What Can I Do with a Supply Chain Management Master’s Degree?

The world has become a global marketplace. Even the most remote locations on Earth now have the opportunity to sell their goods and services to customers worldwide through Internet-based businesses. The processes that allow for smooth (and even, at times, seamless) shipments that transfer assets across continents and oceans falls within the realm of logistics management. 

In the modern world of the 21st century, there is an increasing need for professionals who are skilled managerial coordinators, adept at planning, executing, and maintaining logical transportation systems that meet company objectives. Individuals interested in careers as logisticians or supply chain managers typically earn their graduate degree in Supply Chain Management. 

What is Supply Chain Management?

masters in logistics and supply chain management

Supply Chain Managers are responsible for creating systems and conduits that allow for the free movement of goods in a global marketplace. Sometimes the products being shipped are to fulfill customer orders; however, it is just as important that the supplies a company needs to operate to ensure there is no work stoppage. Some supply chain managers manage the entire life cycle of a product. 

A Logistician, which is another name for a supply chain manager, are the planners and coordinators of many inter-connected distribution networks that deliver goods around the world (or next door) as expected by the purchaser, or a company’s receiving department.

More specifically, supply chain management references any point in the process where supervision is required to ensure raw materials are appropriately extracted to the delivery of a finished consumer product. The complexity and length of the supply chain process depend upon the product, its components, and the distance each part must travel to make the finished product.

Supply Chain managers often find specialty positions as experts in certain countries and their international transportation rules and regulations. Supply Chain managers generally have an excellent eye for detail and have a knack for establishing systems of transportation within the established boundaries of the company and the law.  

Choosing the Best Supply Chain Management and Logistics Programs

The process of accreditation is the widely accepted system by which institutions of higher learning and professional schools earn an endorsement after an oversight agency evaluates the school and/or the program content. There are two primary types of academic accreditation in the United States – Regional Accreditation and Specialized Accreditation. Most schools are regionally accredited, but if you come across a school that does not operate with a minimum of regional accreditation, it would be best to select a supply chain management degree from an accredited university or college instead. 

Regional Accreditation

Regional Accreditation is granted to those schools whose programs have been evaluated and approved by one of the federal government’s regional accredited agencies through the United States Department of Education (USDE).  The USDE oversees these seven regional agencies’ processes.  

The process of regional accreditation is most likely to be perceived as the most elevated type of accreditation for institutions of higher education.

Most industries maintain oversight agencies that oversee more specialized accreditation. Because the specialty of supply chain management falls within the business industry, the AACSB – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the primary accreditation organization for supply chain management programs. 

Specialized Business Accreditation

Supply chain management accreditation for master’s programs is granted by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB is a global organization that supports the many facets of the business world, including the accreditation of a variety of undergraduate and graduate business-related degrees.  

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is headquartered in Tampa, FL, with offices in Amsterdam and Singapore. The AACSB is more than one century old and operates as an independent business oversight organization helping to manage the ever-changing business landscape. 

AACSB is synonymous with excellence in academic business programs, including supply chain management accreditation.

Students interested in enrolling in a supply chain management college program should confirm the school’s curriculum has received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Types of Supply Chain Management Masters Degrees

Earning a master’s of supply chain management business degree opens up many different career opportunities – across numerous industries. A master of supply chain management degree program builds on a bachelor’s in supply chain management and typically focuses on the skills, techniques, and technology required to operate as an industrial production manager or logistician who is responsible for the logistical transfer of goods and services of an organization.

A master’s in supply chain management degree program can be completed in a traditional class or through online masters in logistics and supply chain management programs. The skills taught in master of logistics and supply chain management prepare students to demonstrate excellence at – 

  • Incredible attention to detail. 
  • Cost basis estimates 
  • Problem-solving
  • Data analysis
  • Procedure development
  • Technical Competence, etc.

A Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree program’s curriculum may differ slightly depending upon the program and the institution of higher education, offering the academic degree of a Masters of Supply Chain Management. Certain educational supply chain management masters degree programs refer to the same degree in slightly different terms as follows –

  • A Masters of Supply Chain Management, or
  • A Master of Logistics and Supply chain Management

Coursework for a Masters in Supply Chain Management and Logistics degree program includes training in the following areas of business and operations – 

  • Transportation Economics and Fundamentals
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management
  • Logistics
  • Accounting
  • Global Strategic Marketing explicitly designed for degree candidates in the Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management program
  • Finance for Logisticians
  • The Management of Organizations and its Development
  • Adjusting to Change in the Supply Chain

Most graduate-level Master of Supply Chain Management degree programs require between 32- 40 credit hours to graduate and offer both part-time and full-time courses of study. Degree candidates for the Masters in Supply Chain Management program are generally required to complete the Masters in Supply chain Management and Logistics program in five years or less, although each Masters of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program may differ.  

Many students focused on entering the supply chain management field, generally attend a Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management program on a traditional academic campus, or online. Online Masters in Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree programs are discussed in the next section. 

