Take any piece of modern tech gadgetry. While the product may be designed in the U.S., the material sourcing, manufacturing, assembly, packaging and distribution likely occurred in other countries. Even the design team and the engineers may be spread across the world.
This is the complexity of today’s globalized supply chain — an intercontinental web of materials and human resources. Effective supply chain management in this modern world requires technical, industry-specific and cross-functional knowledge, as well as advanced interpersonal and leadership skills.
The University of West Florida’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management online program helps build this breadth of expertise. Students in this program can develop their qualifications for high-level positions and effectiveness on the job. The high demand for supply chain professionals means good job prospects for those with specialized graduate degrees.
The Supply Chain Management Talent Shortage
The demand for highly skilled professionals stems from the role supply chain management plays in minimizing cost and waste, increasing efficiency and profits, improving customer satisfaction and even guiding effective marketing strategy.
Furthermore, supply chain professionals are the front line when it comes to quickly dealing with disruptions. Whether integrating digitized automation or shifting supply chains due to natural disasters like wildfires or the pandemic, effective supply chain managers are key to rapidly pivoting operations to maintain a business’s continuity during volatile times.
Yet research and industry surveys indicate a global shortage of qualified supply chain management professionals. Some estimate the ratio of the demand for supply chain management practitioners to the actual supply of qualified professionals is six to one.
Why Is There Such a Demand?
There are four intersecting factors causing this shortage, according to supply chain management company Elementum:
- The industry is growing faster than qualified professionals are entering the workforce.
- Supply chain management professionals need more skills than ever before.
- Universities are working to prepare students for the workforce, but progress is slow.
- Supply chain has a boring and ambiguous connotation, despite its dynamic nature.
Given these factors, MBA programs in supply chain management are essential for developing a highly skilled workforce equipped to navigate the digitized and globalized world of modern supply chain management and close the talent gap in the field.
What Are the Personal Benefits of a Supply Chain MBA?
While the high demand for supply chain professionals means good job prospects in the field, this demand depends upon the dynamic skills and knowledge necessary for the modern role.
While focused on production aspects like sourcing materials, manufacturing and distribution, modern supply chain managers are inherently cross-functional. They integrate operations across an organization’s departments, from logistics to analytics, research and development to marketing. They collaborate across departments, build relationships between businesses, direct management and leadership and more.
UWF’s MBA with an emphasis in Supply Chain Logistics Management online program offers a unique combination of advanced supply chain and logistics study, leadership skill development and cross-functional business management studies, fostering an integration of hard and soft skills. Acquiring these dynamic skills can give supply chain professionals a distinct competitive edge in the market for high-level positions.
Degree candidates further choose a specific industry to focus on, building a portfolio of work. Through these applied studies, students tailor their education to the industry in which they are interested or already employed. This can greatly expand applicable knowledge and skills.
Specialization in certain industry niches can be particularly lucrative. For instance, according to survey from PR Newswire, the average annual compensation for supply chain management practitioners in 2019 was approximately $123,226. A Supply Chain Dive analysis of the survey shows that supply chain management professionals specializing in market intelligence averaged nearly $139,372 in 2019 annual compensation.
Earning a comprehensive and tailored MBA in supply chain management offers professionals many distinct benefits. They can take advantage of the general demand for highly educated professionals in the field as well as the increasing need for those with industry-specific knowledge. In turn, these professionals can help close the talent gap in supply chain management, increasing profits and agility for businesses.