More universities are stepping up to equip undergraduates with the knowledge they need to staff high-tech electronics supply chain departments. Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs), supply chain strategists and human resources departments can look to these best-in-class programs to fill their employee pipelines with well-trained talent.
In its recent 2018 Top 25 North American Supply Chain Undergraduate University Programs, Gartner outlined the ways leading educators and needs of business are aligning more closely. For example, analytics and technology content are being added to the syllabus that has traditionally focused on logistics, sourcing and procurement, planning and finance. Currently, 88% of programs offer major or minor degrees in analytics. Since 2014, Gartner has seen 60% growth in technology skills needed for non-IT roles.
Meanwhile, leading business organizations are working to proactively recruit and hire graduates who are trained in these skills. The competition is fierce, with Gen Z supply chain grads demanding a 20% premium over the average college graduate. At graduation, three out of four supply chain grads have already found a job, and that figure rises to nearly nine out of 10 by three months after graduation.
Businesses that are looking for supply chain talent, according to Gartner, should:
- Improve their hiring profile by considering the organization's geographic focus, supply chain maturity, diversity and inclusion profile and vision, and career value prop before evaluating potential university program partnerships.
- Build a more influential presence, faster, by seriously considering second- and third-tier schools and programs. “You will have far greater influence on and access to students in these programs,” Gartner said. “Yesterday's underdog school could well be in tomorrow's top five.”
Gartner looked at 67 universities in the United States and Canada for its list. Today, 56 of these schools report they have an undergraduate supply chain program, compared with only a dozen when the ranking was first created in 2008. “Dozens of universities changed the name of a longstanding logistics or operations research program while many added supply chain as a brand-new major,” the report explained.
Two universities are brand new to the list, while half a dozen others have risen in the ranking compared with two years ago. For example, since 2016, Auburn shot up 14 spots; the University of Minnesota rose 10 spots; University of Texas Austin climbed nine spots; and Marquette University went up seven places. These advancements can be credited to curricula improvements and enrollment increases, Gartner said. Penn State retained its first-place spot again.
Click on the image below to start a slideshow of the winners, in order of rank, as well as some information about their educational offerings.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN