25 Best Online Supply Chain Management Degrees [2020 Guide]

Every day, goods and materials move from one place to another, and people who have an Online Supply Chain Management Degree are often the ones overseeing the process. Whether you’re interested in procurement, logistics or transportation, earning a supply chain degree can provide the necessary education and credentials for getting started in this field.

Online Supply Chain Management Degrees

Best Online Supply Chain Management Degrees

Supply Chain Management

supply chain manager giving instructions to his staff

Studying for a degree in supply chain management will prepare you to oversee distribution processes from beginning to end. Whether you want to be involved with coordinating the transportation of raw materials, securing competitive pricing or managing a distribution center, a supply chain degree can help you achieve your goals.

The courses for your program will introduce you to the fundamental concepts in supply chain management, both at home and abroad. You’ll learn about warehousing, transportation, and purchasing.

There’s a good deal of data analysis that goes into supply chain management positions, so you’ll need to take classes on statistics and modeling. There will be business classes on accounting, finance, and management as well.

With this degree, you might find work as a buyer or a purchasing agent. You could also take jobs in logistics, warehousing or distribution or you might simply hold the title of supply chain manager.

Logistics & Transportation

supply chain manager checking the products before shipping

A degree program in logistics and transportation focuses on one sector of the supply chain field. If your interest lies in making sure that material and products get where they need to go, then this degree could be for you.

To become a logistics expert, you’ll take classes on the various forms of transportation that are used for moving goods from one place to another. The topics may include rail, truck, ship, and air and pipeline transportation. You’ll also discuss the intricacies of transporting items across international borders.

As a logistics student, you will talk about storing items, packaging them, and overseeing distribution. There may be classes on logistics technology, and you may learn to evaluate the financial impacts of your transportation choices.

Your studies may prepare you to work as a transportation or logistics manager. You could also be a consultant or an analyst who advises other organizations on logistics matters.

Supply Chain Management Curriculum & Courses

supply chain management students studying in library

For a logistics and supply chain management degree, you will take a variety of classes about the fundamentals of materials management and product distribution. The curriculum will also provide a business foundation so you’ll be prepared to operate within the context of a retail, manufacturing, or service company.

  • Accounting: This business-oriented course will prepare you to keep accurate records or interpret financial reports.
  • Financial Considerations in Supply Chain Management: You will discuss the role that transportation decisions play in the overall health of your organization.
  • Global Supply Chain: Moving goods across borders requires a keen understanding of international laws and customs regulations.
  • Introduction to Supply Chain Management: This foundational class will set the course for your studies. You’ll learn about the various aspects of the supply chain and how they interact with one another.
  • Logistics Systems: In this class, you’ll work with digital tools that logisticians use to improve quality and efficiency.
  • Modeling and Statistics: You will learn to work with data so you can analyze past trends and make future predictions.
  • Purchasing and Inventory: You’ll study how to keep necessary items stocked by negotiating with suppliers, managing contracts, and tracking inventory.
  • Quality Control: This class will provide tools for ensuring that products meet quality standards and supply chain processes are carried out in economical, efficient ways.
  • Transportation Methods: You’ll cover a variety of transportation methods, and you will discuss the logistics of combining multiple methods along your supply chain.
  • Warehousing: The layout of your warehouse will affect your company’s quality and efficiency, so you’ll explore ways to maximize your storage setup.

In addition to your school’s core curriculum, you may also have opportunities to enroll in electives. These may help you get ready to carry out supply chain work in a certain industry.

Supply Chain Management Careers & Salaries

Supply Chain Management Careers & Salaries

When you first graduate college, you may start with entry-level jobs in the field of supply chain and logistics. For example, you could become an expediting clerk, a purchasing agent or a buyer. There’s also a chance that one of your first jobs could be as a logistics analyst or a logistics engineer.

As you gain experience, you’ll move up in the ranks and may become qualified to take management positions. These jobs will give you greater responsibilities and the opportunity to supervise teams of employees.

You might be a purchasing, logistics, transportation, or warehousing manager. Other roles could put you in charge of contracts, procurement, or inventory.

