Get Matched With Supply Chain Management Colleges

Are you considering a career in supply chain management? If you have an aptitude for organization and analyzation and are interested in learning about product acquisition, allocation, and delivery, an associate degree in supply chain management may be a good fit for you. In most cases, institutions offer programs in logistics, which tend to cover various facets of supply chain management, business, and business management.

While a bachelor’s degree is typically necessary for most positions in this profession, associate degree graduates may be able to find entry-level employment in the following jobs:

  • Supply Chain Specialist
  • Import Specialist
  • Inventory Control Specialist
  • Purchasing Assistant
  • Parts Clerk
  • Logistics Coordinator

This is particularly true for individuals with related work experience, as some employers allow candidates to substitute this for a bachelor’s education. It’s important to realize, however, that the job market can be quite competitive. Most large companies with complex logistics and supply chains prefer hiring workers with bachelor’s degrees in logistics, business, or supply chain management. An associate degree can also help prepare you to continue your education. Credits earned at accredited community colleges can be transferred to other institutions relatively easily. This not only helps to fulfill bachelor’s degree requirements faster but can make attending a four-year college or university less expensive.

Compare Popular Online Supply Chain Management Programs

associate-supply-chain-management-successful-career

Requirements of a Associate Degree?

Associate degrees are undergraduate-level education programs designed to provide students with the basic technical and academic knowledge necessary for employment or further study in a chosen field. They are also known to provide graduates with many transferable skills that can be beneficial when applying for employment.

Most colleges and universities offer Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in supply chain management and logistics. It may be possible to find Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) degrees, but these tend to be broader and require more general education classes. AS and AAS degrees are generally better for individuals interested in joining the workforce right away, while AA and AAA degrees are ideal for those who intend to pursue higher education in the future.

While logistics and supply chain management programs vary, most associate degree programs consist of 60 semester credit hours. This equates to roughly 20 college courses, which generally require two years for full-time students to complete. It is worth noting that some colleges and universities offer accelerated programs that can be finished in as little as a single year. It’s also possible to graduate ahead of the standard schedule by claiming college credit from high school advanced placement (AP) classes.

Students should know that, if they are enrolled part-time, they will likely need more time to complete the necessary graduation requirements. Those taking only a couple classes per semester should expect to be enrolled for three to four years. Students should also know that many colleges offer online supply chain management associates degrees for those who are busy and want to take online classes from the comfort of their own homes and on their own schedule.

Top 25 Best Online Associate in Supply Chain Management Programs


1

Southern Arkansas University Tech

Score: 78.42

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,519
    • Out-of-State: $4,519
  • Net Price: $4,153
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 943
  • Undergrad Students: 943
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $26,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Southern Arkansas University Tech
2

Southern Crescent Technical College

Score: 76.27

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $3,126
    • Out-of-State: $5,526
  • Net Price: $4,354
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 5,018
  • Undergrad Students: 5,018
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $28,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Southern Crescent Technical College
3

Lakeshore Technical College

Score: 75.98

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,562
    • Out-of-State: $6,713
  • Net Price: $9,327
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,154
  • Undergrad Students: 3,154
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $38,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Lakeshore Technical College
4

Seminole State College of Florida

Score: 75.71

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $3,131
    • Out-of-State: $11,456
  • Net Price: $3,144
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Total Enrollment: 14,323
  • Undergrad Students: 14,323
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $32,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 26:1
  • Seminole State College of Florida
5

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Score: 74.94

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,571
    • Out-of-State: $6,731
  • Net Price: $10,027
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,710
  • Undergrad Students: 2,710
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $35,600
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
6

Fox Valley Technical College

Score: 74.51

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,826
    • Out-of-State: $6,977
  • Net Price: $10,220
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,181
  • Undergrad Students: 11,181
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $36,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 10:1
  • Fox Valley Technical College
7

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Score: 74.36

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $3,112
    • Out-of-State: $5,512
  • Net Price: $3,421
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,141
  • Undergrad Students: 6,141
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $28,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Georgia Northwestern Technical College
8

Oconee Fall Line Technical College

Score: 74.29

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $3,072
    • Out-of-State: $5,472
  • Net Price: $6,097
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,819
  • Undergrad Students: 1,819
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $24,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Oconee Fall Line Technical College
9

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Score: 74.05

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,814
    • Out-of-State: $6,965
  • Net Price: $9,574
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,661
  • Undergrad Students: 10,661
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $35,300
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
10

