How do I Choose the Best Supply Chain Management Courses?

Osmand Vitez

Choosing the best supply chain management courses involves assessing your need for supply chain or logistics management, evaluating your personal background with these management activities, finding local or online options for education, and attending seminars that focus on supply chain management. Supply chain management is a business function that involves the flow of goods and information between several companies. Many educational institutions offer degrees in this management discipline at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, allowing individuals to customize their education.

An illustration of a supply chain.
An illustration of a supply chain.

A significant benefit to formal business education is the ability to mix and match degrees. For example, choosing the best supply chain management courses depends on the future career plans of the individual. Getting a bachelor’s degree in information technology, logistics, or business administration can lead to a master’s degree in supply chain management. Doctorate degrees represent the top-level programs that allow individuals to study the theory behind this function and the vital role it plays in business.

Many companies like to train their supply chain mangers in their specific networks and will be happy to help further a career through on-the-job training.
Many companies like to train their supply chain mangers in their specific networks and will be happy to help further a career through on-the-job training.

To choose the best supply chain management courses, review the degree programs available. Common undergraduate coursework includes supply chain management, sourcing, operations processes, logistics and distribution, and decision support systems. A supply chain is typically an external operating environment that involves a number of different companies to complete a common goal: delivery of products to consumers. Individuals should attempt to round out an undergraduate degree with cost accounting, corporate finance, capital management, collaboration and workflow, and telecommunications, among others.

Higher education is quite common — and fairly necessary — in today’s business environment. Many workers have an undergraduate degree in their business management discipline. Selecting the proper supply chain management courses at the graduate level allows individuals to focus and refine their educational background toward a specific position. Coursework includes modeling, data mining, revenue management, application development, enterprise resource management, strategic sourcing, project management, operations management and business risk management, among others.

Individuals can select courses based on their current career, or look to a more profitable industry or sector. For example, manufacturers typically work at the front of the supply chain and need a higher emphasis on project management and strategic choices for their business operations. Fulfillment or distribution centers need individuals with a strong background in logistics, operational management and cost accounting. The focus for these business groups is the ability to receive goods from manufacturers and process them quickly by moving them to retailers.

International supply chain management courses are also available. These focus on dealing with currency issues, barriers to entry, foreign relations, and capital management. Individuals working for large companies will often need this educational background, as it will help them learn about the necessary practices for international business relationships.

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