Supply chain professionals work in a wide variety of industries. You may need to become quite familiar with your company’s area of focus so that you’ll know the best way to handle materials and troubleshoot problems.

supply chain manager checking the supplies

Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and transportation companies rely on the expertise of logisticians. The government is another major employer of logistics experts. Schools, hospitals, and other institutions also need the insights of procurement and storage professionals.

Supply chain management doesn’t always deal with tangible goods or products to be displayed on store shelves. You could also oversee the movement of energy supplies or other critical infrastructure components. Sometimes, these materials move through wires or pipelines instead of by truck or boat.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a logistician is $74,750 per year. The lowest 10% of salaries are under $44,020, and the highest 10% of earnings are over $120,400. Government and manufacturing positions often have the highest salary rates.

 

Career Median Annual Salary
Purchasing Manager $121,110
Procurement Manager $81,691
Supply Chain Consultant $81,054
Logistician $74,750
Logistics Engineer $70,080
Buyer or Purchasing Agent $64,380
Production Manager $58,964
Logistics Analyst $57,487
Inventory Manager $53,263
Expediting Clerk $34,500

 

Your supply chain logistics salary will vary based on the job and how much education and experience you have. To increase your earning potential, you may want to pursue a graduate degree, such as an MBA in Logistics, at some point during your career.

Choosing an Online Supply Chain Management Degree

supply chain management student studying online

Selecting a supply chain logistics program is a personal decision. Your choice may be based on both a program’s strengths and your preferences for how you want your college experience to look.

  • Accreditation – Regional accreditation is the most important distinction to look for. Since supply chain management is a business program, you may also want to consider programmatic accreditation from an organization like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Degree and concentrations – Some schools have broadly focused supply chain management programs, but others focus more specifically on logistics and transportation. Within those majors, select schools may offer specialization tracks, such as global supply chains or reverse logistics.
  • Experiences – You may want to look for a program that includes practicums, internships or other field experiences.
  • Format – One of the first things to consider in terms of format is whether a program requires an on-campus, online or hybrid attendance model. Even among online programs, there can be great variation, such as whether a school uses a traditional semester calendar, a year-round accelerated schedule or a self-paced system.
  • Length of study – While many people think of a bachelor’s degree as a four-year program, some accelerated online programs can be completed much more quickly — sometimes in just two years or less.
  • Tuition – When comparing the cost of schools, be sure to consider the price per credit hour, any additional fees and the effect that your financial aid package will have.

Ultimately, which school you choose is up to you. Come up with a list of criteria on which you’d like to base your decision, evaluate a number of different programs, and formulate a list of your top choices. Send applications to those schools, and then make your final choice after receiving one or more acceptance letters.

Admissions Requirements

supply chain management student studying at a cafe

A school will make its determination about admitting you to the supply chain and logistics program based on your application. You’ll need to include several components to help give the admissions committee a well-rounded understanding of your strengths and abilities. In addition to a basic application form and a fee, you may need to submit the following materials.

  • Essay – Answering an essay question helps the school get to know you and your goals.
  • References – High school teachers or supervisors from professional or volunteer work can write letters about the strengths that you’ll bring to the program.
  • Test scores – The school may request the results of your ACT or SAT exam.
  • Transcripts – Records of your high school academic work will show whether you took college-prep classes and what grades you received.

If you have any questions about a college’s requirements, reach out to the admissions staff for assistance.

Accreditation

Supply Chain Management Accreditation

Schools that consistently do a good job of educating students are eligible to receive regional accreditation. This distinction can only be given by one of the seven regional accreditors approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These include the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Regionally accredited colleges are more respected than unaccredited ones. Employers will trust your degree more if it came from an accredited school.

Other schools will be more willing to accept your college credits if they came from a regionally accredited institution. This will be useful if you decide to switch colleges before completing your degree. You’ll also need an accredited degree if you want to pursue a master’s program after graduation.

Also, federal financial aid can only be used at accredited schools, such as those with regional accreditation.

Supply Chain Management Professional Organizations

supply chain managers attending a conference

You can boost your knowledge and build a network of supply chain colleagues when you join a professional association. These groups offer opportunities for interaction, learning, and industry support. Your membership dues will grant you access to an organization’s resources and will contribute to its advocacy efforts.

