Supply Chain Management Degree Curriculum: A Comprehensive Guide
The ideal supply chain management (SCM) degree curriculum includes a core business component together with specialized SCM courses.
You can expect to cover topics such as economics, accounting, business ethics, and communication skills along with more career-focused subjects.
This article aims to equip you with the information necessary to assess the content of an SCM curriculum. You’ll also discover the ideal format and learning options available to you. Then we’ll look at the opportunities for internships and their importance in your career development.
What to Expect From Your Supply Chain Management Program
Supply chain management program courses put the most emphasis on topics such as logistics and transportation, procurement and strategic sourcing, inventory management, and supply chain strategy and design. These will have a direct impact on your ability to work within the supply chain environment.
You can expect that a bachelor’s degree will take around four years to complete but that depends on your mode of study and personal ambition.
While mathematics requirements do vary from program to program, you should prepare yourself to master concepts like statistics and forecasting.
Supply Chain Management Curriculum
The core courses in SCM degrees vary slightly depending on the specific program and institution with whom you register.
However, there are some common courses that you can expect to find in most SCM degree programs with a focus on business administration.
- An introduction to Supply Chain Management, and Operations Management, as well as Logistics and Transportation Management.
- Procurement and Sourcing together with Inventory Management will provide you with the basics of managing inventory levels throughout the supply chain.
- Supply Chain Analytics and Supply Chain Strategy will help you to develop effective supply chain strategies.
Other courses that may be included in a SCM degree program with a business component include:
- Quality Management
- Global Supply Chain Management
Example of a Supply Chain Management Curriculum
Here’s a theoretical example of the curriculum you can expect for a supply chain management majors bachelor’s degree program:
- Introduction to Supply Chain Management
- Principles of Accounting
- Business Statistics
- Introduction to Marketing
- Business Communication
- Operations Management
- Financial Accounting
- Organizational Behavior
- Logistics and Transportation Management
- Supply Chain Analytics
- Procurement and Supplier Management
- Quality Management
- Information Systems for Supply Chain Management
- Supply Chain Risk Management
- Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Project Management
- Strategic Supply Chain Management
- Lean and Six Sigma in Supply Chain Management
- Sustainability in Supply Chain Management
- Supply Chain Negotiations
- Capstone Project in Supply Chain Management
- Electives (such as e-commerce, international business, or entrepreneurship)
A curriculum like this will give you a strong foundation in supply chain management. By understanding the principles of accounting, logistics, transportation, procurement, risk management, and strategic planning, you will be able to confidently apply for jobs in this field.
With exposure to the related fields of marketing and economics, you’ll receive a well-rounded education. It will prepare you for a variety of different careers.
The Integration of Technology in Supply Chain Management Degree
As the pace of improvement in the control of the supply increases, businesses will need staff who are intimately aware of how technology can be utilized to provide a competitive advantage.
A degree program that covers the integration of technology into supply chain management will expose you to the tools of the future.
This type of degree will include the following:
- Supply Chain Analytics: Where you’ll learn how to use data analytics and business intelligence tools.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: Using systems to manage inventory, procurement, and logistics.
- Internet of Things (IoT): Learn how to track products and inventory in real time.
- Blockchain: You will learn how blockchain technology and its applications will help to improve transparency and traceability.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI and machine learning are improving forecasting accuracy, optimizing routing and scheduling as we speak.
- E-commerce: E-commerce platforms are the wave of the future. Technology will improve your customer’s experience and streamline their order fulfillment.
A degree program like this equips you to leverage technology. In the future, optimizing supply chain operations and reducing costs, will depend on companies’ ability to harness the latest technology.
After graduation, you will possess the skills and tools to pursue your career in the SCM field. Or, you could take up a role that requires expertise in both supply chain management and technology.
Online Learning Options
There are many online SCM degree programs available. Institutions offering online tuition include Online University, Arizona State University, Ball University, and Anderson University amongst many others.
There are many advantages to online learning, not least among them being the convenience and flexibility it offers you. This is especially true if you are working a full-time job.
With the ability to attend lectures at home and the facility for more individual attention, online courses make a lot of sense. Not to mention the financial savings over traditional colleges and universities.
You might take longer to finish your degree and it’s easier to procrastinate than if you had to attend in-person lectures on campus. You must be highly motivated and possess excellent time management skills to take full advantage of online education.
For many undergraduate students, the freedom associated with an online course isn’t conducive to their learning style. Without an instructor to keep them on track, the responsibility of completing the degree may be too much for them and they give up.
Compared to traditional study options, online learning can be lonely. Students do not experience the same sense of belonging that they get from bricks and mortar institutions.
Accreditation and Certification
To maintain quality and ensure that industry standards are met, accreditation bodies for supply chain management degree programs regularly check that institutions offer students the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.
Bodies such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) are there to see that you get the best training available.
Certification programs for the supply chain management field include the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program. It is offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). By achieving success in courses recommended by these bodies, you show that you have the skills and knowledge to fulfill the requirements of a professional SCM professional.
Internship and Capstone Projects
Internships are an important part of a student’s education as they not only look good on your resumé but could turn into an offer for a full-time position. They are also an excellent way to build your network and receive letters of recommendation.
Universities provide students with access to capstone projects. These projects offer companies free assistance with their SCM problems. Graduate students get to work with faculty members to solve many pressing problems. For companies that may not have the time or resources to do it themselves, it’s a win-win situation.
MIT, for example, has worked on a diverse range of projects. They assisted a gas station company in Brazil to expand its retail chain and helped a US company with its global materials sourcing.
Students can find internships through local job fairs and by strategically reaching out to industry leaders and companies that they identify as offering the best opportunities.
Faculty and Student Support Services
Mentorships and opportunities for research are just some of the faculty support services a student can receive while studying. Students will also receive help from an academic advisor including, tutoring, academic advice, and career planning assistance.
When comparing the quality of education available, it is advisable to consider the effectiveness and success of past students who have passed through the institution
Alumni Networks and Professional Organizations
A significant benefit of joining alumni networks is that students get to build relationships with industry leaders and their peers across the SCM field.
Not only will you gain valuable insights into supply chains in the industry but it’s also a great way to hear about vacancies before anyone else. There are a host of online and offline opportunities to join professional organizations within the SCM field.
Individuals can attend conferences, webinars, or workshops hosted by organizations such as The Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS), the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
Students can visit their websites, complete an application and pay an annual membership fee.
And don’t forget that LinkedIn is one of the best places to find other SCM professionals to network with and keep up with industry news.
An SCM degree curriculum covers a mix of core business and specialized courses with an emphasis on logistics, procurement, inventory, and supply chains.
The curriculum will differ depending on which institution you choose. But you can expect to receive instruction in common courses such as operations management, procurement, and sourcing, as well as logistics and transportation management.
SCM degrees that focus on technology integration will give students the keys to the tools of the future. With the availability of online tuition, students can enjoy both convenience and flexibility but require that they are self-motivated and possess excellent time management skills.
Can I earn a supply chain management degree online?
Yes, you can. There are a variety of different college and university courses that provide online tuition.
What are the core courses in the supply chain management degree?
Core courses include Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Logistics, and Transportation Management. You will also study Procurement and Sourcing, Inventory Management, and Supply Chain Analytics. For a fuller understanding, Supply Chain Strategy is a key component of a supply management degree.