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Michigan State is King of Supply Chain Talent

A newly released global ranking of the top schools for supply chain talent – the SCM World University 100 – finds a big gap between Michigan State at #1 and traditional rival Penn State at #2. The methodology involves only asking supply chain practitioners to select their top three universities “as a marker of supply chain talent”, and as such makes no attempt to judge course content, instructor quality or even whether formal degree programs are offered.

It does however provide a strong picture of which degrees are sought after by employers.

Sparty Stands Alone

It’s no big surprise to see Michigan State atop this list. The university has been at the forefront of professionalizing supply chain for a long time and has always produced work-ready graduates in volume. What is noteworthy however are both the margin of dominance and the breadth of Michigan State’s fan base.

Using a simple scoring rule that awarded three points for a top selection, two points for a second place selection and one point for third, MSU racked up 1,149 total points. Penn State scored 736 and the University of Tennessee ranked third overall with 671. Rounding out the top five were MIT (641) and Arizona State (464).

Over 2,000 professionals around the world participated including almost 200 who are based in Asia, 400 in Europe and the balance in the Americas. The large polling base allows cuts not only by geography, but also by industry, functional role (logistics, sourcing, production, etc.) and level of seniority.

Across all functions, except logistics which was topped by Tennessee, Michigan State was ranked highest. By industry, Michigan State was tops in the CPG & retail, high tech and industrial sectors. Penn State was highest ranked in healthcare. Even by level of seniority Michigan State did well being ranked #1 at the manager level and the Vice President level, while trailing only MIT who topped the list for Senior Vice Presidents.

The Spartans even led the rankings when cut by academic voters which comprised 80 professors from dozens of universities. This should closely mirror what US News and World Report offers since its well-known MBA ranking provides a supply chain specialty assessment based on the opinions of academic deans.

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