  • American Production and Inventory Control Society – Once an independent organization, APICS has now merged with the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), but APICS’ certification programs are still available.
  • Association for Supply Chain Management – On a mission to help professionals continually refine and upgrade their supply chain procedures, ASCM offers membership benefits like seminars, online courses, certification discounts, digital tools, and publications.
  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – CSCMP provides mentoring programs, magazines, continuing education, job search tools, and other resources to help its members enhance the field of supply chain management.
  • Institute for Supply Management – Supporting supply chain professionals since 1915, ISM offers free continuing education classes, a magazine subscription, weekly resources, online tools, industry research reports, professional events and local chapters.
  • International Warehouse Logistics Association – IWLA represents warehouse operators and those who provide services for the warehousing industry, and members can take advantage of special interest councils, regular communications, professional discounts, job boards and legal guidance.
  • Material Handling Industry of America – MHA provides market insights, print and digital publications, online tools, networking opportunities and special interest groups for people who work in materials handling and logistics.

Before joining a professional organization, you may want to explore whether a student membership rate is available.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

financial aid for supply chain management students

There’s always a cost involved with going to college, but financial assistance can help reduce your school expenses.

Government aid is available in the form of grants and loans. The distinction is that grants do not need to repaid, but you’ll eventually have to pay back your loans along with interest. Both the federal government and your state of residence may have programs for which you qualify.

Scholarships may make a sizeable dent in your college costs. You can win these financial gifts by submitting applications to charitable organizations and other scholarship programs. Good grades, personal achievements, leadership experience or volunteer service may set you apart as a top candidate for these awards.

supply chain management student searching for scholarships online

Scholarships may range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. An award may be a one-time gift, or it may be renewable for each year of your schooling.

If you still need more funding after accruing government assistance and scholarships, you may want to consider private loans. Although these loans can be useful, you should be aware that they might carry higher interest rates than their government-issued counterparts might.

For those already in the workforce, you may be able to receive tuition assistance from your employer. Ask your human resources department whether your company offers such a program for employees.

To learn more about your options for college assistance, consult the Federal Student Aid website or your school’s financial aid department.

Is Supply Chain Management a Good Degree

Is Supply Chain Management a Good Degree?

Supply chain professionals are needed throughout many industries, and positions for logisticians are growing at a rate of about 5%. A logistics degree may position you as a prime candidate for some of those roles. Having a bachelor’s degree is especially important if you have your sights set on a management position.

In addition, supply chain curricula often include a business core. Those classes will provide lessons that can be applied to many different jobs.

How Much Can You Make With a Supply Chain Management Degree?

supply chain manager giving instructions to employee

In an entry-level position as an expediting clerk, you may earn around $34,500 each year. As you move into supply chain logistics management positions, your salary is likely to increase. Purchasing managers, for example, earn an average annual salary of $121,110.

Wages for logisticians usually fall somewhere in the middle of those two ends of the spectrum. The median yearly salary for that job category is $74,750.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management?

For most bachelor’s degree programs, you’ll need to earn around 120 credit hours before graduation. If you enroll in a traditional college program, it will probably take you around four years to achieve that goal.

With online studies, you may be able to graduate more quickly. Many schools offer year-round enrollment and fast-track classes. With that approach, you may be able to complete your degree in just one to three years.

What Is the Average Supply Chain Management Degree Salary?

supply chain manager talking to clients on the phone

According to the Center on Education and the Workforce, people who hold bachelor’s degrees in operations logistics earn a median annual salary of $71,000. Those below the 25th percentile earn less than $51,000 each year. Workers above the 75th percentile earn more than $98,000 annually.

Your job title, your experience level, and your geographic location may influence your personal earnings.

Is a Supply Chain Degree Worth It?

If you’re interested in improving business operations through the careful and efficient movement of goods and materials, then a supply chain degree may be an ideal fit for you. Once you enter the workforce, holding a supply chain or logistics degree may help you find a good starting position and later advance to supervisory or management roles.

What Are the Top Undergraduate Supply Chain Management Schools?

