally, supply chain management coursework includes topics like global trade logistics, supply chain risk management, and innovative solutions to supply chain challenges. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete an integrative business simulation as a degree-culminating experience.
Prospective students must submit a completed online application along with letters of recommendation, admission essays, and GMAT/GRE scores. Applicants must also have multiple years of relevant professional experience.
Home to an especially deep roster of online programs, Penn State’s World Campus offers a flexible online MBA specializing in supply chain management. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, students enhance their problem-solving and leadership skills holistically while gaining a deep working knowledge of business operations.
Throughout this 48-credit academic track, online learners complete both general MBA requirements and supply chain management coursework. Core classes cover topics including financial accounting, managing in the digital economy, and data analysis for decision making. Supply chain and logistics coursework include managing supply chains in global markets, supply management, operations management, and demand fulfillment.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and supply official academic transcripts. Applicants also provide two letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and attend an online admission interview.
Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management plays home to one of the oldest supply chain management degrees in the United States. Their online MBA in supply chain management allows learners to gain foundational B school knowledge while evaluating the complexities of supply chains and logistics. Students can complete this 54-credit online MBA in as few as 24 months.
Throughout this online academic track, MBA students complete 36 credits of core coursework, covering topics such as global entrepreneurial management, leadership in organizations, and data analysis and decision making. Additionally, supply chain coursework covers vital topics, including strategic sourcing, operations and supply chain management, and supply chain and logistics management. Before graduation, students also complete a degree-culminating capstone project.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Syracuse takes a holistic approach to admissions and considers both past academic performance and professional experience. While not GRE/GMAT scores are not required, some students may benefit from the submission of test scores.
Saint Louis University’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business plays home to a flexible professional MBA program that students can complete both online and on-campus. Offering three start-dates per year, students complete online coursework synchronously, attending virtual classes four days per week during the evening. In addition to managerial core courses, students can select from various academic concentrations, including supply chain management.
This online MBA requires that students complete 21 credits of advanced managerial core requirements that include business analytics, marketing, global business, and information technology. Additionally, students dedicate nine credits to their supply chain management specialization and cover critical topics like logistics, project management, and global supply chain issues.
Prospective students must complete an online application and submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a professional resume. Applicants must also submit a 500-word personal statement outlining academic and career goals.
Supply Chain Management Certification and Licensure
In most cases, earning an MBA with a specialization in supply chain management offers graduates the training they need to expand career options and earning potential. That said, some MBA programs offer graduate-level academic certificates in supply chain management. This certification can act as an additional credential to beef up a student’s resume.
Considering both institutional and programmatic accreditation is a vital component when evaluating prospective programs. In short, accreditation acts as a school and program’s peer-reviewed stamp of approval and ensures that a program meets various financial, academic, and administrative standards.
In addition to an institution’s regional accreditation, the best business schools boast programmatic accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To search for a school’s accreditation, you can utilize the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education accreditation database.
Applying to Online Supply Chain Management Programs
When weighing potential MBA programs, applicants typically consider a school’s reputation, academic specializations, and cost. Additionally, prospective students should consider a program’s admission requirements to ensure that they meet specific academic, testing, and professional benchmarks.
While it may go without saying, submitting a clean and fully completed application is essential. Your application acts as a formal introduction to the school, and omissions, inaccuracies, and spelling errors can impact how admission officials view your application.
Admission Requirements For Supply Chain Management MBA Programs
While admission requirements can vary between programs, there are standard benchmarks you can expect from most B schools. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Additionally, many programs require a minimum GPA of around 3.0 and also request the submission of GMAT or GRE scores. Along with academic performance and standardized test scores, applicants traditionally need to have some relevant work experience under their belt.
Other elements of a B school application include a personal statement outlining academic and career goals, professional and academic references, and a resume. Some programs may also require an admission interview.
Paying For An MBA in Supply Chain Management
An online MBA often comes with a serious price tag, and students use various methods when paying for their degree. Common funding opportunities include business school fellowships, graduate scholarships, industry scholarships, and federal student loans. Additionally, some employers assist working students with tuition costs.
How Much Does An MBA Cost?
While the cost of your online MBA can vary significantly, you should anticipate that the degree will require a significant investment of both time and money. The University of Illinois’ online MBA can cost under $23,000, while tuition from an elite institution like the University of Southern California can exceed $100,000. As a result, finding an online program that both fits your academic needs and budget can significantly influence the program you choose. Online MBAs also tend to cost slightly less than in-person options.
Scholarships For Supply Chain Management Students
Allied.com Military Scholarship: Offered via Allied Van Lines transportation company, this $1,000 scholarship is available to current and former active duty military members and their dependents. Applicants must submit a short essay outlining their academic and career interest in supply chain management and logistics.
National Black MBA Association: Founded to bolster academic and career opportunities for Black business students, this group partners with a sizable list of colleges and universities to offer generous annual scholarships. Participating schools include the University of Alabama, Rice University, the University of Florida, and Arizona State University. Often these awards are contingent upon admission into respective academic programs.
North American Van Lines Logistics Scholarship: The North American Van Lines moving company offers three $1,000 scholarships to qualified applicants interested in pursuing a logistics or supply chain management career. Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students at an accredited college or university while pursuing a degree in the field.
Rising Farmworker Dream Fund MBA Scholarship: Offering scholarships ranging from $250-$10,000, the Rising Farmworker Dream Fund earmarks funding for the children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Applicants must enroll in an MBA program within three years and can use the funding for test prep, application fees, and tuition.
Women in Logistics: The professional organization Women in Logistics offers an annual scholarship to students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in a discipline associated with supply chain management or logistics. Applicants must attend an institution in the San Francisco Bay area. In addition to the scholarship, applicants have access to a mentoring program, job bank, and various events.
These highlighted scholarships are just a glimpse into the awards available for students pursuing a degree in supply chain management. You can utilize our scholarships search tool for a more extensive list of financial aid options.
Online MBA In Supply Chain Management FAQ
Most online MBAs in supply chain management require students to complete between 30-50 credits before graduation. Typically taking between two and three years, students spend most of their time tackling essential business topics that prepare them for leadership roles in business environments. MBA degree-seekers supplement core B school courses with various specializations, including supply chain management.
Supply chains are involved anywhere goods are produced, distributed, and sold. As a result, graduates with an MBA in supply chain management gain specialized knowledge that’s widely applicable to numerous careers. Additionally, foundational MBA coursework prepares students for any number of leadership roles in business. Graduates from an online MBA program can anticipate expanded career options and earning potential.
The best MBA in supply chain management is the one that best mirrors your financial parameters and academic and career goals. When considering the online MBA that best fits your needs, applicants should consider cost, flexibility, online delivery, school and programmatic accreditation, and academic specializations. When researching schools, be sure to reach out to prospective programs to see if they’re a good fit.
In short, logistics fall under the umbrella of supply chain management. Supply chain management takes a broader view of a product’s life cycle and primarily focuses on managerial concerns. While similar, logistics takes a more micro approach to the flow of goods.