Meeting the Requirements for a Degree in Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of ensuring goods and services make it from the warehouse and into customers’ hands. But even a minor disruption in the supply chain can prevent people from receiving basic necessities, such as food, water, and energy. It is up to supply chain professionals to prevent this from happening.
The supply chain industry can be an exciting place to launch your career. And with so many roles available, you are guaranteed to find something to suit you. However, this also means that entry requirements differ from role to role.
This article will outline supply chain management requirements so you can know what to expect when the time comes for you to apply. Preparation can boost your chances of being accepted to the supply chain management program of your choice.
Types of Supply Chain Management Degrees
The global supply chain industry is vast and varied. There are several roles for supply chain managers to choose from. The role you choose will depend on which area interests you the most and your education level. For example, most entry-level positions require a high school diploma while supply chain managers usually require a master’s degree.
Associate degrees are common in the global supply chain management industry. They are academic programs taken at an undergraduate level, typically after high school. Generally, associate degrees provide the most basic level of education needed for an entry-level position in supply chain management.
Because most associate degrees only last two years, they are a great foundation for further education, which may be required for aspiring supply chain managers.
Bachelor’s degrees are the most common type of undergraduate degree. They are designed to give students a thorough understanding of supply chain management. They are only open to students with an associate degree or high school diploma. Because they take four years to complete, graduates will be equipped to enter the workforce.
Most supply chain managers require a bachelor’s degree. This is in addition to at least five years of experience in the supply chain management industry.
For most supply chain managers, a bachelor’s degree is the highest level of education required. However, some senior positions request that the right candidate also have a master’s degree. This is a postgraduate degree that allows graduates to focus on a particular specialization of supply chain management.
Master’s degrees are also designed to help candidates find better, higher-paying jobs. Because the course content is so in-depth, graduates will possess the skills and experience needed for a long and successful career in supply chain management.
Finally, doctoral degrees provide students with the business know-how needed for a career in supply chain management. Students will contribute to the supply chain industry as a whole and graduate with in-depth knowledge of a particular specialization or topic. Most doctoral graduates go on to become senior supply chain managers.
Doctoral degrees require students to research a particular specialization or topic of supply chain management that interests them. This can allow them to study the areas of supply chains that interest them and carve out a career that suits them.
Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Education requirements for supply chain management majors vary between universities. However, most degrees require a GPA of between 2.0 and 4.0.
For example, a BS in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University requires a GPA of 3.4. Central Washington University, on the other hand, requires BAS Supply Chain Management applicants to have a minimum GPA of 2.25. Undergraduate degrees in business administration and retail management are also common.
SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements are also required. SAT scores requirements differ depending on the university (with some not requiring SAT scores at all). However, 1300 and above will put you in a good position to be accepted by the university of your choice. For Ivy League universities, anything above 1500 should be enough.
Core curriculum requirements also depend on the course and university. However, most undergraduate degrees require students to take a combination of maths, life and physical science, and creative arts modules. This is to ensure all students learn the same basic material before graduation.
Electives are an option for undergraduate students. The elective courses on offer will depend on the university but most are related to supply chain strategy and analytics. Electives can allow you to tailor your undergraduate experience by choosing specializations that interest you. Electives and core courses make up the total number of units needed to graduate.
Generally, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate from an undergraduate supply chain management program. Students might also be required to meet other requirements, such as achieving certain grades. This information will be outlined in the course description.
Capstone projects and internships are common in supply chain undergraduate management degrees. These are projects completed in the final year and are designed to give students hands-on experience before becoming a supply chain manager. They are equivalent to a thesis or dissertation in a graduate degree.
Graduate Degree Requirements
Admission requirements for graduate degrees tend to be more difficult than undergraduate degrees. For example, most graduate programs require a bachelor’s degree in business administration and GMAT scores. Work experience is desired but is usually not mandatory for acceptance.
Coursework will also be required for a graduate degree in supply chain management. This will likely be made up of career-specific courses that are more in-depth than undergraduate coursework. Examples of courses include corporate finance, logistics management, inventory management, and global supply chains.
Students must usually complete a thesis or dissertation during their final year. Some courses give students the option to choose between a thesis or a capstone project but this is not always the case. Non-thesis graduate programs do exist for supply chain management. However, they usually require additional courses or modules to make up the extra credit hours.
Unlike undergraduate degrees where a 2.0 GPA is acceptable, most graduate students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 to graduate. This is in addition to fulfilling all course requirements.
Admission Requirements for Supply Chain Management Degree Programs
Admission requirements for supply chain management programs vary slightly from course to course. The level of study can also impact admission requirements. However, most courses ask for the same general admission requirements.
Some universities might make exceptions if you fail to meet a certain requirement but do well in another. For example, if you didn’t meet the minimum test score but did exceptionally well in your admission interview.
For most supply chain management degrees, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually the minimum education level required. Some universities will also request a certain GPA. This can be as low as 2.0 or as high as 4.0 depending on the university or accreditation of the course.
Most supply chain management degrees no longer require standardized test scores, such as SATs, for admission. However, it can enhance your application. You must always check the admission requirements for the program you are applying for.
Depending on the course, some supply chain management degrees require letters of recommendation. These are documents written by a teacher or employer endorsing your application. They’re generally not as important as GPAs or test scores but can provide additional information that isn’t obvious from your application.
Personal statements, or admissions essays, will also increase your chances of being accepted to a supply chain management degree. This is an essay explaining why you believe you should be accepted to a particular course.
Finally, the admission interview is usually the last stage in the application process. Not all universities interview candidates and some are offered on an optional basis. However, they can help you stand out against other applicants and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have. Questions will be based on your knowledge and interest in supply chains.
Supply chain management can be an exciting career path. But while some entry-level roles can be achieved with a high school diploma, a senior supply chain manager role will require a degree from a recognized university or business school.
Requirements will differ depending on the university and course but are generally quite similar across the board. For example, most undergraduate degrees require a GPA of between 2.0 and 4.0, SAT scores, a letter of recommendation, and a personal statement. Most graduate courses, on the other hand, require a bachelor’s degree and a higher GPA.
Earning a degree in supply chain management can help you stand out against other applicants for a supply chain manager role. Because there are so many roles to choose from, it can also give you the freedom to wait until after graduation to specialize.
There are hundreds of roles in the supply chain management industry. Examples include procurement and supply management and inventory management. Many supply chain managers work in logistics, operations, and project management.
The outlook for supply chain management professionals is excellent. As one of the fastest-growing industries nationwide, there will always be a demand for supply chain managers. There is also plenty of room for career progression in the supply chain management industry. So you can put your transferrable skills to good use when you become a supply chain manager.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the admission requirements for a degree in supply chain management?
Supply chain management degree requirements can differ depending on the course. However, the admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree are a high school diploma and a GPA of 2.0 or above. For graduate degrees, it’s a bachelor’s degree and GMAT scores. Extra-curricular activities can also boost your chances of acceptance.
How long does it take to earn a degree in supply chain management?
The time it takes to earn a degree in supply chain management depends on the degree. For example, undergraduate degrees usually take around four years. Graduate degrees last between 12 and 18 months. Upon graduation, you should possess the skills and experience needed to become a supply chain manager.