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Supply Chain

Further Confirmation That Education Pays For Logistics & Supply Chain Professionals

With so much growth in academic programs, and industry sponsors lining up to invest in universities' supply chain centers, the sense is that supply chain has finally "arrived" as a profession. By Patrick Burnson

As we discover every year with our Logistics Management Salary Survey, education pays.

Further evidence of this has just emerged in a new report.

Forty institutions participated in the third edition of the Gartner report on U.S. university undergraduate supply chain programs.

Intended to support chief supply chain officers (CSCOs), heads of supply chain strategy and supply chain HR partners in building a strong portfolio of university recruiting and internship partners, Gartner’s supply chain university research is back for its third iteration.

U.S. undergraduate supply chain programs have made impressive progress since we formally began this research in 2008, efforts which have helped grow and improve the supply of supply chain talent.

There are four impressive areas of growth, three of which should be welcome news to industry:

  • The broadening of supply chain curricula to reflect the reality of today’s supply chain organizations.
  • The exposure of more students to internships and co-ops, and more applied project work - often for sponsoring companies - in the classroom.
  • Dramatic increases in enrollment across the board, and new supply chain degree programs being established.

The fourth area of growth, while perhaps not so welcome for the hiring companies, is great news for supply chain professionals as a community: salaries are up roughly 10% over 2011.

Top students from top programs can command a 50% premium over the average and, in many programs, new supply chain graduates handily outearn finance and accounting majors.

Forty institutions participated in the third edition of our report on U.S. university undergraduate supply chain programs. Here we identify program strengths and gaps as well as overall progress made in the past three years.

Supply Chain Talent Attribute Model
Supply Chain Talent Attribute Model
With the Talent Attribute Model as the capabilities framework for the ideal supply chain, we test university curricula for the completeness of their offerings against the 12 stations. Effectively, we are testing for curriculum alignment with the functional integration of a modern supply chain. It continues to be relevant, as our latest surveys continue to show the expansion of the supply chain organization (see “Survey Analysis: Chief Supply Chain Officers Conquer Organizational and Capability Challenges to Grow”) as well as a desire by industry for recruits who can grasp bigpicture, integrated supply chain concepts.

Among Key Findings

  • University supply chain programs’ relevance to modern supply chain organizations has improved markedly through a combination of applied course work and more frequent and applied work experience.
  • A combination of program scope, internship and co-op participation, and perceived value by industry differentiates a school’s position relative to other programs.
  • Supply chain undergraduate placement rates are between 85% to 100% and, in many cases, graduates are accepting higher starting salaries than finance and accounting majors.

Gartner’s Recommendations to Employers Include:

  • Work with a select set of university partners to build programs that start with internships and naturally develop into entry-level onramps to secure strong talent that’s also a good fit for your supply chain organization.
  • Target recruiting activities for the fall semester, rather than spring, or risk the near 100% placement rates shutting you out of that year’s candidate pool.
  • Prepare to pay a premium for top talent. The average starting salary for undergraduates is $53,584, and top students are commanding premiums $25,000 or more beyond this.

Gartner’s 2014 Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Ranking

  1. Michigan State University
  2. Penn State University
  3. University of Tennessee
  4. University of Texas at Austin
  5. Western Michigan University
  6. Brigham Young University
  7. University of North Texas
  8. Auburn University
  9. Arizona State University
  10. Rutgers University
  11. University of Wisconsin
  12. University of South Carolina
  13. Texas Christian University
  14. University of Houston
  15. Northeastern University
  16. Marquette University
  17. The Ohio State University
  18. Lehigh University
  19. Syracuse University
  20. University of Oklahoma
  21. Georgia Institute of Technology
  22. Miami University of Ohio
  23. Texas A&M University
  24. North Carolina State University
  25. Rider University
  26. University of Kansas
Source: Gartner (August 2014)

Related: Supply Chain Talent Is a Growing Gap for Leaders and the Impact Is Enormous

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Further Confirmation That Education Pays For Logistics & Supply Chain Professionals

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1 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by ValerieHeilman  on  05/14  at  05:47 AM

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About the author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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