How To Apply For Online Supply Chain Management Certification
Supply chain management is essential to ensuring consumers receive a variety of products; everything from food and medicine to clothes and technology.
Supply chain managers oversee the procurement of raw products, manufacturing processes, and distribution.
Their role includes maintaining excellent working relationships with suppliers and colleagues, ensuring that logistics and transport run on time, and mitigating potential delays or disruptions.
There are a number of supply chain management programs that can prepare candidates for this demanding career. Students will learn how to use essential information systems and plan transportation efficiently, among other skills.
Certification is available for people already in the supply chain and logistics industry. It is the perfect way to upskill to further their career.
This article will provide you with everything you need to know about applying for supply chain management certification online.
Benefits of Online Supply Chain Management Certification Programs
Online learning offers a range of benefits to students, especially in supply chain management. Supply chain management certification is typically for people already working in the industry. Managing to fit education around existing work responsibilities is a major hurdle for many supply chain professionals
Obtaining supply chain management certification online is a more flexible way of adding to your credentials.
Online courses typically have flexible learning timetables to fit around busy schedules. Being able to continue working while studying is highly valued by most professionals wanting to move up in their field.
Virtual programs are often cheaper than traditional ones – lower overheads allow learning facilities to lower rates.
Students also won’t find the constraints of location hindering their education. Online learning can be carried out anywhere. This gives candidates a greater choice and removes the time and expense of traveling to and from campus.
There are many online courses that can be taken to supplement your education, which is ideal for those looking at different career paths within the supply chain.
Top Online Supply Chain Management Certification Programs
There is a range of certification programs that can benefit people in the supply chain industry. They are ideal for those that want to move into management positions. These include:
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification provides candidates with essential knowledge that will equip them for the end-to-end journey of supply chain management.
You will start by learning the design of supply chains, then move on to supply chain planning and executing a supply chain. This is followed by learning best practices and how to improve supply chains.
Applicants typically require one of the following:
- Business experience of no less than three years
- Bachelor’s degree
- A recognized equivalent of a bachelor’s degree
One of the following active certifications:
This course will provide you with the knowledge required to progress into supply chain management. The online course typically lasts for up to 12 weeks. This means you will be able to move on quickly with your career development and education.
Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
The CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) provides the industry standard education for:
- Materials management
- Production planning
- Master scheduling
It explores these disciplines and how they are applied across extended supply chains.
This course is suitable for various people within the supply chain industry, including:
- ERP system users and IT professionals
- People that work with manufacturing technologies and systems
- Employees with experience with the master production schedule
- Those working in MRP (materials requirement planning)
- Procurement planners
- Capacity requirement planners
- Inventory control and management
- Scheduling planners
- People in manufacturing finance
- Employees with responsibilities that include measuring production performance
The course is comprised of two parts, each followed by an exam. Part one of the CPIM covers general supply chain management.
Part two of the CPIM covers
- SMR (strategic management of resources)
- MPR (master planning of resources)
- DSP (detailed scheduling & planning)
- ECO (execution & control of operations)
Flexible online learning allows you to study at your own pace and schedule it around work. Alternatively, you can explore instructor-led or supported programs taught in person. However, this will remove all the benefits of online learning.
Corporate and group training is also available for organizations. Virtual learning is available for these programs.
This can be beneficial to supply chain management professionals who work together, as colleagues will be learning the same information.
Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
The CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) credential is globally recognized. It provides candidates with knowledge of the core competencies required for managing supply chain networks.
- Supply chain procurement
- Supply chain management
- Supply chain integration
This prepares students to make strategic solutions and use these skills to evolve and adapt their supply chain environment.
The course is accredited by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and is suitable for those with three years of supply chain management experience and a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, those without a bachelor’s degree require five years of working experience.
SCPro Fundamentals Certification
The SCPro Fundamentals Certification provides foundational knowledge that is essential for candidates to advance their skills in the supply chain field.
The course is aimed at entry and mid-level candidates. It consists of eight fundamental training tracks that can be combined or taken individually. These include:
- Customer service operations management
- The principles of supply chain management
- Transportation operations management
- Warehousing operations management
- Demand planning
- Inventory management
- Manufacturing and service operations management
- Supply management and procurement
The flexibility of these courses allows candidates to choose those most relevant to their positions and desired career paths.
