Growing Salaries and Growing Careers in Supply Chain Management

How supply chain management training can land you a job in the business world’s next great frontier

By Greg Scott Neuman
Posted 2012

Supply Chain Management Training
Supply Chain Management Training

Supply chain management (SCM) is emerging as a critical new business specialty. Professionals in this field oversee the acquisition, movement and storage of raw materials and inventory, managing complex networks of supply and demand. The discipline has existed since at least the early 20th Century, but has only recently become a well-studied and clearly defined part of the business world.

SCM is now a concentration offered by many business schools, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reports that the number of SCM bachelor’s degree programs has grown by about 25% since 2006. Because careers in supply chain management are becoming so important, most business schools that don’t offer specialized degrees in this area do at least provide a course in the subject.

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But what does this focus on supply chain management training mean for business students?

Growing Salaries

In 2011, the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) surveyed supply chain management professionals to determine average salaries in the SCM industry. The survey encompasses individuals with a variety of titles such as chief, vice president, director or manager of supply management. It also includes workers who classify themselves as “experienced supply management professionals” and “entry-level supply management professionals”.

The survey reveals that the average salary for SCM professionals was $103,664 in 2010, up from $98,200 in 2009. The median salary was $87,000 – well above the national average – and 38% of respondents had incomes of $100,000 or more*.

The SCM careers with the highest salaries were executive positions; chiefs and vice presidents of supply chain management reported average salaries of $231,142 and $238,396, respectively*. Rising to that level generally requires an advanced education, so earning your MBA in Supply Chain Management is critical if that is your goal.

On the other hand, entry-level SCM professionals reported an average annual wage of $49,502, which increased to $75,383 with some experience*. So entering the workforce immediately after completing your Bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management is certainly a viable career option.

Growing Education

SCM bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are not the only education available in this field. Increasingly, certificates are providing specialized supply chain management training. These credentials are designed for professionals who hold degrees in other disciplines and want to transition to an SCM career. Such certificate programs teach knowledge and skills specific to the field and can generally be completed in one year.

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For example, Michigan State University (MSU) – currently ranked #1 and #2 in supply chain management undergraduate and graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report – offers a variety of Master Certificate in Supply Chain Management programs. Courses can be taken online and are completed in eight-week increments, which often makes them ideal for working professionals.

Growing Careers

In a 2011 interview** with Bloomberg Businessweek, officials from Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business reported that 64% of students who graduated with supply chain bachelor’s degrees in December 2009 and May 2010 had a job upon finishing school. Furthermore, Carey representatives noted 100% job placement for their supply chain MBA holders who graduated at that time, compared to just 75% for those who specialized in marketing.

With increasing salaries, new education options and lots of job growth, supply chain management is now an up-and-coming business specialty. If you’re ready to take advantage of the opportunities this field presents, supply chain management training may well be the education program you’re seeking.

*ISM’s 2011 Salary Survey Results Summary, accessed March 2012

**”Supply Chain Management: The Next Big Thing?”, Bloomberg Businessweek, September 12, 2011

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