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Compare Popular Online Supply Chain Management Programs

What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management has become a pivotal aspect of business in the digital age, and North Carolina offers a wealth of online and on-campus opportunities to pursue a degree in this dynamic field. With a range of educational pathways available, aspiring professionals like you can choose between various institutions that provide comprehensive supply chain management programs catered to preparing students for the demands of the industry. These programs usually cover everything from sourcing raw materials to delivering products to customers, ensuring that graduates gain a holistic understanding of the supply chain’s many facets.

In North Carolina, unique academic offerings include advanced education tailored to meet the surge in demand for supply chain experts. Moreover, meticulous attention is paid to ensuring that economic mobility is factored into educational opportunities, as graduates from supply chain management programs in North Carolina have reported favorable outcomes regarding job placement and salary potential. Both online and on-campus options are available, with each providing distinct advantages depending on your personal circumstances and career aspirations.

Overview of a Supply Chain Management Program

In North Carolina, your opportunities to specialize in supply chain management program are both comprehensive and tailored to industry needs, providing a blend of theoretical fundamentals and practical applications.

Concepts and Core Principles

When you enroll in a supply chain management degree program in North Carolina, you're introduced to a variety of core principles. These include procurement, logistics, operations, and the overarching flow of goods and services from origin to consumer.

Here's a snapshot of what you'll cover:

  • Procurement and Sourcing: Building relationships with suppliers and managing procurement processes.
  • Logistics and Transportation: Overseeing the movement, distribution, and storage of goods.
  • Operations Management: Ensuring efficient processes and quality in the production of goods.
  • Supply and Demand Balancing: Matching inventory with consumer demand through forecasting and planning.

Studying these concepts prepares you for the strategic and operational roles required in this field.

Importance in Modern Business

The importance of a supply chain management degree cannot be overstated in today's global economy. Your role will directly influence the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and agility of businesses.

Supply chain management programs emphasize:

  • Global Impact: Understanding how global supply chain networks can make or break a company's success
  • Technology Integration: Leveraging technology to optimize supply chain operations
  • Sustainability: Introducing sustainable practices within supply chains, which is not just ethical but also increasingly a business imperative

Supply chain management degrees equip you with the knowledge to drive business improvements and adapt to the dynamic market demands.

Online Education Pathways for a Supply Chain Management Degree in NC

Online Associate Degree in Supply Chain Management (AS)

An associate degree in supply chain management or business administration can be your steppingstone into this field. This is typically a two-year program offered by various community colleges in NC, can also include aspects of logistics. Upon completion, it sets a foundation for entry-level roles or for transitioning to a four-year bachelor's degree program.

National online rankings for AS in supply chain management

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management (BS)

For comprehensive knowledge and career advancement opportunities, a bachelor’s degree in materials management or supply management is the right choice. Offerings in universities allow you to delve into courses that refine your skills in design, planning, execution, control, and supervision of supply chain activities, as well as business analytics. These programs take four years to complete, but they will provide you with an edge when you start applying for roles as you will have a more comprehensive education than those with only an associate degree.

National online rankings for BS in supply chain management

Online Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management (MS)

Taking a more advanced path, a master’s degree in supply chain management or material management gears you towards leadership roles. NC State, for instance, offers an online Graduate Certificate in Operations & Supply Chain Management that is perfect for professionals aiming to specialize further and gain a competitive edge. These programs can take as little as 18 months to two years to complete, with basic courses in human resources and marketing, but the actual length depends on how much time you are able to devote to your education.

National online rankings for MS in supply chain management

Online PhD in Supply Chain Management (PHD)

A PhD in supply chain management is the pinnacle of academic study in the field, preparing you for high-level research, teaching roles, or even options in government agencies. These degrees require a significant commitment to studying advanced theories and conducting original research.

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Online Supply Chain Management Certifications

For a focused and swift enhancement of your skills, supply chain management certifications are available online and through programs from local institutions. Certifications from reputable institutions can set you apart and may be achieved at your own pace, though you might need to already hold a degree to earn some of the most common certifications in the industry.