Six Sigma Certification
Six Sigma Certification verifies a graduate’s understanding of quality assurance. Candidates are trained to apply techniques that will minimize defects and errors in the manufacturing process.
Six Sigma Certifications work in a similar way to martial arts belts. These include:
- White belt
- Yellow belt
- Green belts
- Black belt
- Master black belt
This takes candidates right through from entry-level positions to upper-level executives. These certifications will benefit organizations by minimizing waste and increasing efficiency.
Gaining Six Sigma certification will increase supply chain workers’ job opportunities and likely reward them with better pay.
Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is designed to provide essential project management skills.
PMP certification is available for existing project managers. Requirements include the following:
- Three years of project management experience within the last eight years
- CAPM certification or at least 35 hours of dedicated project management education
- Four-year degree
Alternatively, candidates should have the following:
- Associates Degree
- High school diploma
- Five years of project management experience within the last eight years
- CAPM certification or at least 35 hours of dedicated project management education
The PMP is a valuable certification that proves you have the experience and knowledge required for project management. This can be beneficial when applying for jobs and can give you an edge over other candidates.
How to Choose the Right Online Certification Program
Choosing the right online certification will be determined by a number of factors unique to you. You should set out by defining your career goals. This will help you to determine the steps and education required to follow your chosen career path.
Your current level of experience and expertise will also help you to select the best certification. If you have long-term career plans, choosing the right supply chain certificate program can be a stepping stone to realizing your dreams.
The requirements of each certificate program differ, so candidates may not be eligible to take them all. This will help to narrow your options.
Certificate program requirements can also help you create an education plan. Studying hard to receive your graduate certificate while working can help you meet certain requirements. This will allow you to get the certification required for your dream job.
The length of a program may also impact your decision. Some can be completed in 8 to 12 weeks. However, this will be determined by the flexibility of the course and your current responsibilities.
The cost and affordability will play a significant part in the certificate program you choose. Costs will vary depending on the institution and course.
You will also have to consider the accreditation and recognition of each course. If you work hard to gain your graduate certificate, it is essential that it is recognized in the supply chain networks where you work.
Online SCM Certificate Programs vs. SCM Degree Programs
There are significant differences between certificate programs and degree programs. One of the most significant is the length of time it takes to complete them.
Many certificate programs can be completed in 8 to 12 weeks. Degrees typically take three or four years.
Certificate programs are designed to provide students with skills in supply chain management. Degrees explore the subject in far greater depth. They look at the theory and history of certain fields, rather than just the practical skills.
A certificate program is a great way to learn specifics on a topic in a short space of time. They typically offer great flexibility, are more affordable than a degree, and can be completed while you continue to work full-time.
A certificate program, however, will not provide learners with an in-depth grounding in supply chain theory. Degrees will provide this higher level of knowledge and increased academic support throughout the program.
The drawbacks of studying for a degree are significant, however. They are very expensive and require time and dedication. Most degrees require full-time study, meaning you won’t be able to work and learn simultaneously.
There are various degree types that can be explored. These include:
Bachelor’s degree in supply chain management
A bachelor’s degree in supply chain management is a four-year course providing students with the skills and understanding to enter the field. Courses include:
- Strategic management
- Risk management
- Logistics management
- Supply line management
You will also learn how to use essential tools, systems, and software required in the supply chain industry. Requirements may vary between learning institutions. Examples of entry requirements are as follows:
- SAT Reasoning scores of 1230 or above from 2016
- SAT Reasoning scores of 1160 or above prior to 2016
- ACT composite scores exceeding 25
- High school class ranking within the top 8%
- High school GPA of 3.4
Some institutions may also offer earned admission pathways.
This degree will allow you to pursue various supply chain operations roles. Gaining experience while completing the degree will also be highly beneficial.
Master’s degree in supply chain management
A master’s degree in supply chain management is a further round of education that can be attained after completing a bachelor’s degree.
A master’s degree will also help to establish your expertise in the supply chain management field. The focus of the study is typically more specialized and can be a great option for people with defined career goals.
It will require a further two years of study, but this will be looked at favorably by employers, as it shows dedication and in-depth knowledge of the field.
You must have a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management to be eligible for this option.
