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A master's in supply chain management is an advanced degree that introduces individuals to the theory behind supply chain management. Benefits often include increased compensation, promotion to higher positions, and ability to work as a team leader when coordinating logistics, among other options offered by companies. A master's degree can help show an employer that an individual is dedicated to learning his craft and honing business skills. A graduate education makes a person more marketable, leading to a competitive edge when looking for jobs.
Undergraduate business degrees typically focus on introducing individuals to business and accounting topics. Although specializations are available at many educational institutions, this often means students will only take a few courses related to their discipline. A master's in supply chain management will present a more focused approach to the learning process. In this degree, the general courses are the electives, while the main purpose of the degree is to learn about the degree’s discipline.
Courses in the master's of supply chain management degree can include transportation and distribution, strategic procurement, supply chain analysis, project management, design and strategy, and transformation and innovation. This coursework presents individuals with the background necessary to act as a manager within their organization. The theories taught in these courses help individuals to create models and forecasts for improving operations and reducing costs.
Professional certification is also available for individuals holding a masters in supply chain management. Certification can include a focus on project management, management accounting, or certified management. These different certifications will often require a master’s degree. This ensures each individual has the necessary educational background for passing the technical portions of required exams for the certifications.
Supply chain management is a specialized career field in business. Most large organizations or publicly held companies engage in this business practice, as they have a need for a consistent method for shipping goods from the manufacturer to the final retailer. While many employees will have a bachelor’s degree, a master's in supply chain management is evidence of an employee's desire to advance her career in this field.
Another option for those holding a master's in supply chain management is to go into the consulting field. This allows individuals to work for themselves or an independent management firm. Individuals can use their knowledge to advise other companies on how to maximize their operations and improve supply chain operations. Consulting can be quite lucrative, especially with the right mix of education and experience.