Procurement MBAs, Masters & Degrees:
Are They Worth The Paper Written On?

As the world has moved for over 2 decades into the 21st century, most generic and Procurement MBAs, Masters or Purchasing Degrees have failed to keep up with the times - Forbes Magazine States that not only MBAs do not prepare students for today’s world but “necessitating two or more years to earn a degree, they’re still operating mid-20th-century pace”.

In this expose you will discover what the present and future holds for those who want to pursue a procurement MBA, Masters or Degree including references to some procurement MBA programs worldwide  and how much they cost.

Plus alternative accredited procurement certifications that are equally as good if not better than MBAs but faster to complete, real-life, at a much lower cost (up to 80% less cost) & carry accredited credentials for procurement executives.

Procurement MBAs, Masters & Degrees - Problems & Solutions!

While many are looking to upgrade their present skills by adding an MBA title to their names, the universities offering MBAs are not faring well. For example Wall Street Journal wrote that “More Universities Shut Down Traditional MBA Programs as Popularity Wanes”.

Forbes Magazine in another article explains that Business Schools Are Shutting Down Their MBA Programs, because they’re losing money as a result of applications declining for years.

The 3 Problems with Procurement MBAs, Masters & Degrees!

Procurement MBAs and Master programs are academic in nature and include a wide range of topics that seldom if ever come into one job role. Rather than focusing on building actual working skills, many of the existing Procurement MBAs and Master Degrees focus on imparting general knowledge. 

As working executives, we want to have something that is practical that relates to our day to day job, not academic theory of B2B marketing, public procurement or supply chain & innovation (subjects covered in this MBA from University of Twente, Netherlands) if we are not working for the government, or in supply chain and certainly we’re not doing any marketing.

Or consider University of Salford’s online Masters as Msc Procurement, Logistics & Supply Chain.  It takes 1 to 3 years to complete and costs 15,000 Swiss Francs (about $16,000 USD). Then you are.required to write a thesis of 12,000 to 15,000 words - which probably nobody will read except the lecturer who marks it. No practical value - in real life no executive will prepare a 15,000 words report for their management.

Another from Politecnico Milano School of Management (Italy) offers International Master in Supply Chain and Procurement Management. It is 12 months long and it costs 16,500 Euros excluding living expenses. They state on their site the program is designed for fresh graduates with less than 3 years of work experience.

University of South Wales UK, offer a Masters Degree as Msc Strategic Procurement Management that has a span of 1 to 2 years to complete and can be completed in their campuses in UK or Dubai. Cost unfortunately is not mentioned on their website.

Continue sourcing for more Procurement MBAs and Master Degrees and 3 common problems will come up over and over again …

Summary of the 3 Problems of Procurement MBAs and Master Degrees:

  1. Too Long to Complete - Usually 2 years to complete, 
  2. Expensive - Cost tens of thousands of dollars, 
  3. Academic - Require a thesis and teach you too many subjects, many of which are not related to daily job roles.

Of course there are procurement MBAs or Masters like the MIT Supply Chain Masters that will provide good benefits to graduates but the cost is extremely prohibitive - anywhere between $63,000 up to $100,000 plus.

Some universities are moving the programs online to be less costly like Michigan State University. Their Master Certificate in Advanced Procurement Management – Strategic Negotiation, carries a $6,445 fee.

However it still does not cover the whole procurement framework focusing only on the big picture of supply management, supplier selection, management and relationships, cost management, negotiations, risks and metrics. It does not touch on strategic sourcing, contract terms, category management, finance concepts for non-finance executives etc. 

Further these long distance/online programs are still based on the ‘classroom’ model where a lecturer talks through the powerpoint presentation - depending on the lecturer some might experience what’s called “death by powerpoint syndrome”.

What are the Options Available then?

The Solutions/Alternatives to Procurement MBAs, Masters & Degrees - The Future!

Understanding the solutions & future of procurement MBAs, Masters and Degrees goes back to the higher purpose of learning and education and what is expected from someone after acquiring the skills needed. 

In the 21st century (unlike the 20th) it is no longer …

… get a degree, get a good job and you’re set for life…

that is long dead and gone. The sooner one realizes this the faster he/she can adapt and advance in the workplace. 

The workplace and organisations look for the results one can achieve for the organisations - some call them KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or KRAs (Key Results Areas). The name does not matter as long as the concept is clear …

Results Trumpet Everything Else!

Consider you’re an employer looking to hire 2 people:

The first comes and shows off his degrees, masters etc and all A’s and Dean’s List as Achievements. 

The second comes and shows that while working for his/her previous company the results were 15% cost reduction, reduction of supplier base by 30% but strengthening of the relationship with Key Strategic Suppliers, implementation of processes and systems that reduced manual work etc etc, then the choice becomes clear …

Put yourself on the other side of the interviewing table - Who Would you Hire?

To achieve success in today’s market any procurement executive needs to look at how he can learn to produce results, not just to get a piece of paper that says MBA, Masters or Degree. 

The future of Procurement MBAs, Masters and Degrees then will be less of formal academic learning and more of professional certifications that help executives to learn faster, better and at a lower cost while working and using what they learn in their day to day job.

Procurement Certification Programs:
The Credible Alternative to Traditional Procurement MBAs & Master Degrees!

Most Procurement Certification programs cost anywhere from USD 2,000 to 5,000 - even though some might cost higher as they do not have a transparent cost structure - in another post/expose we show about top 3 procurement certifications, their coverage of procurement topics, costs and course formats. 

However for those looking to become doers who stand out and advance in their career with higher salary prospects and new job placements, these 2 online procurement certification would be great alternatives.

They are built with 21st century learning tools and technologies that mimic a procurement expert going through different scenarios with suppliers, end-users and other internal stakeholders. 

It does include  scenario-based e-learning, simulations, in-course exercises, mini-checklists and mini-assignments that guide you to use what you learn in a simple and straight-forward way - satisfied graduates provide great feedback about the programs here.

They cost much less - 80% lower than the 5 figures you’d pay for a traditional procurement MBA.  You can complete them in as little as 3 months even-though you have full access for up to 12 months. 

Test Drive these certifications without cost with the Free Trial - Procurement Certification e-Bundle.


While we are in the 21st Century, most procurement MBAs and Master programs are ‘stuck’ in the 20th Century models of traditional learning relying on outdated academic teaching, long thesis writing, costly and expensive. 

Today’s procurement executives should rather focus on updating their skills with Certification Programs that are quick to complete and more effective with real-life learning, simulations, in-course exercises and mini-assignments that guide them to use what they learn in a simple and straight-forward way - a Free Trial Online Procurement Certification Program Can Be Accessed Here.

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