Supply chain management is a popular career path among today’s students and young professionals. Many organizations value this business area and pay well to obtain some of the top talent in the field. In fact, supply chain management is expected to grow a whopping 30 percent over the next ten years.

Resource: 15 Best Online Master’s in Supply Chain Management Degrees 2017

Students interested in the field often pursue a masters degree after obtaining an undergraduate degree in a related field. It’s diffficult to determine which undergraduate program will best prepare you for a career in this popular industry, but here are a few of the most related courses of study:

Systems Engineering

Supply chain management draws a lot from the theories and concepts used in systems engineering. The supply chain process includes structuring an efficient flow of goods which requires the integration and development of different business tools and concepts. Systems engineers are trained to design and manage complex systems over a life cycle so these strategies flow nicely into the supply chain process. Many of the theories between these two fields can be used universally and many professionals in the supply chain industry come from an engineering background.

Information Technology

A lot of the supply chain process involves the use of technology. Without sufficient tech knowledge, a business may fail to complete the process in a timely manner, and may lose out to a competitor as a result. Managers will use a variety of software tools to track and execute transactions, manage supplier relationships, and track inventory. Technology is a staple in the supply chain business so familiarity and comfort with the use of a variety of technology systems and their business applications can be extremely beneficial.

General Business

A degree in business is a no-brainer when it comes to the supply chain field. A business degree will give you a solid framework for understanding supply chain concepts in addition to other business applications. Many employers look for this broad business background. With a degree in business, you’ll learn the financial, people, and technology implications for this process and will be trained on discovering more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing business. These concepts are very transitional and can pay off in the long run. If you’re interested in pursuing a masters in supply chain theories, you can’t go wrong with a general business degree.

Management

Management is an important piece of the supply chain puzzle. In this field, you’ll be expected to oversee the entire process from start to finish so management practices are used quite frequently in the business. An undergraduate degree in management will uncover some of the most effective management techniques and will prepare you for managing all aspects of the very detail-oriented supply chain process. You’ll explore best practices for both the people and product side of the business which can be extremely valuable as you enter the industry. You’ll feel comfortable diving right into supply chain theories and you’ll bring a unique perspective to the table.

Marketing

Surprisingly, marketing channels are an extremely important part of supply chain coordination. Supply chain managers must be extremely adept at marketing their systems and must feel comfortable competing for business. This means that managers must feel comfortable presenting data and negotiating business. A degree in marketing will prepare you for this competitive process and will give you an edge when it comes to soliciting business in the field.

These are just a few of the many degrees that intertwine nicely with supply chain theories. If you are planning to pursue an advanced degree in this field, any of these undergrad tracks will equip you with the tools and knowledge needed to be a complete success!