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Score: 72.05

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,642
    • Out-of-State: $6,793
  • Net Price: $10,302
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,364
  • Undergrad Students: 8,364
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $37,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College
11

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Score: 71.83

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $2,938
    • Out-of-State: $9,992
  • Net Price: $2,341
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 50%
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Total Enrollment: 20,363
  • Undergrad Students: 20,363
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $31,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 23:1
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
12

Wake Technical Community College

Score: 70.21

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $2,768
    • Out-of-State: $8,912
  • Net Price: $3,914
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Total Enrollment: 21,551
  • Undergrad Students: 21,551
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $31,600
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Wake Technical Community College
13

Gateway Technical College

Score: 70.06

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,766
    • Out-of-State: $6,917
  • Net Price: $8,274
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,881
  • Undergrad Students: 9,881
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $28,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 8:1
  • Gateway Technical College
14

University of Cincinnati-Clermont College

Score: 69.82

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $6,364
    • Out-of-State: $13,596
  • Net Price: $9,248
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,448
  • Undergrad Students: 7,448
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $42,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • University of Cincinnati-Clermont College
15

Washtenaw Community College

Score: 68.99

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,416
    • Out-of-State: $6,096
  • Net Price: $3,684
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,622
  • Undergrad Students: 10,622
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $31,300
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Washtenaw Community College
16

Shoreline Community College

Score: 68.46

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,256
    • Out-of-State: $7,082
  • Net Price: $9,442
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 54%
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,418
  • Undergrad Students: 4,418
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $40,400
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Shoreline Community College
17

Vance-Granville Community College

Score: 66.91

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $1,944
    • Out-of-State: $6,552
  • Net Price: $3,193
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,814
  • Undergrad Students: 2,814
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $26,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Vance-Granville Community College
18

American Public University System

Score: 66.07

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $7,360
    • Out-of-State: $7,360
  • Net Price: $11,172
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 48,668
  • Undergrad Students: 39,206
  • Graduate Students: 9,462
  • Grads Salary: $28,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 24:1
  • American Public University System
19

Eastern Iowa Community College District

Score: 64.99

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,488
    • Out-of-State: $6,096
  • Net Price: $7,584
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,145
  • Undergrad Students: 7,145
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $29,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • Eastern Iowa Community College District
20

Davidson-Davie Community College

Score: 64.51

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $1,978
    • Out-of-State: $6,586
  • Net Price: $7,278
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,921
  • Undergrad Students: 3,921
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $28,600
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Davidson-Davie Community College
21

Laramie County Community College

Score: 64.4

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $4,613
    • Out-of-State: $10,913
  • Net Price: $7,227
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 54%
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,770
  • Undergrad Students: 3,770
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $32,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Laramie County Community College
22

Genesee Community College

Score: 64.11

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,440
    • Out-of-State: $6,040
  • Net Price: $7,921
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 56%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,323
  • Undergrad Students: 4,323
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $31,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Genesee Community College
23

Pima Community College

Score: 64.01

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $2,298
    • Out-of-State: $7,614
  • Net Price: $3,523
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 18%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,293
  • Undergrad Students: 15,293
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $30,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Pima Community College
24

Forsyth Technical Community College

Score: 63.35

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $2,152
    • Out-of-State: $7,168
  • Net Price: $5,887
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,270
  • Undergrad Students: 8,270
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $27,400
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Forsyth Technical Community College
25

Northcentral Technical College

Score: 61.89

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $3,791
    • Out-of-State: $5,512
  • Net Price: $10,866
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,069
  • Undergrad Students: 6,069
  • Graduate Students: N/A
  • Grads Salary: $34,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Northcentral Technical College

Where Can You Earn an Online AS Degree in Supply Chain Management?


Most associate's degree programs in supply chain management and logistics are offered by community colleges. These schools specialize in two-year degree programs and play an integral role in preparing students to join local workforces. Schools of this type provide valuable technical skills training, as well as an affordable alternative to traditional four-year institutions. Notably, classes are also offered for personal growth and development purposes within the community.

While less common, some four-year colleges and universities also offer associate-level degrees. In both cases, classes may often be taken on campus or online. Online schools are gaining in popularity due to flexible scheduling options, which are often ideal for current professionals or those with other obligations at home.

Online Vs. Traditional Education in Supply Chain Management


As mentioned above, distance learning is ideal for students who already work full-time or have restrictive responsibilities that prevent them from attending classes in person. The convenience and flexible scheduling options can make earning a supply chain management degree much more attainable.