Top Undergraduate Supply Chain Management School

According to U.S. News, Michigan State University is the top college in the nation for a supply chain and logistics degree. Arizona State University – Tempe and Pennsylvania State University – University Park ties for the second spot. Ohio State University – Columbus and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor round out the top five.

Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Online?

Yes, logistics degrees are offered in online formats. Digital studies can be a convenient, flexible way to earn a bachelor’s degree without needing to move away, quit your job or entirely rearrange your schedule. Being able to complete your degree quickly is another benefit that often comes with online study.

What Can You Do With a Supply Chain Management Degree?

Supply chain logistics jobs include working as an expediting clerk, a purchasing agent, a buyer, or a logistics specialist. Gaining experience may help you land a management role, such as being an inventory, production, procurement or purchasing manager. You could also work as a consultant who advises other companies on their operational procedures.

Government jobs are common in this field, but you might also work for a transportation company, a manufacturer, or a wholesaler.

Are there Affordable Online Supply Chain Management Degree Options?

supply chain management student studying at home

The cost of a college degree can vary widely between schools, but you may be able to find a program with a per-credit-hour price of around $300 to $500.

If you’re on a limited budget, remember that financial aid and scholarships can reduce your tuition obligations. You may find that in-state public schools have some of the most affordable rates.

What are the Advantages of an Accredited Online Supply Chain Management Degree Program?

Attending a school with regional accreditation means that you can have confidence in the education that you’re receiving. It also means that employers will look upon your degree more favorably, and so will other higher education institutions. That will be important if you want to transfer credits elsewhere or get a master’s degree.

Getting Your Supply Chain Management Degree Online

supply chain managers checking the inventory

If you want to work in the fast-paced world of supply chain management, you’ll need to be prepared for the job. A bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or logistics can provide the skills and knowledge that will help you get ahead in this field.

Online study may allow you to earn a supply chain and logistics bachelor’s degree on a convenient schedule. Take time to explore the online supply chain management degree options that are available to you. Once you submit applications and are accepted, you’ll be on your way to earning a degree in this exciting field.

List of 25 Best Supply Chain Management Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

#1  Anderson University

Anderson University campus

  • BBA in Supply Chain Management

Anderson University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2  Arizona State University

Arizona State University campus

  • BS in Supply Chain Management

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

#3  Athens State University

Athens State University campus

  • BS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Athens State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#4  Ball State University

Ball State University campus

  • BS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Bellevue University

Bellevue University campus

  • BS in Supply Chain, Transportation and Logistics Management

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Brandman University

Brandman University campus

  • BBA in Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • BBA in Supply Chain Systems

Brandman University is accredited by the WSCUC Senior College and University Commission.

#7  Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University campus

  • BS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Colorado Christian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#8  East Carolina University

East Carolina University campus

  • BSBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management

East Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University campus

  • BS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Florida International University

Florida International University campus

  • BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville campus

  • BAS in Logistics

FSCJ is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#12  Franklin University

Franklin University campus

  • BS in Operations and Supply Chain Management

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#13  Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University campus

  • BAS in Supply Chain Logistics

Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#14  Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University campus

  • BABA in Supply Chain Management
  • BSBA in Supply Chain Management

Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15  Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University campus

  • BA in Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • BPS in Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • BS in Supply Chain and Operations Management

Lipscomb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#16  Metropolitan State University

metropolitan state university campus

  • BS in Supply Chain and Operations Management

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#17  Minnesota State University – Moorhead

Minnesota State University Moorhead campus

  • BS in Global Supply Chain Management

Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University campus

  • BAS in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#19  Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University campus

  • BSBA in Global Supply Chain Management

Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#20  Oregon State University

Oregon State University campus

  • BABA in Supply Chain and Logistics Management
  • BSBA in Supply Chain and Logistics Management

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#21  Portland State University

Portland State University campus

  • BS in Supply and Logistics Management

Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#22  Southern Wesleyan University

Southern Wesleyan University campus

  • BSBA in Supply Chain Management

Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  Temple University

Temple University campus

  • BBA in Supply Chain Management

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#24  University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas campus

  • BSBA in Supply Chain Management

The U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#25  Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University campus

  • Bachelor of Business in Supply Chain Management

Western Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
Author
Steph Cromwell
Steph Cromwell
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