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The term “supply chain management” doesn’t exactly set hearts racing – unless you’re part of a company that’s experiencing supply chain problems. Good supply chain management is an essential part of the modern economy, ensuring that goods move effectively and efficiently from production to consumer so customers get the products they want, companies get the money they want, and everyone is happy.

As business continues to spread globally, with producers one one side of the world and consumers on the other, with a million stops in between, good supply chain managers are worth their weight in gold. Not surprisingly, Supply Chain Management is a growing career, expected to go up as much as 22% by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with healthy median incomes in the $70Ks. That’s why many working adults already in related business fields are going back to school to get credentialed.

Supply Chain Management often requires a master’s degree, which is usually in the form of a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The differences are usually minimal – more technical or more strategic. Supply Chain Managers need strong operation skills, especially with computers.

Of course, with high demand comes high prices and sneaky business. Many online colleges are out there offering a worthless SCM degree for an inflated price. That’s why the Value Colleges Cheap Lists are here – to steer prospective students to the most reputable, lowest-cost options. All of the colleges and universities on VC’s lists are regionally-accredited, legitimate public and private institutions that offer degrees worth far more than their reasonable tuition.

NOTE: Most tuition rates for public universities are for state residents. Non-residents may pay more. Check with the program before committing.

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University of Maryland University College

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Originally the University of Maryland’s adult education program, the University of Maryland University College gained enough student demand to become its own independent institution in the 1970s, and has grown into one of the most respected online educators in the 21st century. Students can earn an online Master of Science in Management degree from UMUC with a concentration in Acquisition and Supply Chain Management, preparing graduates to work in the fast-paced, global field of commerce. At only $458 per credit, it’s the bargain of bargains.

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Friends University

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Friends University is a private, non-denominational Christian institution in Wichita, KS, affiliated with the Society of Friends (Quakers). Like many colleges and universities in their class – small, Christian, liberal arts – Friends University has discovered how to extend their reach by offering online degrees. Friends offers numerous online business degrees, including a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. Friends’ program can be completed in 3 or 4 semesters while continuing to work full-time, and prepares graduates for positions across the business world. Prior life or professional experience could even be used for two courses’ worth of credit, reducing the overall cost even more than the low $462 per credit.

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Georgia College and State University

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Georgia College and State University has been offering degrees in Logistics and Supply Chain Management longer than any other institution in Georgia, for over 40 years. GCSU’s online Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree is only 30 credit hours, and can be completed in only a year and a half working full time. This cohort-format program sends students together through the program in a group, allowing students to form working relationships and help one another through the process more like an on-campus program. For only $467 per credit, it’s a bargain for starting a long-term career.

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Bellevue University

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Bellevue University was founded in 1966 as an adult-education college, and that dedication has remained throughout its history, until Bellevue has today become a well-known provider of online degrees for working adult and other non-traditional students. For only $525 per credit, Bellevue University offers a Master of Science in Acquisitions and Contract Management (a variation on Supply Chain Management) in its U.S. News & World Report-acclaimed online format.

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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The University of Nebraska is a U.S. News & World Report top 100 national university, rated even higher for their online degree programs. UN’s Online Worldwide offers a 48-credit hour Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. As an MBA rather than MS, Nebraska’s online program will provide more of a grounding in business strategy and theory, giving graduates an overall understanding of business and economics beyond their own profession. But you don’t need a business degree to know that Nebraska’s $531 per credit is a deal.

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University of Michigan - Dearborn

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The basic mission of a regional, public university is to provide educational opportunities to the people of that area at an affordable price. But many regional universities have discovered they can reach out farther, and reduce prices more, by offering online degree programs. So the University of Michigan-Dearborn offers a number of online degrees, including the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, available online from the College of Business. At $633 per credit, it’s a solid degree at an affordable price.

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Portland State University

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Ranked as one of the 30 best online business graduate degree programs by U.S. News & World Report, Portland State University knows business and technology. Portland State, headquartered, of course, in Portland, OR, is at a major hub of technology, and can draw upon a wealth of qualified, knowledgable faculty to make their Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management degree a top-tier option. At $638 per credit, this 56-credit online program will put graduates a few steps ahead of their competition on the job market, and non-Washington state residents pay only a few dollars more.

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University of Wisconsin at Platteville

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Like UM-Dearborn, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville is technically a regional public university, founded to provide college education to the people of Wisconsin. But UW Platteville made some important changes in the 1990s that have allowed them to become a significant name in online education. First, they rewrote their distance education rules to allow students in any state to pay the same rate for courses – $650 per credit, today. Secondly, they began offering fully online degrees in 1999, when most other schools were arguing over whether this online thing was a fad. Students today can earn a Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management from an online trailblazer.

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Fontbonne University

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A small, Catholic university in Clayton, MO, Fontbonne University makes its high-quality education available to a larger audience than they would have otherwise through a strong slate of online degrees. Online students can earn a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management for only $679 per credit, a reasonable price for a private Catholic education.

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Florida Institute of Technology

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A private STEM university in Melbourne, FL, the Florida Institute of Technology is a highly-regarded institution specializing in degree programs that promise career success and healthy income. FIT offers a fully online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management that can be completed in less than 2 years full-time. While FIT’s tuition is somewhat higher than some of the other schools on this list, the opportunity an MS-SCM degree offers in the private and public sector still make it an investment sure to return in big ways.