22 May 2008
Universities must develop supply chain programmes that provide graduates with a wide set of capabilities.
According to a study by AMR Research, US universities need to expand their curriculum and training beyond a traditional view of the supply chain. "Although universities are providing some of the skills, organisations are crying out for a greater number of supply chain generalists who eventually can become more specialised as needed," it said.
David Aquino, author of the report, which was conducted in conjunction with 198 firms including IBM, Boeing and Procter & Gamble, said there was "an enormous opportunity to build undergraduate programmes that leaders in the supply chain are looking for".
He added universities should look into offering joint programmes, as they tend to specialise in different areas of supply management, creating graduates with a more rounded experience.
He also said companies were looking for graduates with practical experience in the field. "Direct work experience is overwhelmingly important. Practitioners want students not only to learn concepts but also to employ their skills early on.