The holiday shopping season could be challenging for retailers and consumers thanks to the ongoing pandemic-induced disruptions in the global supply chain. Toys, clothing, electronics and furniture are among the products expected to be in short supply, and analysts project prices will continue to increase.
Nor is this a short-term problem. Many experts, including Elaine Singleton, executive director of the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management & Sustainability in USF’s Muma College of Business, anticipate that the supply chain bottlenecks could last for another year and a half to two years.
However, for students graduating from USF with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, the future is very bright.
“We had 20 students who received degrees last May and all of them had multiple job offers before they graduated,” Singleton said. “The average salary offers were between $65,000 and $75,000.”
Graduates find positions in a wide variety of organizations – manufacturers, distributors, retailers, transportation companies, third-party logistics firms, government agencies and service firms. Students majoring in supply chain management get their first look at professional possibilities through internships, a requirement for graduation.
“Thirty percent or more of our graduates are actually moving into their first jobs from those internships,” Singleton said. “They’ve performed well, and their companies feel like, ‘Wow, this is intellectual property and we don’t want them just walking out the door.’”
A study conducted by the center of program alumni showed they are being promoted an average of twice within their first four years of employment.
Supply chain management is a high-growth industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs within the logistics sector will grow by 30 percent through 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The top fields for graduates of USF’s program are retail, logistics and technology. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, Amgen and Pfizer have been among the top destinations for graduates.
In addition to the bachelor’s degree program, the college offers a master’s in supply chain management. Launched in fall 2020, the 32-credit hour program is designed for working professionals.
Enrollment in both programs continues to grow. Singleton said that up until last year, enrollment hovered between 40 and 60 students.
“This year, enrollment has spiked to about 80 total, and our goal is to have sustained enrollment of at least 200 students,” she said.
And, beginning later this month, the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management & Sustainability will have a dedicated physical space within the Muma College of Business. Supply chain partners and alumni are welcome to attend a luncheon on Oct. 26 celebrating the grand opening of the center, the first of its kind in Florida that spearheads efforts related to the supply chain major, industry research and business partner engagement.
To learn more about Singleton’s perspectives on the short- and long-term impacts of the global supply chain disruptions, visit Inside USF: The Podcast.