Whether you’re choosing your first career or considering a new career path, know that the future for supply chain management professionals is bright. Strong salary opportunities, upward mobility potential, and a healthy job market all come together to make a career in supply chain management a compelling choice.

When it comes to securing a job, getting a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management will show potential employers how serious you are about the field. If you’re a high schooler looking at college options or a non-traditional student who’s completing a bachelor’s degree, you’ll find plenty of options across the country for studying this growing field.

Your interests, budget, location and many more personal factors will ultimately factor into your decision. We’ll run you through the top programs in the country to kick off your research and give you a head start on finding the right program for you.

But first, let’s take a look at the expanding potential in the field of supply chain management.

Supply Chain Management: A Growing Field with Plenty of Opportunities

With the rise in automation within the logistics industry, many professionals have expressed concern over losing jobs to machines.

However, when it comes to supply chain management, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that supply chain jobs will increase at double the rate of all other jobs in the U.S.

In addition to plentiful job openings, a career in supply chain management also offers additional opportunities that make it an attractive profession, including:

Upward mobility. Looking for a job with career growth potential? Supply chain management could fit the bill. Statistics from CNN Money reported an average of 25.5% career growth for professionals who spent over 10 years within the industry. In other words, you’ll likely find plenty of opportunities for promotion within the field.

Strong salary potential. With median salary for the field hovering around $90,000, you can expect to make a good living in supply chain management. Additionally, if you’re ambitious, you might see your earnings increase significantly, even at a young age. A salary survey from SupplyChain247.com reported that supply chain professionals could see their salaries rise from $58,000 at age 35 to $87,800 by age 44—a substantial increase in a relatively short period of time.

Opportunities for women interested in the field. Although the number of men in the field still outnumber women, who make up around 35% of the field, many companies are working on recruiting more women. In a recent survey, 39% of logistics companies reported that they have active company-wide gender diversity initiatives in place. Additionally, 42% of these companies also reported policies aimed at promoting women in the supply chain to managerial positions. For women interested in supply chain management, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enter the workforce—and advance your career.

Popular Bachelor’s Degrees in Supply Chain Management

Although you may not need a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management to enter the field, studying the topic in college has an important benefit: It will help you get a taste of what this career is all about. During your studies, you’ll get the chance to explore the quantitative nature of the profession and explore exactly where your interests might lie within this broad field. Planning and procurement? Analytics? Sales? Operations. Your college degree will help you test the waters.

It will also demonstrate to potential employers that you’re serious about this career. That focus will make you an attractive candidate as you look for your first position after college. It will also give a better chance of securing your first choice job.

As the field of supply chain management as grown, so have the options for bachelor’s degrees. You’ll find programs all over the country, each with their own advantages to offer. Below, we’ve listed out some of the top programs in the U.S. to help you kick off your research:

1. Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ):

You’ll find the W.P. Carey Department of Supply Chain Management nationally ranked in the top five by U.S. News and World Reports. If you choose to attend Arizona State, you’ll learn from experienced professors eager to share what they know about the nuts and bolts of supply chain management, including procurement, supply management, operations management, logistics, and supply chain performance optimization.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.S. in Supply Chain Management
  • B.A. in Global Logistics Management
2. Lehigh University (Lehigh, PA):

Within Lehigh’s College of Business, interested students can pursue a major in supply chain management. Students will study topics like supply management, planning, cost analysis, risk management, transportation management, and operations management. They’ll also have the option to secure an optional internship for credit or pursue an experiential project to complete their degree.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.S. in Business and Economics Decision and Technology Analytics (DATA) with a Major in Supply Chain Management
3. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI):

The University’s Department of Supply Chain Management offers students an integrative educational approach that blends theory with practice. The program received the #1 ranking in the country from U.S. News and World Reports, IndustryWeek and SCM World. In addition to bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees, the university also offers online certificate programs for those who are interested in deepening their commitment to the profession.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.A. in Supply Chain Management
4. Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA):

Within the Smeal College of Business, Penn State offers two majors within its Supply Chain and Information Systems Department: 1) Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS) and 2) Management Information Systems (MIS). SC&IS majors study supply chain processes and how information systems can improve efficiencies and effectiveness. In contrast, MIS majors develop skills primarily in information systems, with applications to supply chain processes.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.S. in Business, with a Major in Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS)
  • B.S. in Business, with a Major in Management Information Systems (MIS)
5. Rutgers University (Newark, NJ):

The University began its supply chain management program with a supply chain major certificate program for MBA students in 2000. Due to its popularity, the school added an undergraduate supply chain management program in 2009 and an undergraduate major in 2010. The program’s goal is to equip students to graduate with the ability to re-engineer the business processes of multiple firms and different functional departments to achieve a higher level of business performance and profitability.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.S. in Supply Chain Management
6. University of Texas – Austin (Austin, TX):

Within the Red McCombs School of Business, students at UT Austin can choose to major in supply chain management. The program is designed to appeal to students who may be interested in becoming buyers, materials managers, risk management analysts, and logistics planners, as well as other supply chain positions. Students also work closely with the faculty in the Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management as they complete their degree.

Bachelor’s Degrees Available:

  • B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) in Supply Chain Management
Getting Your Start in Supply Chain Management

If the field of supply chain management sounds like an exciting one, we’re thrilled to have you join our ranks. As our Approved team will tell you, there are many different areas to specialize in along the supply chain—sales, operations, customer support, manufacturing, planning, procurement and more—giving you plenty of opportunities to find the right niche within the field.

Our parting tip? Find a mentor in your field. Once you find a job, your mentor might be your first manager. It might be someone senior in the company who you click with. Or you may find a mentor in one of your professors in college. When you find someone experienced who you connect with, cultivate that relationship. You’ll find it invaluable to have someone you can talk with honestly, someone who can give you sage advice as you grow your career.

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