Why earn a master’s in supply chain management online?
Prepare for a career in supply chain management
Develop people, processes, and technologies to enable integrated supply chain management.
Help optimize the process of delivering goods and services
Gain graduate knowledge in a flexible format that features a blend of live online classes, asynchronous coursework, and in-person practical training.
Become a supply chain leader
Find a university that aligns with your goals and values so you can get the best education and support to advance your career in this growing industry.
Browse master’s in supply chain management online programs New
What is a supply chain management degree?
In a competitive global market that’s continually adapting to innovations in AI, a master's degree in supply chain management can help advance your career. It will equip you with specialized knowledge and an up-to-date, market-ready skill set. Whether you’re in logistics, procurement, operations, or strategic planning, a master’s in supply chain management can help you pursue various roles, including supply chain manager, procurement specialist, logistics analyst, or operations manager. These roles all play pivotal roles in optimizing supply chain processes, reducing costs, and enhancing efficiency in the timely delivery of products and services.
Admission requirements for online master’s in supply chain management
Different universities offering master’s degrees in supply chain management online will have different admission requirements. But all will be looking for candidates passionate about learning to create sustainable supply chains within their organizations and with cross-functional business savvy.
Most university admission requirements will include the following:
A BA or BS from an accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
Previous work experience or adequate familiarity with supply chain management
Topical and personal essays demonstrating the knowledge, goals, and career aspirations of the applicant
Professional letters of recommendation
In addition to master’s degrees in supply chain management, you can explore online bachelor’s degrees, different types of online master’s degree programs, or pursue online supply chain executive education programs.
How to apply
Before you begin the application process for an online master’s degree in supply chain management at the schools of your choice, research the necessary application deadlines, tuition, and scholarship opportunities, and prepare for the individual school’s admission requirements.
What you’ll learn
Supply chains are the heartbeat of commerce, linking industries and converting raw materials into products while sustaining marketplaces. Local and global organizations rely on supply chain management for informed decision-making and strategic direction. During your online master’s program, you’ll build and refine your knowledge of how manufacturing, operations management, inventory management, purchasing, and logistics management work hand in hand. While your program’s supply chain management curriculum will depend on the university you choose, most online graduate programs will have coursework covering global supply chains, risk mitigation, sustainable supply chains, strategic logistics management, import-export operations, and more. On top of learning supply chain management, you may also explore learning operations management, opt for learning logistics, or choose to specialize in supply management skills.
Online master’s in supply chain management concentrations
Many programs offer learners the opportunity to tailor their master’s degrees through coursework concentrations, equipping them with specialized skills for specific careers. Here are some examples of concentrations:
Quantitative Approaches: Learn to analyze and manage complex supply chains across borders and verticals.
Global Business: Learn about multinational finance and international trade, and discover how to look at the contextual framework of business from a political, geographical, social, and environmental point of view.
Logistics and Transportation: Learn finance, reverse logistics, logistics, and business law while discovering how to efficiently manage supply chains and operations.
Logistics Management: Study the quantitative and qualitative methods that inform decision-making across the entire supply chain ecosystem.
Logistics and Operations: Combine the basics of supply chain management and learn about accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and business law.
What can you do with a master’s in supply chain management?
Depending on the program and specialization you choose, you can pursue any number of different career paths. Thanks to the many broad, transferable skills you’ll be acquiring during your studies, you’ll be privy to numerous accessible entry points in this ever-evolving industry.
Below are just some of the career tracks you can choose:
Operations manager: Manage domestic and international relationships while overseeing processes, resources, and teams to ensure optimized productivity and performance.
Market research analyst: Help your organization make informed business decisions by gathering and analyzing data for insights into market trends, consumer preferences, and the competitive landscape.
Logistician: Ensure efficient, cost-effective operations by planning and optimizing supply chain activities such as transportation, inventory management, and distribution.
Import/Export agent: Facilitate international trade by connecting buyers and sellers, managing paperwork, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations.
Supply Chain consultant: Analyze, design, and implement strategic improvements to optimize processes while enhancing efficiency for internal or external stakeholders.
E-commerce supply chain manager: Oversee inventory, order fulfillment, and logistics to ensure seamless product delivery and customer satisfaction in online retail.
Teacher/Researcher: Educate others and investigate supply chain strategies, innovations, and trends to advance knowledge and industry practices.
Need more inspiration? Explore the many facets of a supply chain management career path.
Master’s in supply chain management salary and job outlook
The supply chain ecosystem is experiencing unprecedented growth, transformation, and challenges, which affects the job outlook for supply chain professionals. As global technologies, geopolitics, and social contexts shift like never before, it will require supply chain professionals to keep pace. These changes will create numerous new professional opportunities for those in supply chain management. For example, between 2022 and 2032, the job outlook for logisticians — those working to manage a company’s supply chain — is expected to grow in the double digits, or 18%, much faster than the average.Footnote 1
Frequently asked questions
There’s a significant difference between a master’s and an MBA in supply chain management, including cost and level of effort. The choice depends on whether you seek a deep specialization in supply chain (master’s) or a broader business foundation with a supply chain emphasis (MBA). A master's in supply chain management is a specialized program that delves into the intricacies of supply chain operations, logistics, and strategic planning. It hones expertise in supply chain-specific subjects such as preparing graduates for specialized roles within the field. Conversely, an MBA in supply chain management, offers a well-rounded business education encompassing finance, marketing, leadership, and entrepreneurship while also providing supply chain specialization.
Program costs vary significantly and depend on the school’s ranking and prestige, how long the program takes to complete, and where you’re located. Explore online supply chain master’s programs and find the one that’s right for you.
The typical online master’s in supply chain management program consists of 30 to 40 credit hours. The actual length of the program is determined by how quickly you can complete the credit hours, so anywhere between 12 and 20 months.
A master’s degree is a significant investment of time and money, regardless of whether the program is online or in person. In the case of supply chain management, an ever-expanding and dynamic industry, this investment is set to pay off, especially if your career goals involve moving up in your organization. Before applying to programs, consider your career objectives, the program's reputation, cost, and your ability to manage online coursework effectively.
Before applying to programs, define your short- and long-term career objectives. Consider factors such as the online program’s reputation, accreditation, and curriculum and how you’ll be able to network. Additionally, evaluate factors like location, cost, and the availability of financial aid and scholarships. If possible, visit campuses and attend virtual events, and be proactive in seeking advice from current students, advisors, and alumni. Ultimately, you should select the program that best matches your ambitions and preferences. Ready to learn more? Explore online supply chain management programs.