Supply Chain Trends and Issues: Our Weekly Feature Article on Important Trends and Developments in Supply Chain Strategy, Research, Best Practices, Technology and Other Supply Chain and Logistics Issues  
  - June 12, 2013 -  

If You are in Supply Chain, You Made a Smart Career Choice


Demand Continues to Exceed Supply, as Salaries for Graduates Continue to Rise; Is Supply Chain Degree the New MBA?

  by SCDigest Editorial Staff  

We've said it many times before, but if there is a better career path right now than supply chain, we're not sure what it is, other than maybe fracking engineer.

Report after report and SCDigest anecdotal conversations with supply chain recruiters indicate that after a couple tough years following the recession in 2008, demand for supply talent continues to outpace available supply.

SCDigest Says:
This is far from a US-only phenomenon. At MIT's SCALE program in Malaysia, graduates this year had 1.9 job offers on average and their outgoing to incoming salaries increased by 250%..

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An article last week in the Wall Street Journal noted that situation, saying that "with global operations becoming more complex, companies in manufacturing, retail and technology - and the consulting firms that service them - are scrambling to hire people with supply chain expertise. But these experts are hard to come by."

Some, in fact, are calling a graduate degree in supply chain management "the new MBA," referencing the hot business degree of the 1980s and 1990s.

At Arizona State, supply chain majors from the class of 2012 earned average starting salaries of $56,410, compared with $50,098 for undergraduate business students overall. At the MBA level, students who took operations or supply chain jobs reported starting salaries averaging $97,481, compared with $92,556 for all MBAs.

The data is not yet available for 2013, but at MIT, Dr. Chris Caplice, executive director of the Center for Transportation and Logistics there, told SCDigest that in 2012 across it master's degree graduates:

• 97% of students had one or more job offers by graduation

• 93% accepted offers at graduation

• 100% of the students accepted job offers 3 months after graduation

The median salary was $115,000 - and that was without a signing bonus, which has been averaging more than $10,000 in recent years.

And this is far from a US-only phenomenon. At MIT's SCALE program in Malaysia, graduates this year had 1.9 job offers on average and their outgoing to incoming salaries increased by 250%.

That demand has universities scrambling to add undergraduate and graduate program to crank out more students. For example, Wright State University, near Dayton, OH, launched a very successful on-line graduate degree in supply chain management a few years ago that has often seen potential employer demand exceed the number of graduates from the program, according to department chair Dr. Dwight Smith-Daniels.

(Supply Chain Trends and Issues Article - Continued Below)



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Rutgers Business School in New Jersey, which launched its MBA concentration in supply chain management more than a decade ago, added an undergraduate major in 2010 in response to employer demand and undergraduate requests. Rider University, also in New Jersey, started an undergraduate supply chain management program in part based on feedback that companies needed to balance high-level, high-priced graduate talent with somewhat lower level basic degree recruits.

Rutgers has registered 450 students for the degree, with Dell, Johnson & Johnson, and Panasonic among the many companies hiring its graduates.

Of course, supply chain management has simply risen rapidly in terms of recognition of its role in overall company success. Globalization, virtualization, regulation and other factors are increasing supply chain complexity - resulting in the need for more and better talent.

"I don't think there's a whole lot of chance to be saturated in the near term," David Closs, chair of the supply chain management department at Michigan State University's Broad College of Business, told the Wall Street Journal, in terms of universities potentially cranking out too many graduates.

If you are talented, supply chain is a very good place to be right now, and it appears likely to stay that way for the next decade or more - especially if you acquire a graduate degree.

Do you believe supply chain talent demand exceeds supply? What do you think about these huge salaries for new master's degree supply chain grads? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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Recent Feedback

The article is motivating to read for starters in the supply chain stream. But in an open job market scenario, it is very difficult for a fresher to get into any supply chain stream as generally the industry requires veterans, and demand for fresher’s is low. This might be totally my perception. I am actually motivated after reading this piece of Supply Chain Digest.

Management Trainee - Supply Chain Management
Jun, 20 2013

Reading the comments made by department chairs regarding the demand for talent, it is unfortunate the University of Nevada, Reno decided to eliminate their Supply Chain Management Program--even though they possessed high-caliber professors.  As a young supply chain professional, I believe the professors would've imparted the necessary knowledge needed to build a strong foundation within the supply chain industry.

Jack P Johnston
Outbound Supervisor
E-Commerce Fulfillment
Jun, 25 2013

Very interesting article!

As a student at the University at Buffalo working on a Business Admin degree with a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations Management, as well as a minor in Environmental Studies, my career goal is to help companies develop greener supply chains. This report is very encouraging!

Kyle Ephraim
Student, University at Buffalo
Jul, 08 2013

To make the world sustainable further there is no alternative to Supply Chain. So it's really a new MBA I think. The above data is really a motivating one.

I saw a lot of people who migrated their career from Enginner, Business grads to Supply Chain professional. Even I am just ready to migrate my career from Marketing to Supply Chain though both of them are interlinked. The CSCA from ISCEA and IPSCM degree from ITC really help me a lot to get engaged myself in the GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN ARENA. I am just going to appear in my BBA last semester exam but alraedy I got a offer from Amann Bangladesh Ltd, a member of Amann Group, Germany in their logistics sector.

So it's reality that you can keep rising yourself to greater heights with higher salary through a SUPPLY CHAIN DEGREE than any other.

Monjurul Alam
Jagannath University
Oct, 16 2013

This information is extremely positive and motivating. I am currently studing an undergraduate degree in business management and decided a few weeks ago to major in intergrated supply chain management. This subject is so interesting and continually challenges you. I look forward to graduating and following my career path in supply managment. As for the high salaries, well that's fantastic news, too.  

Warren Duchenne
Nov, 12 2013

As a student of MSC in Management and Optimization of supply chain & transport in Ecole des mines de Nantes, France, I was really motivated to read this article. I was also impressed to read about the current situation and the requirement of the Supply Chain people in the organisations. Thank you very much for this information. 

Ketan Kadukar
Ecole Des Mines de Nantes
Feb, 28 2014

Reading this article makes me happy to be in the field. Dealing with scheduling, production, inventory, logistics, purchasing and shipping in my own job, it's encouraging to see the growth in the industry and the demand. I am currently pursuing and Degree in Operations & Project Management with a concentration in Supply Chain.

Romal Bostic
Production Planner
SNF Holding Co.
May, 01 2014

I did a lot of research and made my decision to switch and complete my Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Technology and Management specializing in Supply Chain Management. Working part-time as a general warehouse worker to make ends meet while being a full time civil engineering student, I gained much insight about the operations process involving distribution of products and logistics. I like what I am currently doing and it is a breath of fresh of air to read so much positive feedback including (great for me) salary information about the Supply Chain Management career path. Since I still have civil engineering on my mind, this article helped me ground my good decision because now I will graduate in 1 year in Supply Chain Mgt. versus 2 1/2 yrs in C.E. Not to mention with C.E I have 0 experience, and with Supply Chain I have lots!

Keila Flores
Civil Engineering Student
Illinois Institute of Technology
May, 04 2014

Your information is timely and I appreciate how you expressed SC is in.

Carol Crawford
supply chain certification in customer service
Essex County College
May, 12 2016

Very nice Sir.  Thank you very much for this invaluable information.

Dada Gholap
Software Developer
Swarovski India Pvt ltd
Feb, 05 2017

Reading this article was an eye opener. I have been struggling to make a career choice after dropping Media studies.

Aug, 22 2017