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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Acquisitions

Majors Overview June 2, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in acquisitions and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Acquisitions

Schools offer numerous master’s degree program options in acquisitions, including a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Procurement and Acquisition Management. Other programs include a Master of Science (M.S.) in Management with a concentration in acquisition and contract management, and Master of Science (M.S.) in Acquisition and Contract Management. This field may also be available as a specialization option in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program at some schools.

There is typically an integration in the curricula of courses in finance, business management, acquisition, logistics, and contracting; coursework is devised to train students for management-level careers in private and public companies. It usually takes students two years to complete this degree that may be available through some schools in an online format.

Education Requirements

Each program may have its specific entrance requirements; however, admission criteria commonly require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree. If an applicant student does not have a bachelor’s degree in a business field, he or she may have to complete additional prerequisite courses. Incoming students are often required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Coursework

Coursework covers the legal, financial and business principles pertinent to procurements and acquisition contracts. Students learn about valuation analysis, an important component in the pursuit of a career in acquisitions. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Financial accounting
•Acquisitions and mergers
•Legal aspects of contracting
•Supply chain management
•Strategic purchasing
•Contract negotiation

Career Choices

Graduates from a master’s degree program in acquisitions can choose from a broad range of career choices within the corporate world. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Contract administrator
•Government agency contract administrator
•Procurement manager
•Contract specialist
•Logistics analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average 4% job growth rate was predicted for buyers, purchasing managers, and purchasing agents, including those managing acquisitions and contracts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Prospective purchasing manager candidates with master’s degrees have better job prospects. In May 2014, purchasing managers brought in an average annual wage of $111,810 (BLS). In May 2014, contract administrators earned $52,625 per annum, on average.

Continuing Education Choices

Acquisition business professionals can avail numerous continuing education resources, including printed publications, webinars, and conferences as offered by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA). A professional credential, titled the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA), is also offered by the organization; interested individuals can obtain the credential through completion of a 1-week training program and application process. To be eligible for certification, an individual must complete a master’s degree program or other business-related credentials, in addition to submitting a professional reference form. A minimum number of continuing education hours must be completed every year by CM&AA recipients in order to maintain their certification.

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