It’s no secret logistics and supply chain management-focused education is gaining traction each year among students. In fact, Data USA reports that in 2016, nearly 7,669 degrees were awarded in Logistics, Materials and Supply Chain Management. The report, which projects that number will be growing by 15.2 percent, also confirmed that a whopping 10.9 million people make up the current workforce and will continue growing by 3.53 percent.
Earning a robust education is essential, but a bigger question remains on the minds of leaders in the industry: How are students being prepared to enter the workforce and more importantly, which business schools are integrating talent acquisition and recruiting strategies within these focused programs?
Among the most debated and challenging topics discussed among today’s supply chain leaders is talent acquisition and retention It goes without saying this challenge is not industry biased. Global Trade compared and took a deeper look at the nation’s competing business schools that not only prepare students for the big world of logistics, but how to navigate it for career success. While some programs tackle the issue at a larger scale, others take a niche-like approach, focusing on a specific demographic for a bigger impact on a global level.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business NeXxus Program
Talent acquisition is more recently experiencing a new trend in the talent pool: female representation. Women continue to make their marks in the supply chain and logistics industries, with more assuming leadership positions than ever before. Such companies as DSC Logistics, Lynn Co. Supply Chain Solutions and Dachser Logistics are among major industry players with females leading initiatives and representing diversity in the workforce. Dachser, for example, recently reported that females make up 56 percent of their total workforce.
The NeXxus Program at the Haslam College of Business places the female student population at the top of its list with a focused networking pool that fosters diversity and opportunity both in the school and workforce. NeXxus focuses on five key areas specifically for developing its female students: Networking, Mentoring, Confidence Building, Community Development and Talent Attraction. The program combines the elements of workshops, guest speakers, social events and meetings to support development. Additionally, the annual NeXxus Summit aims to educate female high school students on company opportunities through networking with leading industry professionals.
Rutgers Business School’s Supply Chain Education Partnership Program
The Supply Chain Education Partnership Program at Rutgers reiterates the importance of educating young, prospective talent at an early age. The program, which was specifically designed with high school students in mind, ties in real-world experiences to spotlight how the industry impacts almost every aspect of the business world. Fostering the idea of “nurturing talent in our own backyard,” the week-long program challenges students to develop innovative solutions and strategic planning.
Students—who are addressed by professors and industry leaders speaking on global procurement, logistics, transportation, planning and fulfillment and more—are encouraged to demonstrate strategic thinking via team exercises that require them to apply fresh knowledge of the industry to solve. The program also includes an entire day dedicated to exploring a company on site. Career management specialists are also prepared to educate prospective Rutgers students on what it takes in the real world to stand out.
Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s Goodman IMPRESS program
Established in 1919, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management offers a competitive and unique program that separates itself through polishing students for career excellence and developing essential soft skills. The Goodman IMPRESS program aims to align student’s skills with what leading companies consider to be the most competitive, including agility, resilience and confidence. Through this approach, students are prepared to engage in the competitive market while understanding the generational impact on a variety of industries.
Students are challenged to participate in activities throughout the program to earn points that will eventually be visible to prospective employers. This points system consists of leadership workshops, roundtables with visiting speakers, bonding exercises, competitions, community engagement and certifications. A cumulative IMPRESS score is placed next to the student GPA on student resumes, adding more value to the student when competing for jobs.
University of North Texas G. Brint Ryan College of Business Logistics Student Onboarding Program
Known for its world-class faculty, UNT paves the way for student success beyond the books through its Logistics Student Onboarding Program at the request of Logistics Center Board of Directors members. The program is going on its sixth year addressing topics ranging from dressing for success and communication skills to generation gaps and analyses presentations. Companies like GIX Logistics bring their top leaders in to engage students through in-depth sessions focusing on company culture, interview tips, negotiating job offers and more.
Students are incentivized with a Logistics Onboarding certificate upon completing attendance to four sessions, adding more value and knowledge to their resumes. Mentoring is also provided for both formal and informal career-focused decisions to ensure students have a clear understanding of how to determine the most successful career path.
Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Pathways for Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Program
Female representation takes the spotlight once again through the Pathways for Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Program. Aiming to prepare and introduce female undergraduates to leading roles within the supply-chain sector, the program is part scholarship, part experiential engagement exercise as students receive top-notch mentoring from leading executives while bridging the gap of gender diversity at the C-suite level.
By addressing the gender differences at the executive level, the Pathways Program contributes to the overall talent gap. This unique strategy takes the issue of talent recruitment on a larger scale through equipping the female student population to take their career to the next level without limitations.