Navigating the Supply Chain Management Field

Successfully navigating the field of supply chain management requires a mastery of several core competencies that are critical for efficiency and innovation in managing logistics and supply operations. Pursuing a supply chain or logistics management degree in North Carolina equips you with the foundational knowledge to make strategic decisions and utilize advanced technologies.

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Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

Your ability to analyze data and devise practical solutions is essential.

With a supply chain management degree, you'll learn to:

  • Evaluate complex supply chain scenarios
  • Utilize quantitative methods to forecast demand and optimize inventory

Courses within your degree program will focus on case studies and simulations to develop your analytical acumen, preparing you to tackle real-world challenges within logistics and supply chains.

Technical and Digital Proficiency

A degree in supply chain or logistics management involves comprehending the digital facets of the industry:

  • Software Tools: Proficiency in supply chain management software (SCMS) is expected, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and transport management systems (TMS).
  • Digital Innovation: You'll keep pace with digital transformation trends such as big data analytics and cloud computing that are reshaping the landscape of logistics management.

Curricula at North Carolina's academic institutions offer exposure to these technical tools, enhancing your digital fluency.

Technology and Automation

Understanding technology's role in automation and optimizing operations is paramount:

  • Automation: Grasp how automated systems streamline processes from warehousing to distribution.
  • Advanced Robotics: Courses will explore how robotics and AI contribute to efficient supply chain management.

Your education in North Carolina's supply chain programs will include insights into how these technological advancements are incorporated into modern supply chain strategies, giving you a competitive edge in your field.

Comparing Online and On-Campus Options

When choosing between online and on-campus supply chain management degree programs in North Carolina, you’ll want to weigh the flexibility of virtual learning against the immersive experience of a physical classroom.

Online Supply Chain Management Degree:


  • Flexibility: You can balance coursework with personal and professional commitments more easily.
  • Accessibility: No matter your location in North Carolina, you can access coursework.


  • Networking Opportunities: Face-to-face interactions with peers and faculty might be limited.
  • Self-Discipline: You must have strong time-management skills and self-motivation.

On-Campus Supply Chain Management Program:


  • Hands-On Experiences: You might have more direct access to internships and on-the-job training opportunities.
  • Campus Resources: You can take advantage of libraries, study spaces, and faculty office hours.


  • Scheduling: Classes will be at set times, which might conflict with other obligations.
  • Travel: You'll need to commute to campus, which can be time-consuming and costly.

By considering your personal learning style, career objectives, and lifestyle, you can decide which supply chain management or degree in logistics option is the most suitable for you in North Carolina.

Professional Organizations and Networking

In your pursuit of a supply chain management degree in North Carolina, engaging with professional organizations can significantly enhance your educational and career opportunities. Through memberships and involvement in conferences and workshops, you can gain access to a trove of resources and networking avenues.

Membership Benefits

By becoming a member of professional organizations in supply chain management, you unlock a suite of advantages that can propel your career forward.

Here are key benefits:

  • Professional Development: Access to exclusive training sessions and certification courses to fine-tune your skill set.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with industry professionals, which can lead to mentorship, collaborations, and employment opportunities.
  • Job Boards and Career Services: Members often get early or exclusive access to job listings and career support services.
  • Industry Insights: Stay informed about the latest trends and innovations within the supply chain sector.
  • Advocacy and Leadership Opportunities: Influence industry standards and practices by participating in leadership roles within the organization.


Conferences offer invaluable experiences for you to deepen your knowledge and expand your professional network.

  • Conferences: Annual or bi-annual gatherings where you can:
    • Attend keynote speeches from industry leaders.
    • Participate in panel discussions and breakout sessions.
    • Discover emerging technologies and strategies in supply chain management.

Your involvement in these events as a supply chain management student can significantly complement your academic coursework, and these are even more beneficial if you're pursuing a degree in supply chain management degree, as they provide direct exposure to industry practices and demands.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

When considering a degree in supply chain management, it's crucial to understand the financial aid and scholarship opportunities that can help offset the cost of your education.

Types of Financial Aid Available

Various types of financial aid are at your disposal for any type of degree, making education more accessible:

  • Federal Grants: You might be eligible for grants such as the Pell Grant, which you do not have to repay.
  • Student Loans: Federal and private loans can be borrowed, but remember that they must be repaid with interest.
  • Work-Study Programs: These programs provide part-time jobs to help cover educational costs.