Online Supply Chain Management Master’s Programs

In addition to the traditional Supply Chain Management and Logistics degree programs, there are Master of Supply Chain Management online degree programs offered from some of the most quality institutions of higher education across the country. Like its on-campus version, a Supply Chain Management online masters degree program offers the same quality education from the same educators who typically teach the online Supply Chain Management masters degree program, the on-campus Masters in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, or a hybrid online master degree in Supply Chain Management.

Most Masters of supply chain management online degree programs are typically offered through a college or university’s Business School or its management school in conjunction with its information technology school. Online master in Supply Chain Management programs generally require two years to complete if a student is enrolled on a full-time basis; however, most masters in supply chain management online programs permit part-time students to complete the program at their pace, but generally, within five years or less. 

Online Supply Chain Management Masters degree programs include coursework in the supply chain-related fields like:

  • Marketing
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Global Chain Management
  • Organizational Development, among others

Supply Chain Management masters degree online programs are typically offered with rolling admissions and multiple online masters in supply chain management start dates. 

The Benefits of Enrolling in a Master of Supply chain Management Online Degree Programs:

A Supply chain Management online masters degree offers remarkable convenience for working learners or busy Moms and Dads as it allows for asynchronous learning (and sometimes synchronous learning) that is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

  • A Masters of Supply Chain Management online degree program offers degree candidates the flexibility needed for learners working full-time or other busy professionals. 
  • Online master in supply chain management does not generally require any travel or trips to the school’s campus. This alone opens up academic opportunities to students as proximity to the school offering the Masters in Supply Chain Management online degree program. 
  • For students who wish to complete an Online supply chain management masters degree program at an accelerated pace, there are online masters in supply chain management programs that can be completed in under two years. 

Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management Programs

Many business professionals interested in the specialty area of Supply Chain Management (SCM) choose to enroll and complete an advanced certificate in supply chain management.

A certificate in procurement and supply chain management degree program works as a stand-alone supply chain management credential. However, most schools allow for the application of credit units earned through an online graduate certificate in supply chain management to be applied to a Masters of supply chain management online degree program after the fact.

In addition to business professionals, many Information Technology professionals (IT) choose to earn their graduate certificate in supply chain management as a career in supply chain management with a professional certificate in supply chain management. IT professionals possess many of the skills and experience (in systems management and tracking) required to excel as a supply chain or procurement manager.

The curriculum for a Master Certificate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics prepares graduates for rewarding careers as a – 

  • A Product Supply Lead
  • A Supply Chain Program Manager
  • An Operations Manager
  • An Import Management Specialist, among others

Supply Chain Managers are involved with a variety of phases in –

  •  Strategy & Planning 
  • Logistics
  • Data Analytics & Reporting
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales


The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) is one of the primary industry organizations that provide APICS Certifications, and the training required to earn the credential. ASCM has 45,000+ professional supply chain employees who benefit from the education and networking offered by ASCM

There are several supply chain certifications available to supply chain management professionals. So, if you are looking for –

  • The best certification in supply chain management available, or
  • A free online certification in supply chain management program, or 
  • An international certification in supply chain management program

Supply chain professionals should consider earning one of the following supply chain management certifications because employers are beginning to look for a candidate’s certifications in supply chain management as a method to evaluate a candidate’s skill, talents, and interests. Earning one of the following best certification in supply chain management speaks to one’s commitment to quality and the formal education processes in the supply chain management field –

APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) – a CPIM certification is for supply chain professionals interested in maximizing inventory and production within the organization’s boundaries. There are no educational or professional prerequisites.

APICS Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (CSCP) – the CSCP designation trains supply chain managers to master a company’s extended supply chain – from suppliers to final consumers. Training includes logistics, globalization, and supply chain management technology. Certification candidates must have an undergraduate degree, three years of business experience, and one of the following certifications – CFPIM, CPIM, SOCR-P, SPM, or CSM.  

APICS SCOR Professional (SCOR-P) – the SCOR-P endorsement is taught the primary components of a global supply chain using proven supply chain operational techniques. Certification candidates should have supply chain work experience. 

APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD) – The CLTD certification offers training in the specialization of the transportation and distribution of material goods, among other topics. Certification holders possess deep knowledge of strategy and planning. 

The above noted APICS credentials are available in a variety of learning methods. The exact method available depends upon the specific certification. From an organizational perspective, these supply chain credentials are recognized as intermediate to senior management in terms of content and coverage. 

Careers with a Master’s in Supply Chain Management

The Supply Chain Management (SCM)industry is constantly evolving and growing. There are many incredible career opportunities for those who have an interest in SCM and have considered the following questions –

  • What is Logistics Management?
  • What does a Logistics manager do?
  • What does a logistics management specialist do?
  • What are the available jobs for masters in supply chain management degree holders?
  • Are there any masters in supply chain management jobs located nearby?
  • Where can I find quality jobs after masters in supply chain management degree is earned?
  • Are there MBA supply chain management jobs for professionals with my experience?

