No matter what type of business you work for, there is going to be supply chain management. There might not be a department for it, but someone is responsible for inventory, incoming orders, and purchasing. However, to prove your worth in these areas, some type of degree may be necessary. While working to support your family, this can be hard. Luckily, you can keep working and get a degree online. Here are a few options and what to look for to get the education you need:
The first thing you want to check when looking for any program is that it is accredited by the educational agency in your state. This means that the program fulfills all the necessary requirements to give the degree. There are some schools that offer to teach you what you need to know but cannot provide any degree or certificate to prove you have all the needed knowledge.
Colleges and Universities
Your best option is to check with local colleges and universities. Many of them now offer all the classes you will need online, so you can fit your studies in with your work schedule. However, there may be a few courses you will have to go to the school to attend due to laboratory requirements. Look through their class schedules to make sure that you can fit these classes in during your time off from work. Since these establishments almost always have the proper accreditation, you won't have to worry about that issue.
Credit for Work
Once you have completed a Bachelor's degree, you should talk with your employer about taking on some of the supply chain tasks. Then you can talk with the school about using your work towards the credits needed for the master's degree. Most programs will require some type of capstone experience. This may be an internship, a research project, or hands-on experience. If you can use your current work for this, you will not have to spend more hours completing this part of the degree.
If you do not have any college under your belt, the whole process could take six years or more, depending on how many classes you can complete online each semester. If you have an Associate degree, it will take four or more years, and with a Bachelor's degree, you can finish the Master's online in two years. While it might seem like a long time, and the costs might be high, the amount of money you can make once completed will be well worth it. Talk with the company you work for to see if they will offer any kind of tuition assistance and do not forget to apply for grants and scholarships to help defray how much you have to pay out-of-pocket. You will be glad you took the time to get the degree as your family and responsibilities grow over the years.
Contact local supply chain management programs for more information and assistance.