What Can You Do With A Supply Chain Management Degree?

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In school, supply chain management is the study of the system in which goods are created, processed, and sold to consumers on a regular basis. It focuses on the fluidity and accuracy in which these steps take place to ensure top-quality products for consumers across the globe. What can you do with a degree in supply chain management? There are lots of paths you can take. This article explores the aspects of supply chain management, examples of universities and colleges at which you can earn a supply chain management degree, and what career options you can expect to qualify for once you enter the job market.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management focuses on various steps of the production process of all sorts of goods, including gathering the raw materials necessary to create those goods. Every single step is important, because without one step, you may find that your final product is not up to par for consumers. The supply chain encompasses many different steps and businesses to complete the creation and distribution of goods, and just a few of these steps are listed below.

Transformation – use of raw materials to create and process goods

Transportation – moving materials and goods from one location to another to continue production process

Storage – where final products are kept until they are needed in stores

Sales – the marketing and distribution of goods

How to Get a Supply Chain Management Degree

If you are interested in becoming part of a supply chain processing or delivering team, then consider earning a degree in supply chain management. It will set you apart from other employees, because with a supply chain management degree, you will better understand the business aspects of supply and demand and you will have gained exceptionally attractive leadership skills that employers look for in job applicants.

Tuskegee University offers a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management unlike any other. The university’s Management Department helps prepare students for careers of all sorts in the supply chain industry. Supply chain management and business management are two of the most popular bachelor degree programs within the department. Students learn various aspects of electronic business systems development, transportation services, distribution services, and other theories and techniques to apply to the global supply chain industry. Classes prepare students to deal with all sorts of situations, building their critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as improving their communication skills in the process.

Elmhurst College offers a fantastic program for a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, the Chicago area’s first graduate level degree program for supply chain management. It is also the only college in the area to offer an undergraduate program in logistics and supply chain management, as well. In these programs, students learn the ins and outs of the workings in supply chains and more detailed uses for knowledge of supply and demand. Students enhance their negotiating and leadership skills, as well as their critical thinking and analytical skills. Elmhurst College helps shape students to fit the career paths of their choosing by offering a wide array of courses to boost their knowledge and education in supply chain management.

The University of Arkansas multiple noteworthy programs relevant to supply chain management. The school offers a bachelors degree in supply chain management in which students learn about logistics and transportation of goods and materials, marketing research, international management, various economic aspects of supply chain management, and more. Classes are meant to shape critical thinking and communication skills and prepare students for leadership positions outside the classroom in the supply chain industry. Students can also earn a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management to help them fully understand the business world and how supply chains function successfully so that they are able to run supply chains smoothly, ensuring top quality performance within the part their company plays in the production and transportation of certain goods.

If you work full time and are unable to enjoy in-class learning, consider learning right from your computer through a supply chain management program online. The popularity of online degrees is rapidly increasing, what with the tight schedules of the working world. Making a living and earning a degree at the same time is easier when you’re taking online courses that you can complete from the comfort of your own home at any given time.

Careers in Supply Chain Management

While you’re still earning your degree, it is important that you consider the career paths that will become available to you once you earn your degree in supply chain management. This section contains just a few types of positions with potential salaries.

Entry Level Careers in Supply Chain Management

Upon earning your bachelors degree in supply chain management and completing hands-on training, often in the form of an internship, it is possible that you may qualify for one or both of the positions described below.

Business Process Consultant

A business process consultant analyzes a company’s productivity rate and product quality to make suggestions on how to improve its productivity strategies. With a background in statistics and business, a bachelors degree in supply chain management can help you land a job as a business process consultant. Business process consultants often specialize in one specific area, such as marketing or finance. They have outstanding communication and analytical skills.

Business process consultants can earn around $70,000 annually, depending on their education and experience levels.

Logistician

It is the job of a logistician to understand what consumers want in order to better prepare the company he or she works for to produce desirable products. Logisticians work with the overall production of goods, making sure each part of the production process is carried out thoroughly in a timely manner so that customers receive the best quality possible for specific products. Since they know what consumers are looking for, they can analyze the design and production of the goods rather than focusing on one individual part of production. Logisticians typically possess a bachelors degree in logistics, with background knowledge in supply chain management and other subjects related to the production of goods for purchase, and they are excellent at solving problems and staying up-to-date on the latest trends in society.

Logisticians can earn over $65,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Supply Chain Management

Once you earn a masters degree in supply chain management or you gain years of experience with your bachelors degree in the field, you may find that you qualify for one or both of the positions described here.

Supply Chain Analyst

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Supply chain analysts search for ways to lower the cost of raw materials for a company and in turn lower the overall cost of products. They also help with the introduction of new products from time to time. Supply chain analysts stay up-to-date with the latest supply and demand market trends and developments in order to accurately analyze pricing for buying materials and products. They have about five years of experience invested in the supply chain industry as well as a bachelors degree in business or supply chain management with background knowledge in finance and expert mathematical and analytical skills.

Supply chain analysts can earn a salary of more than $65,000 annually.

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers order materials and goods necessary to create or continue the production of goods within a supply chain. They oversee the buying and purchasing team and check for accuracy when it comes to ordering and receiving supplies. Purchasing managers typically start out as purchasing agents with at least a bachelors degree in business or supply chain management. After various years of training and experience, it is possible for a purchasing agent to climb up to a purchasing manager position. Having a masters degree in supply chain management is also highly beneficial and impressive to your employer, making you more likely than someone with a bachelors degree in business to move up to a management position sooner. Excellent written and verbal communication and leadership skills as well as advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills also help improve your chances of moving up the supply chain industry ladder.

Purchasing managers are capable of earning a salary of over $100,000 annually, with the right education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Supply Chain Management Degrees

Once you earn your degree in supply chain management, it is then time for you to jump into the job market feet first. The supply chain industry is growing, so more and more job opportunities are becoming available to people with supply chain management degrees. Below is just a brief list of some companies that look for people with degrees in supply chain management.

Whirlpool – locations across the globe; hires positions for supply planning managers and analysts, trade customer support specialists, brand managers, process engineers, etc.

Levi Strauss – founded in 1873 in San Francisco, CA; hires positions for supply chain analysts, planning managers, administrative assistants, etc.

Boeing – founded in 1916 in Seattle Washington, multiple locations around the world; hires positions for business process analysts, manufacturing operations analysts, project management specialists, systems engineers, etc.

INDUS Technology, Inc. – based in San Diego, CA; hires positions for logisticians, inventory management specialists, program managers, etc.

ICI Services Corporation – based in Virginia Beach, VA; hires positions for logisticians, financial management analysts, program analysts, configurations management specialists, etc.

If you are interested in making sure consumers receive top quality goods at reasonable prices, then a job in the supply chain industry may be the perfect match for you. Many jobs do not necessarily require a degree, but management positions often do, so do not hesitate, trying to figure out if you should get a degree. Go get a degree in supply chain management and you will be surprised at how successful you can become. Do your research, get a good education, and jump right into the job market to start your career in supply chain management.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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