MBA degrees with a focus on supply chain management are growing rapidly in popularity. Supply chain managers coordinate and oversee key operational elements of supply chains. According to PayScale, supply chain managers earn an average annual salary of $82,000. Although their duties are similar, there are several programs that focus on certain aspects of the job.

Resource: Top 10 Online Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Degree Programs 2014

1. International Supply Chain Administration

This may also be called global supply chain management administration. Some programs are designed to focus mostly on international chains. Students learn how chains operate in foreign countries and the different aspects of doing business in those countries. They learn about laws and procedures covering everything from shipping to purchasing. Since global supply chain management includes such a vast amount of information, programs are intense. Some may last longer than others. However, having an international focus with this degree gives graduates more job options in a world where global businesses are expanding every day.

2. Operations Management

Some programs focus mostly on business operations in supply chain management. Students learn more about accounting, project management, communication in the workplace and communication with vendors or clients. They learn how to track inventory, plan inventory and prevent losses. They also work hard to build good relationships with vendors and clients. When supply chain managers are in charge of operations, their job duties are vast. They include everything from communicating with all involved parties to balancing books in some positions. Since most jobs that focus on operations management require experience, graduates may have to start at other types of supply chain management jobs first.

3. Logistics

For students who are good at planning, a supply chain management Master’s degree that focuses on logistics is a good choice. Supply chain managers who specialize in logistics are responsible for overseeing ordering and shipping. They figure out how to keep supplies at the right levels and how to get them to clients. Supply chain managers who are responsible for logistics may also be in charge of maintaining relationships with clients and vendors. This job requires good attention to detail.

4. Production Planning

Students who consider themselves visionaries will succeed as production planners with a supply chain management degree. Production planning requires the ability to see a finished product or system before it has been completed. Production planners are responsible for setting up plans for producing or selling supplies. They may also work as project managers throughout the process. They ensure that activities go as planned and that financial goals are met. Production planners communicate with everyone involved and must adapt their plans as needed when there are changes.

5. Quality Assurance

For students who are good leaders and have the ability to evaluate objectively, this is a good concentration to choose. Some programs teach students advanced skills in managing other workers. In a supply chain management Master’s program, they learn more about how to oversee production, shipping and other activities of workers. They learn how to evaluate workers and make necessary adjustments or recommendations based on workforce needs and issues. QA specialists may also work with HR staff to move workers to different positions or may change their schedules to ensure top-quality work from each employee.

A degree in supply chain management is a great choice for students who have ambition and leadership qualities. Since a Bachelor’s degree is required for entry into a Master’s program, earning a Bachelor’s degree in supply chain management or a field related to any of the specialties in the previous list is a must.