It's a big world out there, and supply chain executives know they need to master it. That's one of the takeaways from the latest Ohio State University Survey of Career Patterns in Logistics, presented at CSCMP's 2007 Annual Conference in Philadelphia. James R. Stock, a professor of marketing and logistics at the University of South Florida; Bernard J. La Londe, a professor emeritus at Ohio State; and James L. Ginter, also of Ohio State, conducted the research.
The survey results were based on responses from 122 respondents. Three-fourths of those respondents worked in manufacturing, while the rest worked in merchandising.
When asked which factors will influence the growth and development of the logistics and supply chain function in the future, respondents most frequently cited global supply chain management. The next most popular response was information technology. Despite all the attention paid to "green" issues today, energy availability and cost was ranked sixth.
Global supply chain management was top of mind again when survey takers were asked to name the subject they would choose if they had the opportunity to complete a 90-day course of full-time study. That international outlook also showed up in fifth place, where respondents placed global logistics. (See the chart, below.) Supply chain executives had better start studying now: Those at the largest companies already travel internationally six days a month, the survey found.
Researchers also looked at respondents' pay and education. This year, compensation for professionals with supply chain titles shot up, while salaries for those with logistics titles stayed about the same compared to past surveys. For example, the median salary in 2007 for a vice president of supply chain was $300,000, and the median pay for a supply chain director was $150,000. By way of comparison, a logistics vice president earned a median salary of $190,000, while logistics managers made a little more than $100,000.
For the first time in the 36-year history of the survey, every respondent had a college degree, Stock noted. Fifty-five percent of respondents had some kind of advanced degree, including the 43 percent who earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. That's a clear indication that supply chain management continues to evolve as a career path, he said. As more companies recognize the importance of supply chains, titles and reporting relationships are moving up the corporate ladder—and employers are requiring higher levels of qualifications and education to match.
If they could go back to school for 90 days, supply chain and logistics professionals would choose to study these subjects:
1. Global supply chain management
2. Strategic management and planning/forecasting
3. Lean logistics
4. Financial management impact/accounting
5. Global logistics
6. Information technology applications/integration