It’s no secret that U.S. manufacturers are on a hunt for talent, and as senior management gets closer to retirement (25% of all Baby Boomers will reach retirement age in 2015), the need for a new generation of supply chain managers is more important than ever.
Every year or so, U.S. News & World Report puts together a list of the top supply chain programs in the country, but their rankings don’t shed much light on why exactly these schools are worthy of being on such a list. True, U.S. News reveals how much tuition costs at each of these schools, but left unaddressed is the more relevant question of: What do these schools offer in the way of supply chain management that goes over and above merely teaching a class or two on procurement or sustainability?
SCM World, a supply chain research organization, recently compiled its own list of the top supply chain universities, based on the results of a chief supply chain officer survey. To ensure the results were as unbiased as possible, the survey itself offered only a blank test field, rather than a drop-down menu, so all universities had to be manually typed into the answer field. Admitting that this type of survey is “a simple beauty contest,” Kevin O’Marah, SCM World’s chief content officer, notes two key takeaways from the rankings.
“First, business wants cross-functional supply chain knowledge rather than narrow technical skills,” he observes. “And second, the scramble to provide it is suddenly heating up. Leadership on these lists is up for grabs and the best institutions will need to move quickly to stay in the hunt.”
On the accompanying slides, we’ll offer a look at current activities and research at each of the top 10 U.S. schools. And for those of you keeping score at home, it should be mentioned that the Big Ten is the clear winner, placing four schools within the top 10 (including # 1 MSU).