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Turn yourself into a hot commodity with a regionally accredited degree in supply chain analytics! Companies are desperate to hire experts who know how to analyze the flood of information that’s being generated by supply chain systems. And they’ll offer top dollar to SCM professionals who can transform data into smart decisions. Intrigued? Use our guide to supply chain analytics programs to learn more about education options, coursework, and career pathways. Or jump ahead to our complete directory of on-campus and online programs to make your choice.
What is the Role of Analytics in Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain analytics is a field that uses tools & methods from the realms of data analytics and data science to improve the efficiency of supply chains. Supply chain analysts draw on data from a wide variety of sources—including suppliers, customers, distributors, retailers, and logistics providers—to identify trends and patterns within the supply chain. Using advanced analytics techniques, they can:
- Identify inefficiencies in sourcing, production & delivery
- Optimize operations, warehouses & inventories
- Reduce supply chain costs
- Improve profit margins
- Create a “lean” supply chain
- Accurately forecast supply & demand
- Predict hidden risks & possible disruptions
- Make strategic decisions about the future
The concept of supply chain analytics is not new. Ever since the invention of spreadsheets, companies have used descriptive and diagnostic methods to analyze inventory turnover, inventory-to-sales ratios, stockouts (out-of-stock events), and causes of supply chain disruptions.
But with the advent of big data, the field of supply chain analytics has exploded. Today, supply chain analysts are able to deploy sophisticated tools & software to predict events, simulate scenarios, and even track the entire supply chain process in real-time. They’re taking advantage of exciting new developments in predictive analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), and AI to design supply chains that are run with maximum efficiency and minimum waste.
Bachelor’s Programs in Supply Chain Analytics
Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Supply Chain Analytics
At the undergraduate level, you’ll usually have the option to study supply chain analytics within a larger field of study. This field could be focused on business management, supply chains & operation management, or even engineering. See our program listings for a list of popular degree titles.
Bachelor’s degrees are typically a minimum of 120 credit hours and consist of general education courses, major courses, and electives. On a full-time plan of study, a BS or BBA can be earned in four years.
Curriculum: Bachelor’s Programs in Supply Chain Analytics
If you choose a bachelor’s program in supply chain analytics, you should expect coursework in business statistics, data management, systems analysis, and data analytics. Universities are training you to use a variety of technical methods & strategies to optimize supply chain performance.
Keep in mind that the focus of your coursework will depend on your degree title. For instance:
- Purdue University’s Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Operations Management includes a fair amount of coursework in business & management, as well as supply chain analytics topics (e.g. data mining, predictive analytics, econometrics, advanced spreadsheet modeling & simulation, etc.).
- Supply chain analytics is offered as a concentration in Bradley University’s Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. You’ll be required to study industrial engineering & manufacturing processes before you can attack technical courses such as engineering analytics, business analytics software & applications, data visualization, and the like.
Master’s Programs in Supply Chain Analytics
Overview: Master’s Degrees in Supply Chain Analytics
Once you’ve reached the graduate level, you’ll find a wider range of master’s and MBA degrees that are completely devoted to the field of business or supply chain analytics. Explore all of the fascinating options in our listings.
A standard master’s program typically consists of 30-40 credit hours. On a full-time plan of study, this degree might only take 9 months or one year to complete. Part-time students who elect to take one or two courses per semester can stretch their studies out to 2-3 years.
Curriculum: Master’s Programs in Supply Chain Analytics
Master’s degrees will have more in-depth coverage of supply chain analytics than undergraduate degrees. Think of coursework in data mining, business intelligence, decision analysis, and predictive modeling. You may also be required to complete a capstone project that tackles a real-world supply chain analytics challenge. For instance:
- The University of Pittsburgh offers a STEM-designated Master of Science in Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics that’s packed with credits in statistical analysis, revenue management & pricing analytics, forecasting, data mining, data programming with R, and more. It culminates in a consulting field project or global research practicum.
- Arizona State University has created a STEM-designated Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) that includes a 4-course track in supply chain analytics. You’ll study descriptive & predictive supply chain analytics, logistics in the supply chain, operations planning & execution, and the like. This program features an applied project and even a summer internship opportunity.
Note: For more info on STEM designations & OPT extensions, see the FAQs section in our guide to the Master’s in Supply Chain Management.
Certificate Programs in Supply Chain Analytics
Undergraduate Certificates in Supply Chain Analytics
Not sure if you’re ready to devote your life to supply chain data? At a few schools, you can opt for a undergraduate certificate in supply chain analytics. This is a low-risk way to explore the field. For an example, check out Weber State’s Certificate in Business Analytics for Supply Chain Management. This program is open to students with 5+ years of work experience but no bachelor’s degree OR students with a non-SCM undergraduate degree.
