In its Workforce section, Roadmap 2.0 notes that among its community of contributors, the preference among supply chain leaders is for new hires at all levels to be prepared to hit the ground running. To achieve that goal, however, relationships between industry and academia must be strengthened in order to ensure that educators are teaching the skills that will be expected of future workers.
That message has already been received and taken to heart by multiple universities around the country in their undergraduate and graduate programs—particularly within their business schools—says Dana Stiffler, Research Vice President at Gartner. The firm has been studying supply chain programs and their growth at the post-secondary level since 2008.
“While there are still many companies that seek graduates from industrial engineering programs, particularly if they want someone with a more technical, quantitative background, the trend has been a desire to hire candidates with have a more holistic view of the supply chain,” she explains.
That means more universities are developing programs that give students a broader, end-to-end view of the industry. Typical courses within these holistic programs now include sourcing, procurement, logistics, fulfillment, supply chain planning, manufacturing aspects, and service management—as opposed to simply offering a concentration in logistics or transportation, for example.
Reinforcing academia’s expanding curricula in supply chain are companies within the industry that are more willing than ever before to invest both time and resources into these university programs. In addition to financial sponsorship, corporate support includes serving on advisory boards, offering internships and co-op opportunities, participating in classes, underwriting research and even stepping into teaching roles.
“There is a definite push from industry on the curricula to be relevant and applied,” she adds. “Further, the business schools are where you’re most likely to see a number of very successful, full-time faculty who are former industry professionals. Today, there’s a really interesting mix in the supply chain faculty at most of these top programs of professors who have come up traditionally and are dedicated more to research and publishing, and former industry practitioners who now teach.”
MHI Solutions recently featured Stiffler’s research, along with an overview of five different undergraduate and graduate supply chain programs. Schools featured include:
- Pennsylvania State University
- Michigan State University
- University of Tennessee
- Rutgers University
- Syracuse University
Additionally, the article shares Gartner’s most recent Top 25 listings of North American supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs, as ranked based on a series of criteria including program scope, industry value and program size. The full article can be found here.