Where to get an education for supply chain management jobs in Canada

With the emergence of global markets, the need for supply chain and logistics management has become even more critical.  

Hiring and maintaining skilled employees in the supply chain is one of the most effective ways of lowering total landed cost. 

According to the Van Horne Institute, there are more than 804,000 Canadians working in supply chain jobs such as

  • inventory management
  • planning
  • purchasing
  • manufacturing
  • dispatching
  • transportation
  • shipping and receiving
  • demand management

Logistics positions cross all sectors, from healthcare, to retail, to energy, and to non-profit. They will even take you across national and international borders.

Organizations are recognizing the tremendous advantages that can be realized through collaborative management of the whole logistics and transportation network.

As the economy grows so does the demand for goods and services. With all that demand, the need for supply chains workers explodes.

Studies of the supply chain workforce include:

  • Calgary Logistics Council’s 2012 Accelerator Project
  • Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council’s national HR Study Update.

These types of studies indicate an urgent current and growing need for skilled supply chain professionals and workers at all levels.

In Alberta alone, for example, the Accelerator Project forecasts a requirement of 50,000 workers between 2011 and 2020 in just 10 occupations.

According to the Van Horne Institute, the anticipated number of new and vacant positions in Canada over the next five years is 356,747.

College and University supply chain graduate programs in the Calgary Region

Photo credit: jasonwoodhead23 Creative Commons

The Calgary Region, one of Canada’s supply chain and logistics hubs, has some of the nation’s best educational programs for training tomorrow’s workforce.

Groups like Van Horne Institute are working with colleges and universities in the Calgary Region to help meet the growing demand for the supply chain management jobs in Canada.

While not comprehensive, the list below will highlight some of the programs being offered in the Region:


1. Mount Royal University 

Bachelor of Business Administration – Supply Chain Management

This degree concentration explores the fundamental topics and components of working within supply chains, including

  • distribution,
  • inventory and warehouse control
  • e-business and
  • procurement strategies

Students are given a broad overview of how different parts of the supply chain fit together and the critical role each plays in the success of all organizations.

The program takes a business approach that focuses on integration and partnerships at every touch point in the supply chain. It has been in place now for 12 years having graduated 250+ students , most working in SCM roles here in the Calgary Region.

A variety of excellent opportunities are available to students completing the program including:

  • Import/Export Agent – Research import/export best practices, build effective transportation routes for goods, oversee movement of goods, and ensure delivery deadlines are met.
  • Transportation Analyst – Improve transportation safety and efficiency while reducing costs and minimizing environmental impact and work with data pertaining to traffic of goods via land, air, and sea.
  • Logistics Coordinator – Organize personnel, assist with employee training, oversee budgets and courier expenses, and complete and maintain quality assurance checks.

The program is accredited by the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Councilthrough its National Accreditation Program (the NAP).


2. SAIT Polytechnic 

Supply Management Training (SMT)

SAIT’s, SMT program is designed for individuals working in junior and intermediate supply chain positions.

Students will develop skills and confidence to support increasingly complex upstream and downstream supply chain management activities.

SAIT delivers this high-quality program on behalf of the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) – the leading and largest association for supply chain management professionals in Canada.

Students will also acquire other important skills such as negotiation, contract management, marketing, accounting and more.


3. University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business

Supply Chain Management 

The Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Haskayne School of Business includes supply chain management as one concentration.

Students choosing this concentration are required to take three core courses: Materials and Supply Chain Management, Transportation Systems and Analysis, and a Senior Project course.

They have the opportunity to be exposed to diverse topics such as service operations management, negotiation, regulatory economics, transportation planning, services marketing, and project management.

The curriculum will often include industry-based projects.

The following summarizes the types of positions graduates are prepared for:


  • identify global sources of materials, select vendors, and manage negotiations,  contracts, and relationships
  • coordinate with materials management and ensure timely delivery of appropriate materials


  • supervise a variety of functions, including warehouse and distribution operations, forecasting, planning, inventory management, logistics information systems, and customer service
  • develop and maintain cooperative relationships with logistics suppliers and other members of the supply chain


  • work with client organizations to enhance supply chain performance through strategic planning, process reengineering, and/or information technology implementation
  • develop supply chain tools, processes, and knowledge bases needed to create customer value, build competitive advantage, and boost profitability 

Positions Obtained by Recent Grads

▪     Export Manager

▪     Fleet Manager

▪     Inventory Analyst

▪     Logistics Manager

▪     Purchasing Manager

▪     Supply Chain Coordinator

▪     Transportation/Logistics Analyst

▪     Warehouse Manager


4. Athabasca University