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STAMFORD, Conn., September 30, 2014 View All Press Releases

Gartner Announces Rankings of Its 2014 Top U.S. Supply Chain University Programs

Penn State University Ties With Michigan State University for Undergraduate Top Honors; Penn State Tops Graduate List

Gartner, Inc. has releases the findings from its third U.S. Supply Chain Undergraduate Programs report. Forty institutions participated in Gartner's third report on U.S. university undergraduate supply chain programs that is intended to support chief supply chain officers (CSCOs), heads of supply chain strategy and supply chain HR partners in building a strong portfolio of university recruiting and internship partners. 

"U.S. undergraduate supply chain programs have made impressive progress since we formally began this research in 2008, efforts which have helped grow and improve the supply of supply chain talent," said Dana Stiffler, research vice president at Gartner. "The top U.S. undergraduate supply chain programs balance broad curricula, real-world experience and strong industry reputations to rise to the top." 

Ms. Stiffler said that Gartner sees four impressive areas of growth in 2014:

  • The broadening of supply chain curricula to reflect the reality of today's supply chain organizations.
  • The exposure of more students to internships and co-ops, and more applied project work — often for sponsoring companies — in the classroom.
  • Dramatic increases in enrollment across the board, and new supply chain degree programs being established.
  • Salaries are up roughly 10 percent over 2011. Supply chain undergraduate placement rates are between 85 percent and 100 percent and, in many cases, graduates are accepting higher starting salaries than finance and accounting majors. The average starting salary for undergraduates is $53,584 although top students are commanding premiums $25,000 or more beyond this. 

Penn State University again claimed the No. 1 position in the undergraduate program rankings, but this time tied with another supply chain giant, Michigan State University, for top honors (see Table 1). 

Table 1. Top 10 2014 U.S. Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Ranking

Rank

Program

1 (tie)

Michigan State University

1 (tie)

Penn State University

3

University of Tennessee

4

University of Texas at Austin

5

Western Michigan University

6

Brigham Young University

6

University of North Texas

8

Auburn University

9 (tie)

Arizona State University

9 (tie)

Rutgers University

Source: Gartner (August 2014) 

The biggest upstarts this year were Western Michigan University, Brigham Young University and the University of North Texas, all of which shot into the top 10, based on potent combinations of innovative curricula and required internship participation. The most highly ranked new entrant in the undergraduate field was Brigham Young at No. 6 while the biggest upward mover in the ranking since Gartner's previous report was the University of Tennessee, moving up eight places to No. 3. 

Gartner has also released the findings from its third U.S. Supply Chain Graduate Programs report. Thirty-five institutions participated in Gartner's third report on U.S. university graduate supply chain programs. 

"In the university community, competition between programs is intense, but friendly," said Ms. Stiffler. "With so much growth in programs, and industry sponsors lining up to invest in universities' supply chain centers, the sense is that supply chain has finally 'arrived' as a profession." 

Penn State leads the graduate rankings at No. 1, retaining its leading position from previous years (see Table 2). Newcomers to the graduate list were Brigham Young, Howard University, Marquette University, Northeastern University, the University of Arkansas and North Texas. The biggest upward movers in the ranking since the 2013 report were Tennessee, the University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina State University and the University of Kansas (all advanced seven places), and the University of South Carolina (advanced six places). 

Table 2. Top 10 2014 U.S. Graduate Supply Chain Program Ranking

Rank

Program

1

Penn State University

2

Michigan State University

3

University of Tennessee

4

University of Michigan

5

Georgia Institute of Technology

6

Arizona State University

7

The Ohio State University

8

University of Texas at Austin

9 (tie)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9 (tie)

University of Wisconsin

Source: Gartner (September 2014) 

The final placement of university programs in Gartner's relative comparison is based on a composite score of three categories: program scope, industry value and program size. Ms. Stiffler said that many programs have made significant strides in program scope while, once again this year, indicators of perceived industry value are the schools on which recruitment efforts focus, the programs viewed as the "best" and the average starting salaries for program graduates.

More detailed analysis is available in the report "Top U.S. Supply Chain Undergraduate University Programs, 2014" at http://www.gartner.com/document/2815618. Additional details on the graduate program results are available in the report "Top U.S. Supply Chain Graduate University Programs, 2014" at http://www.gartner.com/document/2847727.

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