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Companies Scramble for Supply Chain Talent as Schools Vamp Up Programs to Crank Graduates Out

Image via Flickr by Nazareth College

Just a few years ago, few schools even offered a graduate or undergraduate program in supply chain management, and most businesses were unaware of how much these skilled workers would be in demand in such a short time. According to a new article by Supply Chain News, supply chain managers are quickly becoming as important to businesses as the finance experts are.

Bloomberg Businessweek predicts that as many as 200,000 jobs will go unfilled each year from 2013 to 2018 due to a lack of qualified supply chain managers. Experts say employers are looking for skills including:

  • Experience within the supply chain
  • Strong skills in communications and dealing with people
  • Deep analytical skills
  • A solid understanding of the technology used in the supply chain

Employers are seeking MBAs, of course, but schools which have recently launched degree programs in supply chain management say that employers show interest in students with any training in supply chain management, including undergrads and those who just minored in the programs.

Nine schools have added supply chain management programs since 2011, including a number of schools which introduced online MBA programs. Rutgers added their MBA program in 2001, which currently has 60 enrolled students, and started an undergraduate degree program in 2010, which has 500 students enrolled.

According to Rutgers, one of the primary lures for the students is the on campus recruiting. Last year, 57 companies came calling, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, an Apple Computers. This year, the school expects 75 employers to visit, including Target and the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo.

Colleges say that employers are looking for job candidates who can help them achieve the newest innovations the fastest, and those who can help them deliver their products to customers the fastest. This takes a creative and skilled workforce, which is increasingly in demand.

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