MBA in supply chain management
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in supply chain management will typically take two years to complete. It will combine specialized courses designed for supply chain management with general business administration learning.
Most schools in the US will ask for GRE or GMAT scores. Some may waive this if the applicant has relevant work experience.
Students can expect to learn more about:
- Logistics, including logistics analytics and systems
- Global logistics management
- Strategic transportation management
- Management behavior
- Organizational behavior
An MBA in supply chain management can set you on course for a high-paying career in management, logistics, or purchasing.
Requirements for Online Certification Programs
Eligibility requirements for supply chain management certification programs will vary. They may take into consideration your experience and existing supply chain education.
When exploring certification programs, the requirements will be listed with other course information.
You will need a minimum of three years of experience and an active certification for the CLTD program.
CPSM and CPSD certification requires five years of work experience, or a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience.
There are no prerequisites in place for CPIM or SCOR-P certifications.
In order to obtain a supply chain management certificate you must pass an exam upon completing the course. Exams are typically multiple choice and candidates will have a set time to complete them.
Many exams can be paid for with learning bundles included. This helps applicants save money on prep materials. Investing in a learning system or program before sitting your exam is highly beneficial.
Online learning facilities and resources are available to students. Practicing mock exams under timed conditions will also help.
Certification renewal is required for a number of programs. These include:
Every five years
Every four years
Every three years
The CPL and SCOR-P certifications do not require renewals.
Preparing for Online Supply Chain Management Certification Exams
You will learn valuable information on your supply chain management certification program; however, it is still essential that you study.
Juggling a job with studies and other responsibilities can be challenging. Setting aside time to study is important. If possible, try to create a study plan that will help you cover everything that you have learned.
You should make use of study materials provided by your course, which usually present information in a way that is easier to understand.
Taking sample exams for specific topics helps you understand the types of questions that will be asked. It will also give you the opportunity to practice under exam conditions.
It is also important that you don’t burn yourself out. Your physical and mental health must be considered when studying. Being able to enjoy a balance between home and work life is essential to your well-being.
If you are creating a study plan, you should also try to structure a plan around free time to enjoy with your family or friends.
How to Apply for the Online Supply Chain Management Certification Program
Applying for a certificate in supply chain management is typically straightforward. Online education is designed to be a simple process.
Each site will have a registration process that will allow you to create an account. You will then be able to select the program you want to enroll in.
If no prerequisites are required, you will be able to pay your fees and begin the course. In some cases, you may need to complete an application stating your experience or education.
If you are accepted into the course, the fees will typically include the cost of the examination at the end. You may have the opportunity to invest in a study bundle at this point.
You should also take the time to book your examination. Examinations are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. This means you may not be able to book your desired location and date if there is high demand.
Before your exam, you should ensure you have completed the coursework and revised it. If you paid for the study bundles these will come in handy for planning your revision schedule.
Successful students will then receive their graduate certificate in supply chain management. This will typically be issued by mail and arrive a few weeks after completing the course.
It will be the responsibility of the student to maintain and renew their certification. You can take a refresher course or revisit old study materials before sitting your renewal exam.
Gaining a graduate certificate in supply chain management is a great way to advance your career and gain access to high-paying positions. It will provide you with the knowledge and specialized skills required to successfully manage an organization’s supply chain.
Obtaining a graduate certificate in supply chain management online is also convenient. It will allow the student to work while gaining essential qualifications. It will also remove the commuting time and expenses associated with on-campus learning.
Online supply chain certification is a flexible option that can be tailored to the student’s needs. There is an excellent selection of programs for you to explore.
It is essential that you take the time to find the program that best suits your desired career path. The examples we have provided above will help you on your way to your dream career.
What is the difference between a supply chain management certificate and a degree program?
Supply chain certification is a more flexible way to gain supply chain management education. Courses are significantly shorter and less expensive than degrees and can be carried out while you continue to work.
What are the eligibility criteria for online supply chain management certification programs?
The eligibility for supply chain certification programs will vary. This will depend on the institution and program. Some require previous relevant education and experience in supply chain networks.
How much does an online supply chain management certification program cost?
Supply chain management certification programs will vary in price. This will depend on the institution and program. Examination fees can be anything from $225 to $1,500.