Hottest MBA Degree Now? Supply Chain Management

Hottest MBA Degree Now? Supply Chain Management 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everything from face masks to toilet paper was in short supply. As companies look beyond the pandemic, more are placing a heavier emphasis on supply chain management to ensure that they can meet increases in demand, whenever and wherever it spikes.

“Consumers will continue to want low prices (especially in a recession), and firms won’t be able to charge more just because they manufacture in higher-cost home markets,” Willy C. Shih, a Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration at Harvard Business School, writes for the Harvard Business Review. “Competition will ensure that. In addition, the pressure to operate efficiently and use capital and manufacturing capacity frugally will remain unrelenting. The challenge for companies will be to make their supply chains more resilient without weakening their competitiveness.”


To transform their supply chains, many companies are turning to business schools in search for fresh talent, Bloomberg reports. And business schools are stepping up their programs with a greater focus on supply chain management.

At Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, a new certificate in supply chain resilience is in the works, according to Bloomberg. At Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, a new master’s course in supply chain risk management will be added to the curriculum next year and will include learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not like we don’t cover risk already, but this would give them a deeper dive,” Kevin Linderman, chair of Smeal’s Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, tells Bloomberg.

At Georgia Tech’s supply chain career fair, 50 companies, including the likes of Honda, Honeywell, and Proctor & Gamble, are expected to attend this year—a record amount that doubles the typical number of attending companies.

In a EY survey of senior-level supply chain executives, 65% say increased efficiency is a top priority in the next year. 61% say they are prioritizing retaining and reskilling their supply chain workforce in the next year.

And it’s not just employers that are highlighting the need for supply chain management. According to Alok Baveja, a professor at Rutgers Business School, incoming business school students, who traditionally seek out finance, are now showing greater interest in the topic as well.

For students who graduate with an MBA in Supply Chain Management, the prospects certainly look bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for management analysts has a projected growth rate of 14% from 2020 to 2030.

Sources: Bloomberg, Harvard Business Review, EY, U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS 

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