Supply Chain Management

What Are the Best Companies for a Supply Chain Management Career?

What Are the Best Companies for a Supply Chain Management Career?
These positions aren't always easy to attain. Supply chain managers may need over a decade of SCM work experience and potentially a master's degree before they can be hired. Image from Pexels
Lucien Formichella profile
Lucien Formichella June 30, 2022

According to Gartner, the best companies for a supply chain management career in 2022 include Cisco Systems, Schneider Electric, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo.

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Pretty much everything we buy to clothe, feed, house, entertain, and transport us is made possible by a supply chain. The global supply chain encompasses the production and distribution of goods, from sourcing raw materials to delivering a finished product to a customer’s door. Companies like Amazon excel at supply chain management (SCM) and can usually fulfill a customer’s order (chosen from hundreds of thousands of products) with next-day delivery.

As a result, companies need qualified professionals with tech backgrounds to manage supply chain operations.

According to Ziprecruiter, well-paying supply chain management job titles (and expected salary ranges), include senior procurement manager ($103,000-$137,000), supply chain program manager ($85,500-$129,500 per year), senior sourcing manager ($90,000-$129,000), and supply chain systems manager ($81,000-$127,000). These professionals often specialize in one area of SCM. For instance, a senior manager of procurement helps acquire materials, while program managers take a macro view and engage in overall resource planning, product development, and inventory management. Though job descriptions differ, all SCM professionals work continuously to improve their supply chains.

These positions aren’t always easy to attain. Supply chain managers may need over a decade of SCM work experience and potentially a master’s degree before they can be hired for these positions.

This article answers the question what are the best companies for a supply chain management career? It also covers:

  • Do I need a supply chain management master’s to succeed in this field?
  • What is a master’s in supply chain management?
  • Top supply chain master’s programs

What are the best companies for a supply chain management career?

Every year, the management consulting company Gartner ranks the top 25 SCM companies. Its data points include companies’ ESG (environmental, social, and governance) practices, financials, and “community opinion” data.

This section offers an overview of Gartner’s top five supply chain management companies. It also explores current organizational SCM job openings, including qualification requirements, and expected pay.

Cisco Systems

Gartner selected Cisco for its efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and use of virgin plastic. It also received top marks for implementing circular economy concepts in the supply chain and expanding its use of cloud technology.

A director of product operations at Cisco—who helps create product operations strategies—typically earns $172,000 in base salary. Whereas, a supply chain data governance program manager (who works to improve data analytics and architecture) makes over $134,000.

Cisco prioritizes a candidate’s SCM work experience for each position. The director of operations must have at least 15 years of experience, while the program manager must have at least ten (plus a master’s degree). The most competitive candidates have additional skills in areas like data governance.

Schneider Electric

Schneider has made strides in sustainable development with its Tailored Sustainable Connected (TSC) strategy that incorporates sustainability as a prominent part of the supply chain process. Gartner says Schneider is “pursuing 70 net-zero carbon plants and distribution centers.” Last year, the company saved over 100 million euros with a “self-healing” supply chain built with machine learning.

A supply chain planning manager at Schneider Electric works with warehouse managers and suppliers to introduce new products that meet inventory standards. A supply chain planning manager works end-to-end (in every step of the process), needs a master’s degree, and is paid $121,638 in salary.


Colgate-Palmolive is engaged in revamping its supply chain system through analytics. To achieve this, it created its Sustainable Financing Framework to develop and implement initiatives that positively impact the environment and society.

The base salary estimate for a global commodity forecasting manager at Colgate-Palmolive is between $111,000 to $143,000. The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree in economics or a similar field and at least eight years of experience in analytics, sourcing products, and trading commodities. Forecasting managers work primarily in risk management. A global supply services category manager earns an average salary of $116,519. The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree in SCM, procurement, or engineering and at least eight years of experience in a relevant field. These professionals may also evaluate risk and are responsible for managing relationships with suppliers.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson invests in sustainability and utilizes an “outside-in” SCM approach to drive consumer growth. J&J also prioritizes internal and external visibility with its approach to maximizing the efficiency of its supply chain.

With an average base salary of $115,493, supply chain leader candidates need at least 10 years of SCM or engineering experience and a relevant bachelor’s degree. They work to improve the entire supply chain process and collaborate with professionals in different sectors, such as distributors, purchasing managers, production managers, and materials managers. J&J prefers candidates with a master’s, including a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Procurement managers, who earn an average of $131,350, work with suppliers to secure the best prices on goods like healthcare equipment and pharmaceutical supplies. J&J states that both professionals should have at least five years of relevant experience.


PepsiCo’s prioritizes sustainable sourcing in its supply chain.

A supply chain manager at PepsiCo designate should have at least two years of manufacturing experience, ideally in the food and beverage industry. They need a relevant bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in operations management, business, engineering, or a related subject. Supply chain managers work to improve efficiency in areas like warehousing and shipping, and earn an estimated average base salary of $130,857.

Demand managers (estimated base salary of $156,000) need at least three years of SCM experience in “cross-functional positions.” These professionals are responsible for forecasting consumer demand.

Do I need a supply chain management master’s to succeed in this field?

Many companies often prefer job candidates to have a master’s degree, particularly for competitive and demanding positions.

Most applicants to SCM programs have at least several years of SCM experience. However, a master’s in supply chain management can help you change careers to SCM from an unrelated field.

What is a master’s in supply chain management?

An MBA in supply chain management is a standard degree in business administration tailored for those who want a career in SCM management. If you choose this route, you will need to find an MBA program that offers the SCM specialization (most do not). Also, you should note that your foundation courses in leadership, marketing, finance, operations, communications, and analytics will likely be taught from a generalist perspective, not from an SCM point of view.

A Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MSSCM) is another option. In contrast to the MBA, the MS focuses on supply chain theory and practice. The MS offers a deeper dive into supply chain management, presenting fundamentals within the context of SCM issues and challenges. If your career goals include mastery of supply chain technology, finance, analytics, and planning, the MS may be the way to go. You will graduate from the program with a deeper understanding of SCM than you would get from an MBA program.

Admission requirements/prerequisites

SCM master’s degree programs typically follow standard graduate admissions requirements. You will be required to submit GRE or GMAT scores, official transcripts (from all post-secondary education), letters of recommendation, a personal essay (or essays), and your current resume. While students benefit from work experience, it’s not always an admissions requirement.


Traditional SCM coursework covers subjects like logistics management, supply chain security, inventory control, and electronic data interchange. Schools usually offer specializations or concentrations, which include pathway-specific coursework. MBAs offer traditional business classes like accounting and economics, in addition to relevant SCM classes.

Courses you’re likely to take in an SCM MBA program include the following (these are offered at Rutgers University):

  • Sourcing
  • Production Logistics
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Distribution
  • Inventory Management

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management curriculum includes the following courses:

  • Supply Chain Strategy & Customer Value
  • Supply Chain Data Modeling & Analysis
  • Supply Chain Finance
  • Supply Chain Information Management & Technology
  • Supply Chain Planning & Analysis
  • Strategic Supply Management & Sustainability
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Operations
  • Network Management

Top supply chain master’s programs

According to a 2020 study from Gartner, top US SCM master’s programs can be found at:

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Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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Categorized as: Supply Chain ManagementBusiness & Management