The pandemic has also demonstrated the fragility of global supply chains, showing the importance of effective supply chain management to combat delays and blockages. This has saved many industries, including retail, manufacturing, and technology.
These developments make specialized Masters in Supply Chain Management an interesting prospect for those aiming to climb the ladder and push their career forward within the field.
Their popularity is clear: according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) applications to Masters in Supply Chain Management worldwide rose by 46% in 2021.
So which are the best supply chain management schools when it comes to masters degrees?
10 Best Masters in Supply Chain Management
According to the 2023 QS Masters in Supply Chain Management ranking, MIT’s Centre for Transportation and Logistics has the world's top program for the third year running.
The school’s Master in Global Supply Chain Management places first for key criteria including Thought Leadership, Alumni Outcome, and Employability, which indicates the percentage of students employed six-months post-graduation. The b-school comes second in the rankings for Value for Money just behind Purdue University Krannert School of Management.
MIT students work directly with researchers and industry experts on complex and challenging problems. The program's success owes largely to its emphasis on putting theory into practice using real-life examples.
WU Vienna University of Economics and Business has maintained their position in second place this year, after skyrocketing eight places in 2022. The school ranks among the top three for Employability, and Alumni Outcomes, which analyzes where over 50,000 top business leaders went to business school.
WU's Master in Supply Chain Management also places second for diversity, with a class comprised of more than 79% international students.
Taking the final place on the podium is Michigan Ross School of Business, with strong performances in Value for Money and Alumni Outcome categories. The Ross Master's is a 10-month, STEM-certified program for college graduates with up to 10 years of work experience. A large majority of students go on to work for global companies including Amazon, McKinsey & Co, Microsoft, and Deloitte.
Netherlands-based Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) maintains fourth place, with strong performances in Thought Leadership and Employability. Located in Europe’s busiest port and the epicentre of international trade, RSM provides first-hand knowledge on global supply chains which drives its world-renowned expertise and research.
USC Marshall School of Business ranks in fifth place. The USC program is uniquely flexible, designed around your academic and professional goals and can be completed either on-campus or as an online Master's.
Alliance Manchester Business School overtakes Trinity Business School in sixth place, leaving the latter in seventh place. POLIMI Graduate School of Management (previously known as Politecnico di Milano) ranked in eighth, while the final two spaces are occupied by the University of Washington, Foster School of Business and Purdue University Krannert School of Management at ninth and tenth place respectively.
Unusually for Masters rankings, US schools represent 50% of the 10 best supply chain management schools. European business schools often dominate business masters rankings, like the Master in Marketing or Master in Finance.
The QS Master’s in Supply Chain Management ranking is assessed by looking at data from three surveys, including surveys of recruiters and the business schools themselves. Programs are ranked according to five key indicators: Employability, Alumni Outcomes, Value for Money, Thought Leadership, and Class and Faculty Diversity.
QS places significant importance on employability (35%), as well as on the categories for Value for Money and Thought Leadership with an equal weighting of 20% overall.
Best Supply Chain Management Schools For A Master's
Is A Master In Supply Chain Worth It?
Studying a master’s requires a significant investment, and it’s important to consider whether it matches your career goals, and ultimately if enrolling is worth the price.
Masters tuition fees in the US are often expensive. Studying a Master in Supply Chain at MIT, for example, costs $80,400 , while cheaper options at USC Marshall and Michigan Ross amount to $66k and $55k ($60k for non-Michigan residents). But US universities in the top 10 also placed well for Value for Money, with students able to kickstart their careers in the field in top-rated companies after graduation.
You may decide to study in the EU or the UK, where tuition fees tend to be lower. It costs around $20k (€20,700) to study in Rotterdam as a non-European citizen or $2,113 for Europeans.
Paying lower fees also doesn't jeopardize your chances of obtaining a high-paying role post-graduation—more than 80% of graduates find a job within the first three months at Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management.
Across all programs in the ranking, QS reveals, the average time it takes to pay back the cost of tuition is 3.5 years. You're likely to reap the rewards from a Master in Supply Chain Management for many years to come, which suggests enrolling is a worthy investment.
To decide which program and which university may suit your needs the best, it's important to check out differences in curriculum, diversity in applicants and culture, any required visas, and of course the location.