A supply chain management online degree provides students with an understanding of the flow of goods in business operations and the skills to manage issues that may arise in the supply chain.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, common positions in supply chain management, such as logisticians and purchasing agents, are projected to increase by 2% from 2014 to 2024. These positions have a median salary of $60,000 to $75,000 a year.
What Are The Best Online Associate in Supply Chain Management Programs?
Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
|GRADUATION RATE 38%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 12%||RETENTION RATE 73%||DEFAULT RATE 14%||
Grounded in the principles of APICS, which is the main professional organization in supply chain management, Fox Valley Technical College’s associate in applied science in supply chain management program focuses on the entire supply chain operation, which includes the flow of goods and information from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Classes in this 61-credit hour online program are taught asynchronously, and distance learners typically earn their degree in two years.
Students learn about a variety of business fundamentals as well as specific supply chain operations related to transportation, inventory control, materials management, and international business. Students also complete a capstone project. In addition to submitting a transcript or GED, all applicants must complete a skills assessment to evaluate their suitability for the program.
Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem, NC
|GRADUATION RATE 15%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 15%||RETENTION RATE 60%||DEFAULT RATE N/A%||
Forsyth Technical Community College requires all distance learners to complete an online readiness orientation to prepare them to take classes in a virtual classroom. One of Forsyth’s most popular online programs is its associate in applied science in supply chain management degree. Students complete 67 credit hours over five semesters. Distance learners can choose from two concentrations: global logistics technology and distribution management. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of fields, including entry-level distribution, material management, and warehousing positions.
All applicants to Forsyth must submit high school transcripts or a GED and complete a placement test to determine their preparedness for college-level courses. Transfer credits are accepted from regionally-accredited institutions of higher learning.
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA
|GRADUATION RATE 21%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 19%||RETENTION RATE 51%||DEFAULT RATE N/A%||
Located in Macon, Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College offers an associate of applied technology in logistics management program. This online program consists of 61 credit hours of coursework and typically takes about two year to complete. In addition to general education courses, students learn about marketing, management, distribution principles, and purchasing. Students can customize their degrees by enrolling in a variety of elective courses, such as aerospace quality management, traffic management, and industrial safety procedures. New students can begin the program at the beginning of each semester. Interested applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED and be at least 16 years old.
Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
|GRADUATION RATE 32%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 17%||RETENTION RATE 66%||DEFAULT RATE 14%||
Students at Shoreline Community College can pursue a supply chain management online degree. This program consists of 90 to 91 credit hours and awards students an associate in applied arts and sciences degree. Shoreline runs on the quarter system, and this program is typically completed in six quarters (or two years). Unlike many other programs, Shoreline’s curriculum is designed to prepare students to directly enter the workforce, rather than preparing them to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field. Graduates are ready to assume a variety of positions, including contract specialists, supply chain associates, and logistics and transportation specialists. The curriculum includes studies in foundational supply chain management areas like logistics, materials management, transportation, and purchasing. Students must also complete 18 to 20 credit hours of general education requirements.
West Kentucky Community and Technical College Paducah, KY
|GRADUATION RATE 42%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 20%||RETENTION RATE 63%||DEFAULT RATE 20%||
In addition to earning a supply chain management associate degree online, graduates of West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s associate in applied science logistics and operations management program can graduate with industry standard certificates. After students complete the program’s introductory survey course they are eligible to sit for both the certified logistics associate and certified logistics technician certifications.
This program requires the completion of at least 61 credit hours and usually takes students four semesters to complete. Coursework includes relevant studies in accounting, operations management, and transportation. For students who are only interested in a specific piece of the curriculum, the school also offers 15-credit certificates in international logistics, logistics management, logistics technology, and supply chain management.
Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC
|GRADUATION RATE 17%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 34%||RETENTION RATE 55%||DEFAULT RATE 8%||
Located in eastern North Carolina, Lenoir Community College offers a 67-credit hour supply chain management associate degree online. This program focuses on both domestic and international goods transportation. Students earn an associate in applied science in global logistics technology after studying a range of topics, including advanced global logistics, trucking, and distribution management. Distance coursework is delivered asynchronously. Graduates are prepared to work in manufacturing, government agencies, and service companies.
Students can also pursue one of Lenoir’s many related certificates, including global skills, global logistics, and trucking operations management. There are no minimum GPA requirements for acceptance, but all applicants must submit their high school and/or college transcripts or a GED.
