Invest to compete: open up a world of jobs with an MSc in supply chain management

From fast-food restaurants running out of supplies of chicken, to the chaos of the UK’s recent petrol pump shortage, we are seeing first-hand the significant contribution that supply chain and logistics makes to our everyday lives. With the lasting effects of Brexit and the pandemic still being felt, industry leaders continue to warn of an increasing skills gap in the sector.

We spoke to Dr Byung-Gak Son and Dr Jörg Ries, Programme Directors of the MSc Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics, about why there’s never been a better time to gain a competitive advantage in a global supply chain and logistics job market.

Written by Allie Fitzgibbon |

A man scanning boxes in a warehouse.
Now is an important time to consider wider perspectives on supply chain management – including areas like risk management, financial management and innovation.

The University of London, in partnership with City, University of London and its highly respected Bayes Business School, offers an industry accredited, online MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics. This fully online programme can be studied from anywhere in the world, at a pace that suits you.

Sometimes referred to as ‘the hidden profession’, supply chain management and logistics is an industry that most consumers take for granted. However, a spotlight has been firmly shone on the sector for the last two years as we have seen rationing of supermarket supplies, shortages of PPE, delays in the vaccination rollout and, most recently, panic buying of petrol.

Through the pandemic, top management has realised that a functioning supply chain is absolutely essential for business. And this has opened up great opportunities for people in the field to progress in their companies.

Dr Ries commented: “Supply chain and logistics is one of those subjects that we’re hardly aware of when everything is running smoothly. But with Brexit and the pandemic, we have come to realise that our often efficiency-focussed supply chains are prone to disruptions and that’s put more emphasis on the field.

“We’re also increasingly seeing the impact of emerging technologies, like AI and blockchain, on the sector. So now is an important time to consider wider perspectives on supply chain management – including areas like risk management, financial management and innovation. Our programme offers students the very latest thinking on these topics.”

However, because it is now such a business-critical function, we’re seeing more people with postgraduate degrees moving into the field. Having a master’s from a reputable school will help you to compete at the same level – it’s definitely an investment worth making.”

Dr Son added: “Through the pandemic, top management has realised that a functioning supply chain is absolutely essential for business. And this has opened up great opportunities for people in the field to progress in their companies.

“Traditionally, supply chain and logistics management was considered a field that may not require a postgraduate degree. However, because it is now such a business-critical function, we’re seeing more people with postgraduate degrees moving into the field. Having a master’s from a reputable school will help you to compete at the same level – it’s definitely an investment worth making.”

While recent media attention has focussed on a shortage of qualified HGV drivers, the sector has a wealth of career opportunities. Dr Son explained how the flexible postgraduate programme can boost your job prospects.

Dr Son said: “We have a real mix of students on our programme – some come straight from their undergraduate degree, while others have as much as 20 years’ work experience. Our programme is versatile enough to suit everyone. The main thing we’re looking for is people with ambition who want to progress in their career and move into senior decision-making roles.

“In order to do that, you have to broaden your understanding beyond supply chain and see how other business areas, such as marketing, strategy and finance are, critically interconnected with supply chain and logistics.”

Our programme provides not only a solid foundation in core supply chain management skills but also a wider understanding of these other vital managerial disciplines.

Dr Ries added: “Our programme provides not only a solid foundation in core supply chain management skills but also a wider understanding of these other vital managerial disciplines. In order to understand how supply chain can improve the bottom line you must understand how it interconnects with the rest of the business.”

While there are a number of other master’s and professional training programmes on offer, the flexibility of the University of London’s master’s programme means you can maintain your career momentum, as Dr Ries explained.

“It’s entirely up to you whether you want to complete the programme in one year or five years. You can actually balance it according to personal requirements. That’s a big selling point of our programme and it’s why it suits so many people already working in the industry: you don’t have to take a break from your career – you can earn while you learn.”

Dr Son concluded: “Because our programme is accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), if you pass all the required modules and you have the relevant work experience you will gain the CMILT and MCIPS designations and have a competitive advantage within the industry.”

Invest in your future and gain the skills you need to compete in a global industry with the University of London’s MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics.