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MS SCM Frequently Asked Questions

Online Master of Science in Management & Leadership at the University of Houston
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Why should I pursue my MS-SCM at Bauer's College of Business at the University of Houston?

What is unique about the Supply Chain Management program at the Bauer College of Business?

When are classes offered?

Is a Master of Science equivalent to an SCM technology degree or certificate?

Can I use prior certification courses in Supply Chain Management to waive courses?

Can I work while taking classes?

What are the classes like? Will I be learning practical knowledge, or just academic theories?

I understand that Supply Chain Management is a broad topic. What part or function of Supply Chain Management is emphasized?

How large are the classes I will take? Who will be my fellow students?

Who will be teaching my classes?

What management skills will I develop within the MS-SCM program?

Why Houston? Why should I pursue my advanced degree in Houston, TX?

 

Other Questions:

Why would I want to attend your program in person?

I know I want to be involved in Supply Chain Management as a career. But, Supply Chain Management is so broad, I don’t know what area of SCM to pursue and I don’t know exactly what job I want when I graduate. Will this be a disadvantage to me?

I really want to pursue a career in Project Management. Which is better: Supply Chain Management or Project Management?

Do I have to get an internship or be working during the program?

What advice do you have for completing the application to the MS-SCM Program?

 

 

Why should I pursue my MS-SCM at Bauer’s College of Business at the University of Houston?

There are several reasons:

  • This program is high value and low time commitment. With very competitive tuition, this 30-credit program is designed to be completed in 18 – 24 months:
    • 18 hours focused Supply Chain Management content: Students learn advanced, leading-edge, world-class tools and techniques within all areas of Supply Chain Management (Plan-Buy-Make-Deliver)
    • 12 hours focused Supply Chain and Business Analytics content: Students learn the analytical skills that employers value.
  • You can complete this program as either a full time or a part time student.
  • The MS-SCM program at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston – the home of the Cougars, is the ONLY MS-SCM program within 100 miles of Houston, TX that has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation as being part of a Tier 1 University.
  • The C.T. Bauer College of Business is the ONLY Business school within the University of Houston System chosen to be part of the elite designation of being a Carnegie Foundation classified Tier 1 program. Earning your advanced degree from the C.T. Bauer College of Business carries more prestige, backed by real performance, career success, and honored reputation, than any other business program within the University of Houston System.

 

What is unique about the Supply Chain Management program at the Bauer College of Business?

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

Universities are scrambling to keep up with the increasing demand for Supply Chain Management Graduates. The University of Houston has always been on the leading edge of Supply Chain Management. Our program is one of the first developed in the country and we are one of the largest. Companies travel from all over the world to recruit SPECIFICALLY at the University of Houston. Our program focuses on SCM applications, with many of our courses involving hands-on, industry-based projects to give students the experience needed to get the best job. Our program teaches the analytical and problem solving skills that companies are looking for in Supply Chain Professionals.

 

When are classes offered?

Courses are primarily offered in the evenings during the Fall and Spring semesters, allowing students to be working full-time during the program or to obtain a valuable internship/co-op to build a work history in Supply Chain Management. Students appreciate this flexible evening schedule. Classes are currently not offered during summer. Applicants can begin taking classes in either Fall or Spring semester.

 

Is a Master of Science equivalent to an SCM technology degree or certificate?

The MS-SCM degree is an advanced management degree earned within the prestigious $40M Endowed C. T. Bauer College of Business. This is not a low-tier “technology” degree. This is not a low-value “certificate” program. You earn a specialized degree with the backing of a management-track business program.

Some "technology" degrees focus on project management. The Bauer MS-SCM program includes, but is so much larger than just project management.

In the College of Business, our classes go beyond being able to "do" Supply Chain Management. Of course, you learn World Class SCM principles in purchasing/procurement, production/process/quality, and in transportation/logistics. But the goal of our program is not only to prepare you to do a "job" in Supply Chain Management, our program is designed to give you the tools you will need to become a manager and leader in your organization. Here's how:

Being in the College of Business, every one of your classes includes a business management component. You learn how to manage teams of people who are using the tools and techniques you are learning. When you do in-class simulations and activities, we use the business financials (balance sheet/income statement) to measure performance because that is what top managers are expected to be able to do.

We have two classes in the curriculum that are specifically designed to give you this management experience and prepare you for promotion in your organization: SCM 7350 is a course on Supply Chain Strategy. A professor with over 20 years of experience as an executive-level manager in Global SCM organizations teaches this dynamic course. He is able to teach this class because he has actually been successful deploying the same strategies he is teaching you. The other unique class is SCM 7385 - Corporate Projects. In this class, you will collaborate with a team, going into a real organization to solve a real Supply Chain Management challenge. The professor in this class has many years of consulting experience and individually coaches each team to manage stakeholder expectations, gather and analyze data, present to executive leadership, and implement SCM solutions in complex organizations. This is not a "class project." You are doing real Supply Chain work that has a measurable impact on a real organization.

Additionally, companies today are looking for advanced analytics skills in the employees who are going to rise to the top ranks of management. While many of our classes have a data-analytics component, our program requires a cluster of four Business Analytics courses that give our graduates an advantage in the job market. With these courses, you learn to take large data sets (that every company has, but very few know how to understand), clean the data to find the relevant nuggets of information, create a compelling business case using that data, display the data in forms that persuasively communicate a clear pathway for organizational success, and create technology solutions that will continue to deliver financial return in the future. In today's competitive business environment, these skills are invaluable.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

Your classes are diverse. In your class, you will sit next to practitioners who are looking to deepen their SCM knowledge, engineers who want to get the business perspective, and high performing managers who are taking the class as an elective in the MBA programs. You will be collaborating and networking with these managers. In fact, many of our students have found their next job in the program just by working with a hiring manager in a class project.

And as a graduate of the C. T. Bauer College of Business, your degree is associated with the business leaders and executives who have risen to the top levels in their organization as a result of completing all of our various Business-Focused programs. Our graduates find that their resume becomes a lot more attractive when they are able to put "MS-SCM from the Bauer College of Business" on their résumé.

 

Can I use prior certification courses in Supply Chain Management to waive courses?

No. The immersive and interactive nature of our courses will expose you to unique techniques and management methods that differ from other certifications you may have received. All our courses are required to earn the degree.

 

Can I work while taking classes?

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

This program is designed to encourage our students to obtain Supply Chain Management internships, co-ops, or full time employment while attending classes. This accomplishes several goals:

  • Gives you a real business context in which to understand the concepts taught in class. Because Supply Chain Management is an applied discipline, the concepts you will learn are best understood within a specific business environment. Your professors will be providing case examples and business application, but our students enhance these experiences by having their own work context in which to understand and discuss the topics.
  • Gives you a real business environment in which to apply your classroom knowledge. Class projects may be done within your individual work setting and students are encouraged to use the material they learn within their jobs during each semester.
  • Provides you with practical Supply Chain Management work experience which, in addition to your advanced degree in Supply Chain Management, makes our graduates extremely competitive in the job market.

 

What are the classes like? Will I be learning practical knowledge, or just academic theories?

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

Your MS-SCM courses are designed to be experiential – including projects and real-world cases studies that provide opportunities for you to practice the tools, techniques, principles that you are learning within the context of real business. Taking our classes, you will be prepared to deliver value to a company on Day One. Many of the companies that hire our students report that UH SCM graduates are the most prepared, most productive new hires.

Our courses are designed using material that is relevant to the companies who are recruiting from UH and the companies our students are interested in pursuing for a career. You will learn specialized concepts that will differentiate you from other job applicants. The course material focuses on the real skills companies require for their employees, not “academic” concepts that have limited real world applicability. These courses are interactive, with small group activities, interactions, class discussion, and simulations.

 

I understand that Supply Chain Management is a broad topic. What part or function of Supply Chain Management is emphasized?

Our program is a comprehensive Supply Chain Management program that includes all of the aspects of Supply Chain Management. Our program is well balanced, preparing you to be successful in any career path within Supply Chain Management that you desire:

  • PLAN/Supply Chain Strategy/Executive management function of Supply Chain
  • BUY/Sourcing/Procurement/Category Management
  • MAKE/Process Improvement/Quality Management/Production/Services
  • DELIVER/Transportation/Logistics/Distribution/System Analytics
  • Project Management and Project Governance
  • Analytics/Technology/Excel/Access/Basic Programing/Data Visualization
  • Inventory Management and Control
  • Managing Supply Chains utilizing Business Financial metrics
  • Integrated end-to-end Supply Chain Management

 

How large are the classes I will take? Who will be my fellow students?

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

The typical class is 15 – 30 students. This allows professors to spend time meeting students and working on ways to apply the classroom concepts within the students’ jobs. Within your classes, you will build meaningful relationships with your classmates, many of whom are often working in Supply Chain Management roles. Some of your classmates will be MBA students taking an SCM course as an elective. In these classes, you will participate within group projects alongside a diverse range of business managers, providing networking and learning opportunities.

Small classes also enable deep activities within which you will be able to explore SCM topics in more detail, participate in individualized group discussions, and network with professional guest speakers – top managers from companies who are actively hiring our graduates. Additionally, you will experience several industry discussion panels, where you will meet Supply Chain Management professionals and learn how classroom concepts are currently being used in real businesses.

 

Who will be teaching my classes?

Our professors offer a diverse balance of backgrounds and specialties:

  • Several faculty have practical business management experience within the areas of Supply Chain Management that they teach.
  • Several faculty continue to maintain working relationships with the top recruiting companies of our Supply Chain Management program in order to include relevant examples, tools, concepts, principles that these companies require of their new hires in order to be successful in a career in Supply Chain Management
  • Several faculty are actively researching new, cutting edge, envelope-pushing, grounded-in-industry, Supply Chain Management techniques and methods that are being used to expand the capabilities of today’s Global Supply Chains.
  • Our professors really care about you. They want to see your career success and work to develop relationships with their students, providing career coaching and advice and assistance applying the course material.
  • Our professors encourage and drive innovation and creativity

Want to meet some of our professors? Click HERE

 

What management skills will I develop within the MS-SCM program?

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

To meet more students & alumni click HERE.

  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Systems Thinking
  • Communication Skills
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Teambuilding and Team Management
  • Business Analytical Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Business Financial Acumen: in preparation for business management roles
  • Collaboration with all other business functions: Finance, Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Customer Service, Human Resources, Executive Management

 

Why Houston? Why should I pursue my advanced degree in Houston, TX?

There are many reasons that Houston, TX is a great place to pursue your MS in Supply Chain Management:

  • Global Personal Diversity – you will be attending classes with a diverse group of students from different backgrounds, nationalities, work experiences, multi-racial, languages, and beliefs. This will prepare you to enter the increasingly Global Supply Chain marketplace.
  • Global Company Diversity
    • Around 25 Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in Houston
    • More than 50 companies with $5B annual revenue have headquarters in Houston
    • Houston is home to a variety of exciting industries that are all hiring Supply Chain Management Professionals:
      • Oil and Gas and Oilfield Services
      • Healthcare/Medicine
      • Aerospace and Aviation
      • Communications and Technology
      • Manufacturing
      • Distribution and International Shipping
  • Houston is a major international hub for Global Supply Chain Management
    • The Port of Houston, one of the region's greatest assets, ranks as the nation's largest port in international tonnage and second in total tonnage.
    • Three airports, which form the sixth-largest airport system in the world
    • A massive trucking and rail system that links the southern, south central, midwestern and western United States
    • More than 600 trucking firms operate in Houston
    • Two major rail systems operate 14 mainline tracks radiating from Houston
  • Houston is a growing job market in a variety of Supply Chain-related industries
    • Professional and business services including architectural, engineering, and related services industry: 9.1% increase over the year compared to a national 1.9% increase.
    • Houston manufacturing, including durable goods manufacturing: 3.9% increase over the year compared to a national 0.4% gain.
    • Houston petroleum and coal products manufacturing: 17.0% annual rate of job growth.
    • Mining and logging in Houston: 7.4% annual rate of job growth compared to a 0.5% rate of job loss nationally.
  • Other than Supply Chain Management employment opportunities and the Bauer MS-SCM program, there are many reasons to relocate to Houston, TX:
    • Low housing costs
    • Competitive energy costs
    • No state income tax
    • Desirable urban and suburban housing developments
    • Professional and Semi-Professional Sports: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer
    • Arts, Culture, Concerts, and Entertainment: 2nd largest theatre district in the U.S.
    • World class museums and zoo
    • Diverse, International restaurants
    • World class shopping
    • Year-Round outdoor activities

 

Why would I want to attend your program in person?

Supply Chain Management as a discipline is inherently interactive, dynamic, hands-on, and experiential. Most Supply Chain Management jobs are not accomplished exclusively behind a computer. We feel it is important for you to learn Supply Chain Management knowledge, skills, and abilities in the same way that you will practice Supply Chain Management — with other people, and within the context of real business challenges.

Thus, our courses are designed to be experiential and interactive, with small group activities, interactions, class discussion, simulations, projects, and real-world cases studies that provide opportunities for you to practice the tools, techniques, principles that you are learning within the context of real business. Taking our classes, you will be prepared to deliver value to a company on Day One. Many of the companies that hire our students report that UH SCM graduates are the most prepared, most productive new hires.

This is also why our classes are not just taught out of a textbook. Our courses are designed using material that is relevant to the companies who are recruiting from UH and the companies our students are interested in pursuing for a career. You will learn specialized concepts that will differentiate you from other job applicants. Several faculty have practical business management experience within the areas of Supply Chain Management that they teach. Your professors bring additional learning opportunities into the classroom experience that is not printed in any textbook. Therefore, the course material focuses on the real skills companies require for their employees, not “academic” concepts that have limited real world applicability.

 

I know I want to be involved in Supply Chain Management as a career. But, Supply Chain Management is so broad, I don’t know what area of SCM to pursue and I don’t know exactly what job I want when I graduate. Will this be a disadvantage to me?

Supply Chain Management professionals make sure our companies have the right materials, products, and services in the right place, at the right time, with the best quality, and the lowest cost. With the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, you will learn advanced, leading-edge, world-class tools and techniques within all areas of Supply Chain Management (Plan-Buy-Make-Deliver). You do not have to decide which part of Supply Chain Management you would like to pursue in a career right now. The training you will receive in our program will enable you to be successful in ANY Supply Chain Management career (and be a preferred candidate for these jobs). In fact, you don’t even need to decide what part of Supply Chain Management you would like to pursue after you get a job. Because Supply Chain Management is so interconnected, no matter what job you get right out of our program, you will be working alongside and interacting with Supply Chain Professionals within every Supply Chain Function. In fact, many companies offer an introductory rotation program for Supply Chain Management graduates where you spend 3 – 6 months at a time in a variety of Supply Chain Management related roles to discover what you like best and where you perform the best. Regardless, after working for 18-24 months, it becomes possible for our graduates to pursue a different job in a different part of the Supply Chain.

 

I really want to pursue a career in Project Management. Which is better: Supply Chain Management or Project Management?

Project management is essentially like running a Supply Chain. You have to plan activities and coordinate the work of a variety of resources. You must purchase products, materials, and services. You must schedule the delivery of these products, materials, and services so that you have the right resources in the right place at the right time in the right quantities at high quality and minimal cost. You must manage the work involved in blending and transforming these products and materials and resources into a unique deliverable. You must deliver value to your customers. You must coordinate the transportation and logistics of the resources within your project. In a sense, Project Management is just a specialized representation of Supply Chain Management.

By studying Supply Chain Management, you will learn advanced techniques, skills, and concepts that will enable you to perform Project Management at a higher level. In fact, within our MS-SCM program, we have a course dedicated to Project Management that is taught by an experienced industry Project Manager. Students who take this class often pursue and attain Project Management Certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The 24 hours of classroom time they acquire in this course can be counted towards the training credit they need towards pursuing PMI's Project Management Professional certification.

In addition to this, by obtaining the MS-Supply Chain Management, you will build flexibility into your career so that your career is not limited to only Project Management. In the future, you will have the flexibility to be successful in ANY Supply Chain Management career (and be a preferred candidate for these jobs). Because Supply Chain Management is so interconnected, no matter what job you get right out of our program, you will be working alongside and interacting with Supply Chain Professionals within every Supply Chain Function.

 

Do I have to get an internship or be working during the program?

You are not required to have a job during our program or to obtain an internship. Your classes will include practical, business-based projects, cases, and assignments to give you Supply Chain Management experience. Additionally, you will take SCM 7385, our Supply Chain Corporate Projects class. Within this class, you will be assigned to a team that will analyze business data manage an actual Supply Chain Management corporate project at a real Houston-area company. Common topics include problem definition and scope, project scheduling and management, report writing and presentation, implementation, risk management, managing the client and change management. This is an extremely experiential and very hands-on experience resulting in real benefits for companies using Supply Chain Management concepts and providing you with real-world Supply Chain Management experience.

However, the more Supply Chain Management success you can demonstrate on your resume, the more competitive you will be as a job applicant. The program is designed with classes scheduled in the evenings in order to give our students to work concurrently with their studies in an internship or full time Supply Chain management job. This accomplishes several goals:

  • Gives you a real business context in which to understand the concepts taught in class. Because Supply Chain Management is an applied discipline, the concepts you will learn are best understood within a specific business environment. Your professors will be providing case examples and business application, but our students enhance these experiences by having their own work context in which to understand and discuss the topics.
  • Gives you a real business environment in which to apply your classroom knowledge. Class projects may be done within your individual work setting and students are encouraged to use the material they learn within their jobs during each semester.
  • Provides you with practical Supply Chain Management work experience which, in addition to your advanced degree in Supply Chain Management, makes our graduates extremely competitive in the job market.

 

What advice do you have for completing the application to the MS-SCM Program?

In considering admittance to the MS-SCM program, there is no one criterion that will guarantee acceptance. The admissions committee utilizes a holistic review of your application, looking for a blend of characteristics that indicate that the candidate will be successful in the program, obtain a rewarding job after graduation, and perform well in a Supply Chain Management career.

The committee considers your score on either the GMAT or the GRE. There is no preferred exam for our program, so take the one that suits you. Scoring as well as you can on the GMAT or the GRE is important. The committee looks at performance on all areas of the exams: Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical/Reasoning areas. There is no score that will guarantee admittance. Higher standardized test scores will tend to strengthen your application.

There are no job history requirements. We have successful applicants that join the MS-SCM program right out of an Undergraduate program without work experience. We have successful applicants that join the MS-SCM program after working in Supply Chain Management related roles. We have successful applicants that join the MS-SCM program with work experience in non-SCM-related roles. Having previous, successful Supply Chain Management will tend to strengthen your application.

You must have earned an Undergraduate Degree in order to be considered for the MS-SCM. The admissions committee considers your Undergraduate performance for an indication of whether you will be successful in our Graduate program. While successful completion of any Undergraduate Degree will be considered, typically, applicants with Undergraduate degrees in Business, Engineering, Science, and Economics have performed well in the MS-SCM program. There is no undergraduate degree that will guarantee admittance. The committee especially considers your performance in classes that have mathematical, critical reasoning, and analytical components.

You will request two individuals to submit an online reference for you. This person could be a professor who is very familiar with your individual work, especially on projects or special assignments. This person could be a supervisor or manager who is very familiar with your individual work. These individuals should be able to assess your critical thinking, analytical skills, communication skills, professionalism, work ethic, motivation, ability to collaborate with a team, and academic capabilities. The strongest references will include a letter of recommendation that justifies your abilities with examples from their experience.

Your personal statement will describe why you want to pursue Supply Chain Management, why you believe you will be successful in the MS-SCM program at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, and how you plan to be successful in an SCM career. Why did you choose Supply Chain Management? What do you know about it? What life experiences have formed your perspective and opinion? How have your life experiences prepared you for this program? What is motivating you to pursue this career path? What are your plans for your career once you get the degree? Will you be pursuing an internship/coop while studying? How will you envision yourself in this career? Writing a strong personal statement is one of the primary ways that the admissions committee is able to understand who you are as an individual and whether you will fit well within our program.