Online Purchasing Agent Schools

Read about online certificate and degree programs that offer concentrations or coursework related to purchasing and procurement. Get info on choosing a school for your training in purchasing, and explore some of the topics you could study. Review certification options for purchasing agents, which may be required for employment. Schools offering Procurement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A couple of courses of action are available to those who want to become a purchasing agent. These include taking individual classes, certificate programs, or master's degree programs. Continue reading to find out more about each of these paths towards becoming a purchasing agent.

Are There Purchasing Agent Training Programs Available Online?

If you're interested in participating in the arena of professional buying and selling, you can find several types of training programs available online. Some schools and associations offer certificate programs for people who want to gain a broad education in purchasing and procurement management. If you're already employed in the field and want to increase your expertise, a certificate program may be appropriate for you. Depending on school policies and your desires, you may be able to apply certificate course credits toward a degree.

Some schools include purchasing, procurement or acquisition courses as components of business degree programs. In fact, some employers prefer prospective purchasing agents to have earned an undergraduate business degree. Programs leading to an undergraduate business degree are available online. In many cases, your advancement in a firm may require an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or other master's degree, with a concentration in acquisition management, supply management, supply chain management or purchasing procurement. MBA programs and master's degree programs, with appropriate specializations, are available online.

How Should I Choose a School?

You've got to determine if earning a master's degree, taking stand-alone courses for advancement purposes or earning a certificate best meets your requirements as a purchasing agent. Once that decision is made, an online search will yield several possibilities. The Institute for Supply Management provides a chart listing institutions that offer programs and curriculum in supply management, purchasing and related fields ( Each school's entry states whether distance learning is offered and names the degrees available, so you can easily identify those with a purchasing concentration. Also, U.S. News and World Report has a database that offers national rankings for online business schools ( Before you make a choice, you'll probably want to confirm the school's accreditation. You can do this through the U.S. Department of Education's accreditation database (

What Courses Will I Take?

Although courses may be dictated by the degree or certificate curriculum, certain skills are essential to becoming a successful purchasing agent. You'll have some liberty in choice of electives, so you should select courses that will enhance your performance capabilities. For example, a course in the fundamentals of purchasing covers purchasing management, supplier relations, legal aspects of buying and selling, purchasing agreements and competitive market pricing. An acquisitions law course will familiarize you with terminology, principles and theories of procurement and acquisition management. It will also introduce you to the Uniform Commercial Code. A course in negotiations trains you to prepare for, conduct and document the bargaining process in acquisition or purchasing, so you can learn how to produce optimal results for your firm.

What Schools Offer Purchasing Agent Master's Degree Programs Online?

Multiple schools offer master's degree programs related to purchasing, which will include courses geared towards students looking to become a purchasing agent. Below are a few examples:

  • University of Maryland University College offers a Managements Master's Degree with an Acquisition and Supply Chain Management Specialization
  • University of Wisconsin- Platteville has a Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management
  • University of San Diego offers an online master's degree program in Supply Chain Management

Is It Necessary to Become Certified?

While certification is not legally mandated, some firms insist on it. You can find various online certification preparation courses and examination information through professional organizations such as the American Purchasing Society, the Institute for Supply Management, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing or the Association for Operations Management. You may qualify for certification examinations if you have a certain amount of purchasing experience or a combination of experience and an appropriate degree from an approved institution. Credentials include Certified Purchasing Professional, Certified Professional Purchasing Manager, Certified Supply Chain Professional and Certified Professional Public Buyer.

Which Schools Offer Online Purchasing Agent Certificate Programs?

A few schools offer online programs designed to earn students a certificate in a field related to purchasing. Here are some options to explore:

  • University of North Dakota has an online certificate program titled the Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Online Training Program.
  • California State University Dominguez Hills offers an Online Certificate in Purchasing program for those looking for certification
  • A Graduate Certificate in Public Procurement and Contract Management is offered online by Old Dominion University

From this article, you can see that students interested in becoming a purchasing agent have a variety of options. While some may choose to enroll in certificate programs, others may choose to take individual courses, with the option of culminating in a master's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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