Scholarships for SCM Students

Scholarship opportunities specifically for supply chain management or logistic degree students can significantly reduce education expenses:

  • University Scholarships: Many institutions in North Carolina offer scholarships based on merit or financial need for their online programs.
  • Industry Scholarships: Companies and professional bodies often offer scholarships. For example, the SCTL Outstanding Student Scholarship and the Matson, Inc., Diversity & Equity in Supply Chain Scholarship support students in relevant fields.
  • External Scholarships: Search for scholarships offered by organizations outside the university system, which can be applied to any accredited program.

Potential Careers & Salaries for SCM Graduates

With a degree in supply chain management, you have a broad spectrum of career paths available to you, each with competitive salaries. In North Carolina, your career options can range from logistical coordination to overseeing production processes, with the opportunity to rise to high-level managerial roles.


Job description: As a logistician in North Carolina, you can expect to facilitate and manage the supply chain operations of a company. Your role would encompass the coordination of the entire lifecycle of a product, from acquisition to delivery.


  • Bachelor's degree in business administration or supply chain management, Growth Potential 18% (Much faster than average)
  • Oversee product acquisition
  • Direct the allocation of materials, supplies, and products
  • Forecast and direct the alignment of a product’s demand and supply flows
  • Monitor and manage product risk

Median Salary: $79,400

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner:

Job description: With a logistics and supply chain management degree, you can also direct your skills toward planning and coordinating events. Your tasks will include handling every detail that pertains to venue, transportation, and scheduling.


  • Bachelor's degree, Growth Potential 8% (Faster than average)
  • Coordinate activities of staff, convention personnel, or clients to make arrangements for group meetings, events, or conventions
  • Meet with clients to understand the purpose of the event
  • Plan the scope of the event, including its time, location, and cost
  • Solicit bids from venues and service providers

Median Salary: $62,280

Industrial Production Manager:

Job description: In the realm of manufacturing and production, your degree equips you to manage operations, control the supply chain, and ensure product quality. As an industrial production manager, you would be looking at an average annual salary that can be fulfilling depending on your experience and the industry sector.


  • Bachelor's degree, 5 years or more work experience
  • Plan, direct, or coordinate the work activities and resources necessary for manufacturing products in accordance with cost, quality, and quantity specifications
  • Decide how best to use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals
  • Ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
  • Communicate with sales staff, customers, and suppliers

Median Salary: $125,900

Sales Manager:

Job description: With your expertise, you can step into a sales manager position where you’ll be responsible for setting sales goals, analyzing data, and developing training programs for sales representatives. If you become a sales manager in North Carolina, your salary will depend on the complexity of the products or services and the scope of the business.


  • Bachelor's degree, Less than 5 years work experience
  • Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer
  • Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service
  • Prepare budgets and approve expenditures
  • Monitor customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts

Median Salary: $157,610

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements for a supply chain management program?

Your eligibility for enrollment typically depends on the university's criteria, which may include a completed application, transcripts, test scores, and in some cases, relevant work experience or prerequisite coursework. Those who are aiming for an associate degree will have the lowest requirements, just needing a high school diploma or GED for most schools. Those who are looking to earn a bachelor's degree will likely need the diploma or equivalent, plus they may need to achieve a certain score on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, have a minimum GPA on their transcripts, and more. Those looking to earn a master’s or MBA often need to have an undergraduate degree and several years of work in the industry.

What are the top accrediting bodies for supply chain management degrees?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is widely respected. A degree from an AACSB-accredited institution signifies a high standard of education in business and supply chain management. If you cannot find one of these, you might also consider any program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Are there accredited supply chain management degrees available at North Carolina colleges?

Yes, North Carolina offers accredited supply chain management degrees, such as the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management at UNCW, which is the only MS program in this discipline in the state.

How do information systems integrate with supply chain management education in North Carolina?

Courses in supply chain management programs often cover information systems, focusing on how technology underpins logistics, planning, and operations for data-driven, efficient supply chain management.

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