Finding and retaining talent continues to bedevil U.S. manufacturers, particularly in the search for top supply chain talent. As the nature of supply chains evolves to encompass international trade, so too are companies seeking managers who understand logistics, procurement, transportation, tariffs, production and forecasting. As Kevin O’Marah, chief content officer of SCM World, a supply chain research organization, explains, “For those pursuing careers in supply chain, the greatest thrill is tackling complex problems across the extended network.”
So where do you find such people? Every year, SCM World surveys hundreds of supply chain executives to find out which universities they consider the best at producing graduates with practical, as opposed to philosophical, approaches to supply chain management. The result is a list of the top schools for supply chain talent. If there’s any bias to the list, O’Marah says, it’s biased toward schools that are able to keep pace with industry. “Unlike many disciplines taught in universities, thought leadership [in supply chain] usually comes from the field, not academia. As such, those universities with close ties to industry—and a willingness to swallow their pride in order to learn—fare well in the rankings.”
On the accompanying slides, we offer a look at current activities and research at each of the top 10 U.S. schools. Of the 10 schools, nine of them appeared on the 2014 list, with the University of Michigan being the only addition to the 2015 list (Michigan nudged aside fellow Big Ten school Purdue, which finished at # 11 on the list of top U.S. supply chain universities).