Not all career fields are well-suited to remote education, however. Highly technical jobs, for example, require students to gain significant hands-on experience in preparation for employment. Fortunately, supply chain management program students can choose to enroll in online or on-campus associate degree programs.

While coursework requirements rarely differ between online and on-campus programs, there are a few distinctions that should be addressed. The biggest difference associated with distance learning is the lack of in-person instruction. Reading assignments, video lectures, virtual forums, and quizzes can all be completed remotely, but a lack of opportunities to interact directly with instructors or gain hands-on experience can be problematic for some students. Similarly, online learners have fewer chances to network with peers and professionals in their field.

Some schools attempt to address these differences by offering a hybrid supply chain management program. Students can complete the majority of their coursework online, but are periodically required to visit the campus for residency sessions. This allows access to some in-person instruction, hands-on training, and networking opportunities but can be less accessible for those who hope to attend a program from across the country.

Accredited online courses programs offered by reputable colleges and universities are often as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts. Online degrees are valued similar to traditional degrees in this field as long as they are provided by an accredited institution.

Sample Supply Chain and Logistics Coursework for Supply Chain Professionals:


  • Supply Management Practices
  • Operations Management Techniques
  • Demand Management Techniques
  • Inventory Control
  • Supply Chain Operations
  • Inventory Management
  • Raw Materials Control & Distribution
  • Materials Management
  • Customer Service Policies
  • Effective Transportation Management
  • Project Management
  • Global Environment Policies
  • Human Relations
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Business Applications

What are the Admission Requirements?


Most colleges and universities have predetermined requirements that prospective supply chain professionals must complete before admittance is possible. Every institution is different, so it’s important to review prerequisites carefully before submitting an application.

While specific requirements vary from school to school, they often include some variation of the following:

  • Official High School Transcripts or GED
  • Official Post-Secondary Transcripts (if applicable)
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Application and Fees

Those who plan to enroll in a supply chain management bachelor’s degree program will need to meet additional admittance requirements.

In addition to the items mentioned above, prospective students will also need:

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement or Supplemental Essay
  • Scores from College Entrance Exams (SAT, ACT, etc.)

While most community colleges do not require SAT and/or ACT scores, they are often necessary to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. Many institutions set a minimum acceptable score for these entrance exams. As a result, students should research this requirement prior to submitting an application. Additionally, it may be necessary to take the SAT and/or ACT multiple times in order to achieve the desired score.

Find Online Supply Chain Management Colleges

Why Earn an Online Supply Chain Associate Degree?


There are many reasons to pursue a supply chain management associate degree or a logistics associate degree by taking online classes. Benefits include lower tuition costs, shorter program length, and the ability to join the workforce faster.

Notably, earning an associate supply chain management degree through online classes costs less than earning a bachelor’s supply chain management degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average in-state tuition, fees, room, and board at traditional four-year institutions for the 2017-2018 academic year was $27,357. Associate degree students, on the other hand, paid an average of $10,704. This is a significant difference, especially for individuals concerned about the expense of earning a degree.

The speed of completion for an associate degree is also a lot faster than a bachelor’s degree. While time frames can vary due to personal circumstances and enrollment status, most full-time students can take online courses and graduate from associate degree programs within two years. Those enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program will likely need four years to complete their graduation requirements.

Similarly, associate degree graduates can join the workforce sooner. Those earning bachelor’s degrees generally attend school for two additional years, during which they remain unable to work full-time and are likely to continue to amass student loan debt. The program outcomes for Individuals with an associate degree can qualify for entry-level positions after only two years. While they tend to earn lower salaries than bachelor’s degree holders, they can also begin paying off accrued debt earlier.

Additionally, associate supply chain management degree credits can be transferred to four-year institutions in the future. Whether you graduate or not, completed coursework often counts toward future degree requirements, potentially shortening your graduation time frame.

Why a Supply Chain Management Degree?


There are many reasons to pursue a degree program in supply chain management or logistics, chief among them being salary potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), logisticians earned a median annual wage of $76,270 in 2020, which is significantly higher than the median annual wage of $37,690 reported for all occupations in the country. Job outlook for this field has also remained steady for many years and employment opportunities are anticipated to remain stable.

Another benefit is the relatively low barrier to enter the field. While most employers give preference to candidates with bachelor’s degrees, there are some entry-level positions available to those with an associate degree. This means employment is possible after only two years of formal education. There are also many opportunities for advancement in logistics. Pursuing additional education and certifications can put workers on fast-tracks for promotion into management positions.

