Purchasing Manager Certificate and Degree Programs

Purchasing managers design, manage and improve the operation of a company's supply chain. Read about certificate and degree programs in related fields like supply chain management and purchasing, what you'd study in an undergraduate or graduate program, and whether educational programs for purchasing managers can be pursued via online learning. Schools offering Procurement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Certificates Can I Earn?

Earning an undergraduate certificate may qualify you for an entry-level position in purchasing, logistics or supply. If you already hold a position in the field, completing this program can help you advance your career. Classes cover topics such as supply chain management, logistics, operations, inventory management and global sourcing. Graduate certificate programs are available if you already have a bachelor's degree. You may be able to pursue the program without an undergraduate degree, however, by taking graduate courses as electives.

Certificate OptionsUndergraduate and graduate programs available
Undergraduate ProgramsAssociate's and bachelor's degrees that cover retail management, resource planning, quality control and more
Graduate ProgramsMaster's and doctoral degrees available
Online OptionsCertificate and master's programs available fully online or in hybrid formats

What Undergraduate Degrees Are Available?

Pursuing an associate's degree program in purchasing or supply chain management allows you to graduate in two years. Along with some general education classes, the curriculum includes business core classes and several classes in your area of study. Some programs may offer a concentration in a particular industry, such as transportation. Graduation may qualify you for positions such as buyer, material controller, inventory specialist or logistician.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, a bachelor's degree is preferred by many large businesses. Earning a bachelor's degree with a focus in purchasing usually takes four years and requires you to complete a greater number of general education and business-related classes, such as business math, micro- and macroeconomics, marketing fundamentals and financial accounting. Classes that are part of your purchasing focus may include:

  • Logistics and transportation
  • Business to business marketing
  • Quality management and control
  • Resource planning
  • Retail management
  • Purchasing information systems

Are There Any Degrees For Graduates?

To earn your master's degree, you must complete advanced coursework, such as supply chain leadership, logistics systems and database integration, along with a master's thesis. Earning your Ph.D. usually requires some formal classes along with an emphasis on research. Areas for research or concentration may include supply chain design and control, production scheduling, operations management and supply chain sustainability, among other areas. Completion of a doctoral dissertation is also required.

Can I Find Programs Online?

Certificate programs tend to be the most available online, though master's degree programs are as well. Less so are undergraduate degree and Ph.D. programs. Pursuing programs offered entirely online allow you the flexibility of taking classes from home on your computer. Certain software may be required. Some programs may combine online and on-campus courses in a hybrid format, while other traditional programs may offer an online option for particular courses.

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.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

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  • Georgetown University

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