What Can I Do with an MBA in Supply Chain Management?

An MBA in Supply Chain Management can lead to a rewarding career in logistics, purchasing or transportation, among other sectors. Read on to learn about the responsibilities and employment outlook for positions in these three fields. Schools offering Global Operations & Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Those with an MBA in Supply Chain Management may qualify for a variety of management positions in the supply chain business cycle if they have enough professional experience. Three such positions include logistics management, purchasing and transportation management.

Important Facts About Supply Chain Management MBA Career Options

Logistics Manager Purchasing Manager Transportation Manager
Professional Certification / Licensure Four designations available from the APICS Four designations available from the APICS Four designations available from the APICS
Key Skills Problem solving; critical thinking; time management; good judgment and decision making Analytical thinking; negotiation; good judgment and decision making; strong mathematical foundation Reading comprehension; critical thinking; observation; problem solving
Work Environment Office setting with time spent in warehouses, docks, and similar facilities Manufacturing; management of companies and enterprises; wholesale trade Office setting during regular business hours
Similar Occupations Logisticians; transportation planners; storage and distribution managers Administrative service managers; financial managers; wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives Transportation planners; supply chain managers; general and operations managers

International Logistics Manager

International logisticians create and maintain both import and export supply chains. They are responsible for international transportation, which includes everything from handling customs regulations to developing relationships with logistics intermediaries. They must have strong negotiation and communication skills, understand international commerce and understand cultural differences. International logisticians' job duties also include:

  • Making sure that import and export activity is compliant with U.S. and international laws
  • Creating logistics strategies for entering new global markets
  • Managing logistics intermediaries

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers are responsible for procuring an organization's resources in a cost-effective manner. They identify sources for materials, choose suppliers and arrange contracts. They must understand import and export processes, understand the economics of the global supply chain, have strong negotiation and communication skills, and be able to read and help write legal contracts. Purchasing managers' job duties also include:

  • Requesting bids for services and products
  • Negotiating agreements
  • Managing contracts with suppliers

Transportation Manager

Transportation managers direct the transportation of all incoming and outgoing shipments. They ensure the efficient movement of products not only across the United States, but also across international borders and through customs. They must have detailed knowledge of state and federal transportation regulations, common distribution methods, transportation carrier operations and shipment routing. Transportation managers' job duties also include:

  • Managing drivers and fleets
  • Negotiating and managing agreements with carriers
  • Requesting bids for contracts

Salary and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), transportation, storage, and distribution managers in 2018 earned a median yearly salary of $94,730. The BLS projects an average growth in jobs for this field of 7% from 2016 to 2026.

Between 2016 and 2026, the increase in job opportunities for purchasing managers is expected to reach 5%, a rate that is below the average for all occupations in the U.S., the BLS states. In 2018, the BLS indicated a median salary range of $118,940 for these professionals.

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:

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