Additionally, individuals in this field can choose to take on jobs that require international travel. There are plenty of opportunities for those interested in working abroad, as well as local job availability for people who prefer staying in a single area. This offers great flexibility for employees of all types.

Finally, supply chain management programs help students develop a number of transferrable skills. Some of the most useful talents related to this field include critical thinking, problem solving, customer service, workflow optimization, general management, financial planning, and forecasting.

What’s Involved in an Associate Degree?


There are a number of community colleges that offer in-person and online associate degrees in supply chain management. It’s worth noting, however, that some colleges and universities offer associate degrees in logistics that cover topics directly relating to supply chain management related programs. Review your options carefully before deciding which program is best for your academic and career goals.

This associate degree is meant to provide the foundational knowledge necessary to be successful in the field. This generally includes teaching students about proper procedures, staffing, equipment, shipping regulations, and warehousing. Both domestic and international shipping laws are likely to be covered, as well. A supply chain management program is sometimes offered as a concentration within a broader business degree, but it’s rare to find programs specializing in a single aspect of the field.

Common courses for a supply chain management program

While the specific coursework and titles will vary from institution to institution, many associate degrees in supply chain management include classes such as:

  • Accounting
  • Professional Finances
  • Professional Logistics
  • Inventory Control
  • Quality Control
  • International Business Law
  • Purchasing
  • Transportation Methods
  • Import / Export Management
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Information Systems
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Communication
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Operations Management

What to Consider When Choosing an Associate Program for Supply Chain Management


Accreditation


When looking for a supply chain management program in supply chain management or logistics, it’s important to consider the college or university’s accreditation status. Earning and maintaining proper accreditation means the institution meets established academic and professional standards regionally, nationally, and/or internationally. Only accredited programs can guarantee students will be adequately prepared for work within the field after graduation.

Most community colleges and institutions offering associate degrees in supply chain management will be regionally accredited. Regional accreditation confirms that all of the college or university’s programs meet the expectations of employers within the region. There are several regional agencies that have been approved by the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA).

These include:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCACS)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools (WASC ACS)

Individual programs may also acquire accreditation beyond that provided by the regional accrediting agency. While not required, some associate degree business programs related to supply chain management are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Those planning to earn a bachelor’s degree should look for programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Students are discouraged from attending a supply chain management program that lacks accreditation. Degrees from these colleges and universities may not be accepted by other schools or employers. Graduates often have trouble transferring credits and may even be considered ineligible for some jobs in the field. Also, those who attend unaccredited institutions will not have access to federal financial aid and may not be eligible for many scholarships.

Further Supply Chain Management Education


Bachelor’s Degree


An associate degree in supply chain management or logistics can qualify graduates for some entry-level positions in the field, but most employers expect candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. These programs explore important concepts in much greater depth and are, as a result, often considered more valuable by companies and organizations.

Most bachelor’s degree programs consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, which generally takes full-time students four years to complete. Students often learn about quality assurance, inventory tracking, and reverse logistics, as well as how to improve the overall business process.

Master’s Degree


A master’s degree in supply chain management or logistics can help graduates advance their careers further. These programs are designed to build upon the theoretical knowledge and practical skills gained during undergraduate study. It may be necessary to earn this type of degree if you plan to apply for higher-level management positions.

Most master’s degree programs consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Most programs explore various advanced aspects of supply chain management, as well as business analytics. Students will have numerous opportunities to hone their decision-making, organization, and managerial skills.

MBA


Enrolling in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is another viable option for individuals interested in supply chain management. Many of these degrees offer concentrations in supply chain management and logistics. Graduates are likely to have more employment opportunities, stand out among job candidates, make more money and qualify for senior-level and management positions.

Most MBA programs consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. In addition to supply chain management, students can choose from a wide variety of concentrations including data visualization, enterprise systems, security controls, and business analytics. Graduates have numerous opportunities to better develop and hone skills in strategy, marketing, global business, and supply chain management.

Doctorate or PhD


Those interested in pursuing top-level roles in supply chain management and logistics may benefit from earning a doctorate. While not necessary for most jobs in the field, this type of degree can provide graduate access to positions as directors of operations and chief operating officers. Alternatively, they may prefer to take on jobs at educators within the field. Most four-year colleges and universities require professors to have doctorate degrees.

While curriculums vary, these programs often place a strong focus on research and the contribution of new discoveries. It’s common for instruction to include research methods, supply chain modeling, econometrics, and multivariate analysis. Students will also be expected to complete and present a dissertation. Every program is different, but most take candidates about five to seven years to complete.

