Why you should consider getting an MBA in Supply Chain Management

SOURCE: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP
A sign reading, 'please bear with us: we are currently experiencing interruptions in our supply chain which may affect the availability of certain products,' is seen taped to the drive-up menu at a Wendy's restaurant on May 06, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Reports indicate that hundreds of Wendys restaurants have run out of meat due to supply chain disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic.

By U2B Staff 

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Local and global supply chain for necessities such as food and groceries as well as medical and protective equipment such as ventilators and face masks have been under heavy strain over the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to McKinsey and Co, “While global food supply is still strong, individual countries and regions are starting to experience shortages due to interruptions of local agricultural labour, grain export bans by some countries and interruptions in logistics services. This can be compounded by weather-related harvest declines, such as the locust infestation in Africa.”

When lockdowns were first announced in early March, people around the world rushed to the supermarkets to stock up on toilet paper, bread, flour, and other everyday items as they feared there would soon be a shortage.

The Hindu Business Line reported that unprecedented consumer demand in India “impacted the supply chain forcing each link of the chain to go the extra mile.”

As people in China – the world’s second-largest economy and the world’s biggest trading country – went into lockdown first in January, manufacturers and consumers were severely affected thus disrupting the global supply chain.

More than ever, supply chain companies and industries need strong and capable leaders at the helm to navigate the turbulent waters in 2020.

Supply chain management is one area to consider if you’re looking for a dynamic and challenging career switch, or if you’re already working in the industry and looking to climb up the corporate ladder.

Supply chain management involves dealing with logistics, purchasing, and distribution, and those with an MBA can work in a variety of sectors from food production to healthcare.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) recently conducted its annual Salary Survey which showed a promising outlook for supply management professionals, even during a harsh economic environment.

The press release stated, “Conducted between mid-January and mid-February 2020, the survey highlights that average wage growth for supply management practitioners continued a three-year trajectory, with average overall 2019 compensation reaching US$123,226, a 3.3% increase compared to 2018 (US$119,271).

“This increase is double the 1.6% bump reported for the calendar year 2018 compared to 2017 (US$117,425). In 2019, 87.6% of respondents indicated their base salaries increased, and of those, the average increase was 5.5%.”

ISM CEO Thomas Derry said, “In today’s global economy, excellence in supply management improves both top- and bottom-line performance and advances companies’ leadership on the worldwide stage. Supply management professionals’ higher-than-average wage growth reflects the significant value they add every day.”

The current pandemic and economic situation are leading to unemployment and redundancies, and it’s no better time to upskill yourself if you’ve found yourself out of a job so that you can carve a new career path.


U.S News & World Report recently unveiled its list of Best Supply Chain Management MBA programmes in the US, ranked in 2020 as part of Best Business Schools.

As people are still unable to travel internationally and campuses are still closed due to the pandemic, you can also consider checking out online MBA programmes in Supply Chain Management and Logistics – offered by reputable universities such as Edinburgh Napier University in the UK and Northeastern University in the US.

Studying for your MBA in a niche specialisation such as Supply Chain helps you gain the relevant skills needed to succeed in the industry, along with learning core management concepts and how to deliver effective solutions in real-world contexts.

However, if an MBA is not ideal for you at this time, you can still explore other avenues to get your foot in the door of Supply chain management.

The ISM survey also found that those with a Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) designation earned an average of US$125,996, up 5.4% from the previous year, and those with Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity® (CPSD™) status earned US$130,441, a 3.9% increase.