As noted previously, career opportunities for those who have earned a Master Certificate in Supply Chain Management and Logistics are available across many industries. More specifically these supply chain management careers with masters degree include – 

  • A Business Planning Analyst
  • A Forecasting Manager
  • A Global Supply Chain Manager
  • An Operations Specialist
  • A Supply Chain Operations Supervisor
  • A Warehouse Manager
  • A Logistics Manager

What Is Logistics Management?

Without realizing, most people visualize the job of logisticians when asked to think about the field of supply chain management. Logisticians find rewarding careers in many differing industries. Potentials for those with a masters in supply chain management career include the following industries:

  • The Government
  • Consulting
  • Wholesale Distribution
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • eCommerceShipping

What does a Logistics Manager do?

A logistics manager is typically tasked with the responsibility of overseeing each facet of the supply chain. Professionals seeking a masters of supply chain management careers should fully comprehend that supply chain managers also manage the professional relationships between the many vendors required to keep the supply chain moving at all times. This requires a supply chain manager to understand not only the operations of the business but the demographic needs of the organization’s customers and suppliers. 

Supply Chain Management Master’s Salary Expectation

A supply chain management masters salary varies and depends upon the industry, the exact job description, the experience, and the education level of the supply chain manager job. The job responsibilities for those who earn a masters of supply chain management salary extend beyond that of an entry-level supply chain position, which generally includes –

  • Inventory tracking
  • Distribution tracking
  • Shipment tracking
  • Inspection for quality of goods, to name a few

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2018 average salary for masters in supply chain management is as follows – 

  • 2018 Master of Supply Chain Management Salary Yearly – $74,600.
  • 2018 Master in Supply Chain Management Salary Hourly – $35.86 per hour. 

Top Paying Masters Degree In Supply Chain Management Salary Statistics by Industry

  • Agencies, Brokerages, Insurance Related -$ 114,710
  • Food & Beverage Stores (4451, 4452) – $ 112,680
  • Security, Commodity Contracts, Financial – $ 112,630
  • Oil & Gas Extraction – $ 102,640
  • Software Publishers – $ 101,280

Top Paying Supply Chain Management Masters Salary Statistics by State 

  • Rhode Island – $ 105,730
  • Washington, DC – $ 95,000
  • Maryland – $ 91,710
  • Washington  – $ 90,240
  • Alabama – $ 87,600

Top Paying Masters In Logistics And Supply Chain Management Salary Statistics by Metropolitan Area 

  • Lake Charles, LA – $ 114,060
  • California-Lexington park, MD – $ 107,000
  • Providence-Warwick, RI – MA – $ 103,210
  • Lima, OH – $ 101,640
  • Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land, TX – $ 99,160

Industries with the Highest Level of Employment for Logisticians & Supply Chain Managers

  • Federal Executive Branch – 28,110
  • Enterprise/Company Management – 18,160
  • Management, Scientific, Technical, Consulting Services – 13,360
  • Aerospace Parts & Manufacturing – 8,940
  • Computer Systems & Related Industry – 5,530

AS of 2018, there were more than 169,000 professionals working as logisticians and supply chain managers in the United States. A masters in supply chain management salary range percentile is broken down as follows – 

  • Masters Supply Chain Management is starting salary (10% Percentile) – $ 44,440 per year or $21.36 per hour. 
  • Masters in Supply Chain Management salary (90% Percentile) – $ 119,950 per year or $57.67 per hour.

Professional Organizations in Supply Chain Management

Professional industries generally establish oversight organizations to help manage and advocate for the industry as a whole. Professional organizations are usually responsible for creating, implementing, and managing an industry-specific accreditation process that ensures graduates within those fields receive an appropriate education during their schooling.

Professional supply chain managers have the option of joining one of several professional organizations dedicated to the business specialty of supply chain management. 

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM)

The Association for Supply Chain Management is a global organization that offers guidance and leadership in the supply chain management industry. 

The American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)

The APICS operates as a global organization in the field of operations and supply chain management. Since the 1950s, the APICS has supported supply chain industry professionals by offering sound guidance regarding purchasing, inventory, logistics, and production.

APICS offers a coaching mentorship and career development programs for supply chain industry professionals seeking to advance their careers. 

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

The CSCMP offers global supply chain management professionals career development options to its members worldwide. CSCMP provides cutting-edge research data to supply chain professionals and logisticians across many industries. CSCMP offers its members access to an international network of supply chain managers and experts.

CSCMP provides visibility to logistics companies and supply chain professionals across the world. 

The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA)

Members of the International Warehouse Logistics Association tend to specialize in building efficiencies into warehousing and the transportation of goods. IWLA’s membership offers specialized and exclusive professional discounts, which helps reduce costs significantly. The International Warehouse Logistics Association has approximately 500 members. 

The Material Handling Association of America (MHIA)

The Material handling Association of America is a supply chain management professional organization that offers professional guidance regarding the ways in which to efficiently apply logistic solutions to supply chain management issues. Members represent the supply chain subspecialties of software, equipment, system simulators, and integrators for supply chain management professionals. Like most professional organizations, MHIA offers its members educational guidance, mentorship, and networking opportunities with other supply chain managers.

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl