What’s the difference between CPSM and MBA?

A lot of professionals are asking why they still need to become a Certified Professional in Supply  Management (CPSM) despite the fact that they already have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Comparing the two in term of their scope, an MBA is general, while a CPSM shows a specialty skill.

An MBA indicates that a professional has undergone the next level and in beyond an undergraduate degree with regard to business administration. An MBA means that a person is an ideal candidate for management because they understand the general skills required to run a business such as finance, operations, marketing and supply chain.

On the other hand, a CPSM indicates that a person knows and understands supply chain management. The CPSM certification replaced the CPM certification and was created based on a need to meet the needs of modern supply chain based on a survey of supply chain professionals in companies that generate $1 Billion in annual revenue.

Analogy of a CPSM

We can compare the CPSM with the Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Anyone can go to school and get a degree in accounting. However, the accountant who is going to be trusted to give advice on accounting matters must pass the CPA exams. These are usually state exams set by the state’s accounting professionals and tells someone wanting to hire an accountant that a CPA understands the basics of accounting and the standards expected of accountants.

Without a CPA designation, a person can do accounting, but no person who is in the right mind to hire them for accounting advice, but they may be hired to become a bookkeeper.

We can also compare a CPSM to engineers. Again, anyone can go to school and get a degree in engineering, but for a person to be approved to design and manage engineering projects, they must pass exams set by an organization, usually a state organization, that they have met the standards expected of engineers and understand how to do engineering.

No builder will do a project until an engineer has reviewed and approved the plans. If they do, then they are at risk of building a project that will fail and possibly hurt a lot of people, so engineers are required to be certified.


A brief overview of CPSM

The supply chain manager is not required by anyone to meet a set of standards set by an organization like ISM. However, supply chain managers are responsible for spending between $4-20 Million of a company’s money. A smart business owner should want the people responsible for spending in the company to be certified in that they know and understand the best procurement practices as set by a globally recognized organization, such as ISM, who is supporting these practices through research.

How does a person stand out from the crowd when everyone is getting an MBA? CPSM designation makes a person special. An MBA understands general business concepts and have met the standards of a generalist degree in business administration, but are they proficient in supply chain management skills? Even if they are proficient with years of experience, how will a business owner or hiring manager know for sure they are using the best and most current supply chain practices? The only way to know for sure is to demand anyone involved in the supply chain to be certified.

Why pursue CPSM instead of MBA

There are economic reasons for pursuing CPSM, instead of MBA. An MBA requires an undergraduate degree and will take a person 12-24 months of study and cost between $10-50K just to get the degree. Once the degree is earned, they will still need to get certification in whatever specialty they choose. Compare this to the CPSM Certification that does not require a bachelors degree if they have 5 years experience and at most, will cost a person up to $5K with a review course, books, and exam fees. With a review course and hard work, they can get the certification completed within 60 days. According to ISM, CPSM earn 8% more than uncertified people, even those with an MBA. CPSMs earn more not because of the designation, but because of the skills they bring to the table that show value to the business that more than justified an 8% raise.

For more details visit www.cpsmtraining.com or call 877-680-0494