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Why Earn an MBA in Supply Chain?

If you have the logical mind of a scientist and a passion for business, an MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management might be for you. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers this program online to meet the national and local demand for professionals with the necessary training for supply chain careers.

The Supply Chain Is Vital to Industry

In a global economy, with product parity and multinationals competing to maximize ROI for every dollar spent, success is often achieved with corporate expertise in supply chain management. Managers and other professionals in the supply chain control the flow of information, money and shipments between their companies, customers and suppliers.

Supply Chain Professionals Solve Businesses’ Biggest Challenges

Two days before Christmas in 1999, Toys R Us sent an email to parents saying “We’re sorry.” That was all the press, investors and even the children had to read before they knew a major supply chain disaster had occurred. “Never again,” said Santa.

Supply chain professionals are a gift to anyone who has ever been disappointed by a similar scenario. Their work is all about ensuring smooth operations in the flow of goods and services around the world. That includes sourcing raw materials from far-flung cities; manufacturing in the most cost-efficient factories; and managing labor, distribution and shipping. This is a $26 trillion per year industry, and growing.

In such a complex process, there are five basic parts or functions:

  1. Plan/Strategy.
  2. Source of Materials or Services.
  3. Delivery and Logistics.
  4. Returns System.

Supply chain managers work to minimize the time involved in each step in the process, reducing shortages in materials and labor as well as keeping costs down. They work with a multiple of players in manufacturing, delivery and logistics to minimize the costs of making, distributing and shipping products. In doing so, they maximize efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of their companies’ supply chains. The result is substantial savings that go straight to companies’ bottom lines, resulting in greater incomes for employees and greater profits for stakeholders. Much responsibility rests on their shoulders, and for their capabilities, they are duly rewarded.

Demand for Qualified Professionals Is Strong

Growing competition in every industry has led companies to the realization that improving the supply chain is a top priority. However, a talent shortage stands in the way of this objective. A recent University of Tennessee study showed that 90 percent of CEOs believe their organizations must do more to attract supply chain talent. Confirming this urgency, a Deloitte study found that just 38 percent of executives believed their companies had the necessary supply chain professionals on staff.

An increasing number of specialized MBA programs have been developed to bring more qualified professionals into the field. Such programs prepare graduates for positions including Supply Chain AnalystSupply Chain DirectorTop Supply Chain Management ExecutiveCentral Supply ManagerGas Supply ManagerNetwork Operations ManagerCustomer Information Center ManagerSystems Consultant/Engineering Manager and Operating Systems Programming Manager. All told, 1.4 million new jobs will need to be filled between 2014 and 2018, amounting to roughly 270,000 jobs per year. As Baby Boomers in the industry retire, demand could continue to rise.

The talent shortage — as supply and demand dictates — is resulting in lucrative career opportunities for those with the right skills. According to, the median salary for a supply chain manager with a master’s degree is $102,723 – $110,519 per year.

Whether your motivation is to solve industry challenges, to have a high-status career, or to earn enough income to enjoy an early retirement, earning an MBA in supply chain may help you reach your goals.

Learn more about the UNC Pembroke online MBA with a Concentration in Supply Chain Management program.


Top MBA: 6 of the Most Popular MBA Specializations Supply Chain Manager

SDC Executive: Four Reasons for the Supply Chain Talent Shortage

IndustryWeek: Talent Shortage Is a Weak Link in the Supply Chain

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