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How do I Become a Supply Chain Manager?

Pursuing a career as a Supply Chain Manager involves earning a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, business, or a related field. Gaining relevant work experience, acquiring industry certifications, and developing strong analytical and leadership skills are also crucial steps in this journey.
Elva K.
Elva K.

The supply chain manager is involved with each aspect of putting products into consumers hands. Thus, the supply chain manager is involved at each step of the way from the beginning or raw material stage to the end when consumers purchase the product and take the product home. If you aspire to become a supply chain manager, you will generally need a college degree and postgraduate training.

Earning a bachelor's degree in business can be helpful if you hope to become a supply chain manager. The bachelor's degree may or may not have a specialization in supply chain, depending on what college you attend. Granted, if your college has a supply chain specialization on the bachelor's degree level, it can be helpful to take the supply chain specialization because that will demonstrate to prospective employers that you are well-qualified academically and have strong interest in a career in supply chain management.

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

If you want to be a supply chain manager, doing a college internship can be a good way to get real-life experience that supplements the learning you did in college classes. The internship can give you an opportunity to experience firsthand the sort of pressures a supply chain manager experiences. Also, you will have the opportunity to be supervised and form business relationships during the internship that could prove helpful as you ascend the career ladder.

An internship can provide the hands on experience that's needed to become a supply chain manager.
An internship can provide the hands on experience that's needed to become a supply chain manager.

In order to become a supply chain manager, it is necessary to pursue the Master of Business (MBA) degree in business with a supply chain specialization. This MBA typically includes supply chain coursework such as sourcing, operations research, marketing, and logistics management. Also, a supply chain graduate-level internship is typically required as part of the MBA program.

A certificate in production and inventory management can be a stepping stone toward a supply chain manager position.
A certificate in production and inventory management can be a stepping stone toward a supply chain manager position.

Getting certification is not a requirement, however, it can greatly help your career efforts. You could earn a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) certificate or a Certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certificate. Having a certificate enhances your professional credibility and demonstrates your knowledge and determination to pursue a supply chain manager career.

A supply chain manager in a small organization may find vendors and authorize purchase orders as well as ensure delivery.
A supply chain manager in a small organization may find vendors and authorize purchase orders as well as ensure delivery.

Supply chain manager work involves functioning in a number of roles. For example, managers doing supply chain work can do procurement, analyze logistics, manage warehouses, manage materials, and analyze inventory. Thus, it is helpful if you have a natural ability to multitask if you aspire to become a supply chain manager. In addition, it is also useful if you develop the ability to work well under pressure, since the process of getting products to consumers in a timely manner can be stressful.

A strong background in the manufacturing industry can help someone who wants to work as a supply chain manager.
A strong background in the manufacturing industry can help someone who wants to work as a supply chain manager.

Career options for supply chain managers are plentiful. For example, work is not limited to the following settings; however, examples of possible work settings include logistics firms, transportation providers, communications providers, manufacturing companies, retailing companies, or the government. By contrast, if you were a supply chain manager who did not want to continue to work as a supply chain manager, you could go back to school to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in business so that you could teach college classes.

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    • An illustration of a supply chain.
      By: S.John
      An illustration of a supply chain.
    • An internship can provide the hands on experience that's needed to become a supply chain manager.
      By: endostock
      An internship can provide the hands on experience that's needed to become a supply chain manager.
    • A certificate in production and inventory management can be a stepping stone toward a supply chain manager position.
      By: Monkey Business
      A certificate in production and inventory management can be a stepping stone toward a supply chain manager position.
    • A supply chain manager in a small organization may find vendors and authorize purchase orders as well as ensure delivery.
      By: Tyler Olson
      A supply chain manager in a small organization may find vendors and authorize purchase orders as well as ensure delivery.
    • A strong background in the manufacturing industry can help someone who wants to work as a supply chain manager.
      By: evok20
      A strong background in the manufacturing industry can help someone who wants to work as a supply chain manager.
    • A supply chain manager may have to manage warehouses and analyze inventory.
      By: endostock
      A supply chain manager may have to manage warehouses and analyze inventory.
    • A supply chain manager may be responsible for managing warehouses and analyzing inventory.
      By: anekoho
      A supply chain manager may be responsible for managing warehouses and analyzing inventory.