Supply Chain Management Management Certification


In addition to obtaining a degree in supply chain management or logistics, you can choose to pursue a number of certifications that can help advance your company or enhance your professional qualifications. Earning certifications also ensures you stand out among other candidates when applying for employment. Additionally, current professionals who earn new certifications may qualify you for a pay increase or additional promotional opportunities.

With so many options to choose from, it’s important to research each certification closely before applying. Make sure the program you select is relevant to your current role or a position you hope to attain in the future.

Some of the most prominent options for database administrators include:

  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P)
  • Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)
  • Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
  • Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)
  • Council of Supply Management Professionals (CSCMP)
  • Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
  • Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

Individuals planning to open their own businesses as third-party pharmaceutical logistics providers will also need to obtain governmental certification through their states. Two of the leading providers for voluntary supply chain management certifications are the International Society of Logistics and the Association for Supply Chain Management. Both organizations offer several certifications within the field.

Get Matched With Supply Chain Management Programs

Available Careers with a Supply Chain Management Associate Degree


There are plenty of opportunities available to individuals who earn an associate degree in supply chain management or logistics. However, some employers may require additional education and/or certifications prior to employment.

Some of the most popular job options include:

  • Supply Chain Specialist
  • Import Specialist
  • Inventory Analyst
  • Purchasing Assistant
  • Parts Clerk
  • Logistics Technician
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Raw Material Specialist
  • Supply Chain Specialist
    Supply chain specialists make sure the business or organization they work for is prepared to function properly. They are responsible for ensuring that supplies and inventory items are ordered, received, replenished, and maintained at the necessary levels. These professionals also serve as the main point of contact for suppliers.

  • Import Specialist
    Import specialists detect and help prevent possible violations of United States customs laws, as well as importation and exportation regulations. They often work to ensure illegal drugs, products, weapons, and weapon parts do not enter the country. These professionals regularly coordinate with contractors, shippers, clients, and carriers.

  • Inventory Analyst
    Inventory analysts handle any potential challenges associated with inventory management. They are often responsible for determining the proper inventory levels for stores, as well as ensuring that inventory levels are consistently maintained. These professionals also work with employees to facilitate shipment arrivals, delivery offloading, and store stocking.

  • Purchasing Assistant
    Purchasing assistants help with the purchase of products for companies and organizations. They are responsible for stock and inventory levels at all times and must keep track of general sales and revenue trends. These professionals are also responsible for generating and running industry reports for stakeholders.

  • Logistics Technician
    Logistics technicians ensure that a specific company location has sufficient supplies and equipment. They are responsible for choosing, ordering, and distributing items as needed. These professionals must also develop and maintain databases to track, store, and analyze logistics data for their employers.

  • Warehouse Manager
    Warehouse managers are responsible for maintaining and receiving equipment. They supervise staff members in the warehouse, but may also work on the floor to ensure tasks are completed on time. These professionals often coordinate important tasks, enforce programs, safeguard the facility, and control inventory levels.

Salary Expectations


Overall, the earning potential for individuals with an associate degree in supply chain management or logistics is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for logisticians was $76,270 in 2020. This is significantly higher than the average median wage for all other occupations. Even the lowest 10% earned a decent salary of $44,190, while the highest 10% earned more than $122,580.

According to PayScale, the average base salary for a supply chain manager is $83,953. Pay is often directly connected to the number of years worked in this field. Those just starting careers typically earn about $62,000, while those with 20 years of experience earn an average of $95,000.

It’s worth noting that earning a bachelor’s degree can result in higher salary potential. Those with graduate degrees are also statistically more likely to earn more money per year.

Outlook


The outlook for logisticians and supply chain managers is also quite good. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be a 4% increase in job availability between 2019 and 2029. This is about as fast as the national average for other professions. Areas that will see the most growth are third-party logistics companies.

One major factor attributing to this anticipated development is the continued importance of the logistical and supply chain process in relation to company or organization profitability. Because these individuals have such a vital role, there is little chance of a decrease in demand for highly trained professionals in the field. Additionally, supply and distribution systems have become increasingly complex, which means those who have experience in the field will be even more valuable. Professionals who can use logistical software or have performed logistical work for the military will have the best prospects.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is earning an associate degree in supply chain management worth it?