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC
|GRADUATION RATE 16%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 22%||RETENTION RATE 66%||DEFAULT RATE 13%||
Students enrolled in Wake Technical Community College’s associate in applied science in supply chain management program can choose between two concentrations: distribution management (64 credit hours) and global logistics technology (65 credit hours). Each concentration can be completed online and takes about four semesters to complete. Coursework in the program is delivered asynchronously, although students may choose a blended learning option that requires some on-campus work.
Each concentration includes the same core of supply chain management courses, including coursework that covers transportation management and logistics. Upper-level courses are relevant to a student’s specific concentration. Graduates are prepared to work in entry-level management positions in warehouses, government agencies, and a variety of private businesses.
Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta, GA
|GRADUATION RATE 12%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 12%||RETENTION RATE 54%||DEFAULT RATE N/A%||
Suburban Atlanta’s Chattahoochee Technical College offers an online associate of applied science in logistics and supply chain management program. Students usually finish this 62-credit hour program in four semesters. The program includes a 15-credit general education core, with coursework in areas such as composition and rhetoric and economics, and occupational courses in supply chain management. Students also learn about industry-specific areas such as business logistics, purchasing, and materials management, in addition to general skills such as leadership and management.
In order to apply, all students must be at least 16 years old, submit an official transcript or GED, and complete a placement test. Chattahoochee encourages distance learners to attend an optional on-campus orientation.
Palo Alto College San Antonio, TX
|GRADUATION RATE 19%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 31%||RETENTION RATE 63%||DEFAULT RATE 18%||
Palo Alto College is a community college located in the Bay Area that offers a 60-credit associate in applied science in logistics and supply chain management program. Students typically earn their degree in five semesters, with the final term consisting solely of a relevant internship in the supply chain management field.
Palo Alto’s program is somewhat unique among supply chain management online degrees in that its curriculum is sequential; students have a set of courses explicitly laid out for them each semester without any electives. Over the course of the program, students learn about foundational areas of supply chain management, including transportation management, operations management, and purchasing.
Albany Technical College Albany, GA
|GRADUATION RATE 39%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 28%||RETENTION RATE 55%||DEFAULT RATE 24%||
Albany Technical College, in southern Georgia, offers an associate degree in business logistics management program that combines core business classes with occupational coursework related to the supply chain field. Students complete a total of 60 credit hours and usually earn their degree in two years. Classes include studies in materials management, purchasing, and e-commerce. Albany Tech students who don’t have time to pursue a full associate degree can obtain specific certificates in areas such as customer contact, service supervision, and quality assurance.
Before earning a supply chain management associate degree online, Albany Tech students must complete a thorough ACCUPLACER placement test; this test evaluates students in terms of their writing, reading, and math proficiency and places them in appropriate Albany Tech courses.
Coastline Community College Fountain Valley, CA
|GRADUATION RATE 26%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 75%||RETENTION RATE 46%||DEFAULT RATE 18%||
Southern California’s Coastline Community College offers one of the most flexible online supply chain management degrees in the country. The school’s 60-credit hour associate of arts in supply chain management requires 18 credit hours of general education courses, which can include a diverse range of classes ranging from personal finance and history of rock music to modern Iraqi culture. Distance learners also take 21 hours of electives and 21 major-related hours. Students can earn up to 40 credit hours in less traditional ways, including through military experience and Excelsior exams. The major takes a broad business approach to the field. Students complete survey courses in business, human resources management, and accounting.
Davidson County Community College Thomasville, NC
|GRADUATION RATE 30%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 15%||RETENTION RATE 62%||DEFAULT RATE 22%||
Davidson County Community College serves Davidson and Davie counties in North Carolina. The school’s associate in applied science in global logistics and distribution management technology program emphasizes technical literacy. Its curriculum includes coursework in quantitative literacy, computers, and database concepts, in addition to studies in foundational supply chain management areas like global logistics and purchasing.
Distance coursework is delivered asynchronously, and the program usually takes students two years to complete. Upon graduation, DCCC supply chain management students can find work as traffic managers, warehouse managers, inventory professionals, and transportation managers. The college also offers an 18-credit certificate in supply chain management that includes only occupational courses.
Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA
|GRADUATION RATE 27%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 18%||RETENTION RATE 56%||DEFAULT RATE 20%||
As a military-inspired institution, Georgia Military College focuses on both educational and character development. As such, students in the school’s logistics management program complete coursework in personal development areas like college success, wellness, and critical thinking. In addition to these classes, the program’s curriculum opts for a broader, liberal arts approach; this school offers universal business courses as opposed to specific studies related to supply chain management. Full-time students can complete the 94- to 98-credit hour program within 18 months. Students can choose to pursue either an associate in arts or an associate in science degree option. Distance coursework is taught asynchronously. Upon graduation, students are prepared to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution and pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or logistics management.
Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge, IA
|GRADUATION RATE 32%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 12%||RETENTION RATE 59%||DEFAULT RATE 21%||
Located in the city of Fort Dodge, Iowa Central Community College offers an associate of applied science in supply chain management program that is comprised of 67 credit hours. This program usually takes about two years to complete and includes coursework that covers warehousing, transportation, operations, inventory management, and purchasing. The program approaches each of these topics from both a global and domestic perspective.
Students interested in this asynchronous program must complete an online application and submit either a high school transcript or a GED. Distance learners are also required to demonstrate computer proficiency and should be comfortable using Microsoft Office.
Arizona Western College Yuma, AZ
|GRADUATION RATE 16%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 12%||RETENTION RATE 70%||DEFAULT RATE 26%||
Located in Yuma, Arizona Western College offers a 64-credit hour associate in applied science in logistics supply chain management program that can be completed in two years. The program combines an extensive, 21-credit general education core with major courses in areas such as freight claims and contracts, inventory control, and warehouse management. Each student also completes an internship at the end of the program.
As an occupational degree, this program focuses on readying students to enter the workforce rather than preparing them to continue their education. As such, much of the coursework is hands-on and skills-based as opposed to theoretical. The business and computer information division at AWC also offers a host of occupational certificates, including programs that cover accounting, entrepreneurship, and retail management.
How to Choose an Online Associate in Supply Chain Management Program
Most supply chain management associate degree online programs require 60 credits of coursework and can be completed in four semesters. Curriculums usually offer a blend of business foundation courses and major-specific courses. Some supply chain management online degrees are more focused on an international perspective, with more course options concerning global business connections and supply chain networks worldwide. It's important to know what you need from a program. Some are taught synchronously, requiring students to log on at specific times. Busy professionals usually prefer an asynchronous program, which allows them to complete assignments on their own schedule.
Education requirements can fluctuate depending on the size of a corporation and the position you are interested in. Higher-level executive or management positions require at least a bachelor’s degree and a few years of work experience, while entry level positions may only require a high school diploma or associate degree. If you desire a management position, then you should consider transferring into a bachelor’s program. Below are a few four-year programs that would prepare you for upper-level positions.
A logistics management bachelor’s degree prepares students to oversee the day-to-day operational processes, which includes monitoring the flow of goods and meeting the needs of clients. These programs offer core courses on topics such as supply chain negotiation, transportation and distribution management, and quality management.
An operations management bachelor’s degree provides students with the background knowledge and skills to manage systems of production and distribution, as well as the people involved in these systems. Courses cover topics like sustainable operations, spreadsheets in management science, and the integration of costs and scheduling.
A business administration bachelor’s degree provides students with a general foundation of business topics, such as marketing, finance, accounting, and strategic management. Many programs offer specializations in more specific areas like management information systems or supply chain management.
Career Paths for Supply Chain Management Graduates
Supply chain management positions are essential to various industries, including retail, manufacturing, and wholesale trade. Companies require people to manage the influx of raw materials from suppliers, supervise the processing of those materials, and oversee distribution of finished products to customers or business clients. There are a variety of positions available to graduates who understand the workings of supply chain networks, many of which offer high earning potential. Some positions may require further education.
Median Salary: $61,697
Median Salary: $44,044
Median Salary: $60,354
Supply Chain Manager
Median Salary: $82,340
Median Salary: $49,580
Job Outlook and Salary
The supply chain field is projected to maintain a steady growth pattern over the next ten years. Employees working in supply chain management are essential in helping companies find cost efficient solutions to their supply chain operations. Job opportunities and salary for supply chain management associate degree online graduates can vary greatly depending on the industry, location, and specific position. The general decline in the manufacturing industry may affect the number of supply chain jobs that deal specifically with manufacturing.
Buying and purchasing agents are common entry-level position within supply chain management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this position is projected to grow by 2% from 2014 to 2024.
|Employment, 2014||Projected Employment, 2024|
SALARY GROWTH BY EXPERIENCE
Graduates of supply chain management associate degree online programs with more experience in supply chain management are likely to earn more. Salary growth potential is often higher for management or executive positions. As you can see from the chart below, an operations manager’s salary can increase by $26,000 over the course of 20 years, while a purchasing agent’s salary may increase by $7,000 over the same amount of time. Experience makes a difference regardless of your career path.
To determine the best online supply chain management programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 25 best online supply chain management degree programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.