With recent supply-chain issues disrupting businesses across the country, the number of students studying the topic is increasing.
Missouri Western State University assistant professor Amit Verma said the Craig School of Business has seen interest in its supply chain management major grow.
“We have about 15 intended majors who are interested ... so it’s slowly growing, but we’d like for it to grow more at a much faster rate,” Verma said.
The pandemic has shed a light on the career and changed the way professors teach students what the field entails. Verma said the focus has shifted to logistics, warehousing and the core of the problem related to the pandemic.
“We’ve also invested a lot of energy in procurement,” Verma said. “If you have a good supplier in this pandemic, your business will be doing well. That supplier relationship management has become very important.”
Verma said he believes relationship-building is a key attribute to have as a student going into the supply-chain field. Based on what he has learned in discussions with students currently in the industry, working alongside a supplier has become increasingly important. He also said understanding analytics is a plus.
“These are kind of the skill sets that we focus on,” Verma said. “My forecast is that some of the supply chains will have to adapt because of the pandemic, and that will force redesign. As a career path, I think we’re just getting started.”
An integral part of the university’s supply-chain management program has been a relationship with Altec Inc. in St. Joseph. The partnership between the two has opened job opportunities for outgoing students, including in supply-chain management positions.