Earning an associate degree in supply chain management can open up many opportunities for individuals seeking to enter the dynamic, ever-evolving field of logistics and inventory management. As more companies become globalized, the need for professionals with specific knowledge in this area continues to grow. But is earning an associate degree in supply chain management worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes! An associate degree not only provides a foundational understanding of important concepts such as forecasting, inventory control, and transportation optimization; but also prepares graduates to apply these skills in the workplace. With a two-year associate degree, students are able to gain entry-level positions at supply chain or logistics firms and begin their career trajectory. Additionally, they may even find they have transferable skills that can be applied across multiple industries or job roles.

Is supply chain management a stressful career?

While this is a job you can often do from a desk, that doesn’t mean it can’t be stressful. You might spend months without running into any issue with supplies, materials, or warehousing, and then, suddenly, you find that the materials you need to keep a manufacturing process running won’t be available from your usual supplier for several months. At that point, you need to deploy some operations management techniques and critical thinking skills to respond quickly to fix the issue and you should be willing to spend however long it takes to bring in a new supplier or the whole company will be in trouble very quickly. This is the form stress can take in this job. It can show up quickly, and only when you’ve fixed the issue can you relax. And these issues don’t care about your work or sleep schedule. After all, if you need to make plans to bring in materials that are only available from the other side of the world, that means staying up to solve the problem in what, for you, is the middle of the night.

So, is this just a desk job?

There are many parts of this job that you will be able to do by sitting at a desk behind a computer. However, that is not necessarily the whole story. After all, you may also need to check out the manufacturing process to ensure that you understand all of the supply and equipment needs. Or you might need to provide quality management by reviewing warehousing problems, and that means going to the place where supplies or products are stored. You might even need to travel far away to meet with a supplier so that you can get a deal in place before your supply needs are desperate. The amount of work you will need to do outside the office depends on your employer, so, if you have job requirements such as not traveling more than a couple times a year, that is something to bring up in job interviews and to make sure you are clear about before you accept a job offer.

What is global logistics technology in global supply chain management?

Global logistics technology is a key element of global supply chain management in today's modern world. It involves the movement of goods from one destination to another, usually across international borders and over long distances, with the help of advanced technologies such as warehouse automation, GPS tracking systems and predictive analytics software.

These innovations and supply management practices enable companies to connect their supply chains globally in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs. For example, by using GPS tracking devices on shipments, companies can quickly update customers on the whereabouts of their orders while also gaining real-time data about potential delays or problems that may arise along the way. Additionally, predictive analytics software can be used to forecast demand for certain products before they are even shipped out and identify possible bottlenecks in transit that could affect delivery times. This allows businesses to proactively address issues before they become costly disruptions.

Is inventory management skills needed in supply chain management?

Inventory management is a critical component of supply chain management. Inventory management involves the systematic organization, storage, and control of products within a business setting. It includes tracking items as they enter and exit warehouses, identifying parts that need to be replaced or replenished, and monitoring stock levels in real time so that inventory levels are accurately managed at all times. The goal of inventory management is to ensure that businesses have enough stock on hand to meet customer demand without overstocks leading to unnecessary costs. Additionally, efficient inventory systems help reduce the risk of stockouts or delays in fulfilling orders which can affect customer satisfaction negatively.

What are the demand management techniques in supply chain management?

Demand management techniques in supply chain management are integral to the success of any business. A key component of effective demand management is understanding customer needs, predicting future trends and being able to adjust supply chains accordingly. Some of the most popular demand management techniques include sales forecasting, inventory optimization and promotional planning.

Sales forecasting examines historical data and current market trends to anticipate customer demands. This method helps identify potential bottlenecks in the production process so that appropriate measures can be taken ahead of time. Inventory optimization focuses on setting optimal levels of inventory to meet customer demand with minimum stock costs. Promotional planning is another important technique used for managing customer demand by developing strategies for pricing discounts, product bundles or loyalty programs aimed at boosting sales. By combining these three techniques, companies can gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs while minimizing operational costs and ensuring steady growth over time.

What is the coursework like for operations management in supply chain management?

Operations management in supply chain management is a popular field of study, particularly for those looking to get into the logistics and transportation industry. This coursework involves studying all aspects of a supply chain from production to delivery, such as inventory, order fulfillment, and customer service. Understanding the principles of supply chain and operations management can help provide valuable insight into how companies manage their resources and systems in order to meet company objectives.

Students enrolled in an operations management program will be exposed to concepts like forecasting, inventory optimization and scheduling. They will learn about the different methods used by companies for managing goods including warehousing, transportation, packaging and coordination with suppliers. Course materials will discuss various topics such as product life cycles and demand planning that are essential for managing a successful supply chain operation. Furthermore, students will gain hands-on experience through case studies or projects involving practical applications of these theories.

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