International supply chains are the invisible thread that connects our world. We saw a breakdown of this system during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Suddenly, this critical infrastructure was laid bare, exposing how fragile and interconnected our supply ecosystem can be.
The negative impact on businesses was nearly universal. As a result, demand for professionals with a supply chain management specialization increased and continues to surge today. According to EY, "supply chain visibility was a top three priority in late 2020 and the top priority in 2022."
The silver lining? There's never been a better time to break into the field of supply chain management (SCM). Anything produced, bought, or sold depends on these increasingly international supply chains. With a Master of Business Administration in supply chain management, your priority will be to ensure that goods, services, information, and money moves expeditiously between nations. An MBA degree focusing on supply chain management provides the leadership skills and business management savvy necessary to nab high-paying roles in the field.
You can study supply chain management in a full-time, on-campus MBA program, but you'll almost certainly have to forgo work for the two years the program requires. That's a lot of income to pass up, particularly if you have advanced to a management role. Enrolling in a part-time online program enables you to continue working while you earn your degree. Flexible scheduling and asynchronous course content allows you to study when it's most convenient for you. Studying online also means you can attend programs based anywhere in the world without having to relocate.
So, what are the best online supply chain management MBAs? This article answers that question and covers the following topics:
Supply chain managers oversee finances, materials, and information during a product's lifecycle. This lifecycle includes raw materials, people, processes, and any additional resources involved in producing, handling, and distributing goods. Supply chain management means controlling resource flow to maximize profits and minimize waste during this process.
International companies should adhere to the best global supply chain management practices. Inexpensive options are not always environmentally ideal, while sustainable alternatives are only sometimes cost-effective. Supply chain managers assess company priorities and figure them into their decision-making. They contend with many challenges, including procurement, communication, and warehouse operation.
A Master of Business Administration in supply chain management offers powerful fundamentals in general business education alongside an in-demand specialization. With it, you can obtain roles in logistics management, project management, inventory management, and a medley of other areas.
Supply chain management MBAs are business-centric, master's-level degree programs that combine general business administration courses with specialized SCM instruction. Experienced supply chain professionals often enroll in these programs to advance to senior roles, while professionals in other fields may enroll to transition into SCM careers.
General MBA programs offer a broad range of knowledge for those who may not know their preferred career path. On the other hand, an SCM-focused MBA typically offers advanced business concepts in the context of supply chain management. Students in these programs get an in-depth business education plus targeted SCM management experience, allowing them to thrive in this field. Specialized online SCM MBAs provide inherent flexibility, which is often vital for working professionals.
Top supply chain MBA programs include:
Admissions requirements for almost any master's degree program typically include at least a bachelor's degree. Some schools, including Arizona State University and Michigan State University, offer undergraduate supply chain management degrees—an ideal launching pad toward earning a master's in the field. Students might also enter MBA in supply chain management programs with political science, technology, engineering, finance, accounting, business and entrepreneurship, and logistics degrees.
Some MBA programs admit students who lack work experience in supply chain management, though many prefer applicants to show a relevant resume. Some require students to submit GMAT or GRE scores less than five years old. Others waive the requirement if students apply to online master's programs with extensive work experience.
Application requirements vary among universities, though most MBA programs request an application essay or statement of purpose, a resume, letters of recommendation from professional contacts, and official transcripts.
MBA in Supply Chain Management curricula depends on your chosen program. Some programs home in on core business concepts, while others focus more strongly on SCM.
MBA coursework typically includes:
Supply chain management courses in MBA programs include:
MBA programs in supply chain management also frequently require students to complete one or more real-world consulting projects, internships, or international business excursions that offer hands-on supply chain management experience before graduation.
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