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Industries Seeking Supply Chain Managers; New University MBA Programs To Fill Demand

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

As business and commerce become increasingly global in scope, a new specialty has been added to college and university curriculum: Supply Chain Management.

Industries across the board, including the textile and apparel sectors, are seeking managers with supply chain expertise.

Textile and apparel makers, which source in foreign countries, have a special need for managers with supply chain expertise to wrestle daily with production, shipping, inventory management, distribution and the numerous other challenges which occur when products are manufactured overseas.

To meet this growing need for professional level supply chain managers, many US universities have created new undergraduate and MBA programs focusing on international supply chain management.

Although an MBA degree with concentration in supply chain management was begun at Rutgers Business School some ten years ago, enrollments have increased significantly as employment opportunities in this field expanded.

In 2010 an undergraduate major program on the specialty was launched at Rutgers to meet both growing employer demand and student requests.

Courses in the Rutgers curriculum, typical of other universities which also offer supply chain management degrees, include contract management, transportation, and packaging.

Rutgers graduates with these degrees have been hired for jobs with Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic Corp., and other firms with global operations.

Consulting firm Deloitte LLP has also recruited MBA graduates from Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University and several additional schools.

Target Corp., has hired students from The College of Business at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

Teresa McCarthy, Bryant’s director of global supply chain management program said, employers “…don’t want cobbled-together courses, they want a real, content-laden supply-chain program.”

As supply chain management becomes increasingly important in the global economy, the ranks of professionals in this specialty will grow, spurred by employment opportunities and impressive starting salaries, ranging from about $56,000 annually for undergraduates to $97,000 for MBAs, according to data from Arizona State.








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