Graduate Certificates in Supply Chain Analytics
Worried about investing a lot of time and money into a master’s degree? Consider earning a graduate certificate in analytics first. With a qualification like UNL’s Online Certificate in Supply Chain Analytics, you can improve your chances of a pay rise or promotion almost immediately and have the option to apply your credits to an MS or MBA in the future.
Online Supply Chain Analytics Programs
Online programs in supply chain analytics offer ultimate flexibility. If you opt for distance learning, you can complete your degree while still working full time. And you won’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience—the best online programs in supply chain analytics will have the same professors & coursework as on-campus versions of the degree.
- Online Bachelor’s Programs: Online undergraduate degrees in supply chain analytics are rare, but they do exist. For instance, Indiana Tech offers a distance version of its Bachelor of Supply Chain Management: Data Analytics that involves 6-week courses. In an online undergraduate program, you can usually expect your schedule to be primarily asynchronous (study on your own time), with some scheduled live sessions. Talk to the program coordinator to get a sense of the daily study requirements.
- Online Master’s Programs: Online master’s degrees in supply chain analytics are widely available from a range of top-notch schools. For example, Boston University offers a 100% Online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management and Analytics with a mandatory industry capstone project and the opportunity to earn Six Sigma certifications. And the University of North Texas has developed a 100% Online MBA in Supply Chain Analytics with flexible part-time or full-time course schedules.
Use our directory to begin making a shortlist of virtual options.
FAQs: Supply Chain Analytics Programs
Where Can I Study Supply Chain Analytics?
Almost anywhere! A growing number of universities now offer degrees and certificates in supply chain analytics at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. In our listings, you’ll find schools that offer part-time, full-time, online, hybrid, and on-campus options. You may even wish to pursue a PhD.
What Do Supply Chain Analytics Programs Like to Cover?
Supply chain analytics programs typically include foundational coursework in statistics, mathematics, operations research, computer science, and/or engineering. You’ll learn how to use fundamental & advanced analytical methods to solve problems in the supply chain and employ software to model and simulate supply chain systems. We’ve included curriculum links in our listings so you can get a quick rundown on each program.
How Do I Choose a Strong Supply Chain Analytics Degree?
Start with standard quality markers. For the money and time that you’re investing, strong supply chain analytics degree & certificate programs should feature:
- Real-world coursework that covers up-to-date analytics tools & methods
- Professors with practical industry experience & current analytics certifications
- A healthy record of job placements in well-paying companies
Ask the program coordinator if you can view supply chain analytics projects from undergraduate seniors or capstone projects from master’s students (e.g. BU’s Past Projects). Inquire about internship opportunities. And talk to recent alumni to get an unvarnished view of the program.
What Should I Look for in a School of Business?
When it comes to supply chain jobs, the reputation of the School of Business may matter just as much as your degree. Look for schools that have a history of supporting business analytics & supply chain management (SCM) initiatives:
- Do they run their own labs and centers in these fields?
- Do they invite SCM and analytics experts to speak at university events?
- Do they encourage students to participate in supply chain case competitions and conferences?
- Do they have a global alumni network that you can tap into?
As a supply chain analyst, you need to be adept in two realms: data science and business operations. Choose a school that respects both subjects!
Supply Chain Analytics Career Outlook
Supply Chain Analytics Jobs
The future is bright for supply chain employees with data expertise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for logisticians will rise 28% from 2021 to 2031. The BLS is also predicting a 23% growth rate for operations research analysts (e.g. data analysts). These growth rates are much faster than the average rate for all occupations.
Before you invest in a supply chain analytics program in our listings, ask the school about typical career pathways. Popular job titles for graduates of supply chain analytics programs include:
- Supply Chain Analyst
- Supply Chain Modeling Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Operations Research Analyst
At the beginning of your career, you may wish to focus on one specific element of the supply chain (e.g. supply markets, inventory, customer demand, etc.). By doing so, you’ll acquire an intimate knowledge of the challenges involved in that arena. Take a look at entry-level positions such as:
- Sourcing Analyst
- Materials Analyst
- Inventory Analyst
- Production Analyst
- Demand Analyst
- Deployment Analyst
- Transportation Analyst
Once you have gained practical analytics experience in a number of departments, you’ll be better qualified to make end-to-end decisions. You can then decide if you want to move into management positions (e.g. Supply Chain Manager, Supply Chain Director, Senior Supply Chain Analyst, etc.) or advanced technical & consultant roles.
Supply Chain Analytics Salaries
The BLS provides detailed wage data for logisticians and operations research analysts. You can see—at a glance—which states, cities, and industries are offering the highest wages for these professions. In 2022, the mean annual wage was $81,220 for logisticians and $95,820 for operations research analysts. (Remember that these estimates will include wages for junior & senior employees.)
If you’d like more precise numbers for entry-level positions, have a look at salary data on popular job sites such as Glassdoor, Payscale, and Indeed. In 2023, most sites were predicting that early supply chain analysts could earn around $50,000-$70,000 per year. This number will depend on the size of the company, the location, and the industry.