In a year where everything from shortages of toilet paper and vaccines to computer chips and gasoline have been national breaking news headlines, Belmont University is launching an innovative new program in Supply Chain Management (SCM) within its Jack C. Massey College of Business. The SCM curriculum was developed based on insights garnered from leaders of local and regional Fortune 500 companies, privately-held corporations and nonprofit organizations. Welcoming its inaugural class in Fall 2021, the Supply Chain Management undergraduate major will prepare talent needed in this rapidly growing sector. With Fortune 100 companies like Amazon and Oracle entering the Nashville market, this global field is also expected to experience a significant uptick in demand in Middle Tennessee.
Dr. Sarah Gardial, dean of Belmont’s Massey College of Business, said, “With Nashville’s growth as a distribution center, we are in a unique position to build an innovative program from the ground up by collaborating with leading professionals in supply chain management. Conversations with these strategic partners influenced every aspect of our curriculum development, and we are confident that aligning our program to their goals will also result in experiential internships and co-op arrangements that set our students—and graduates—apart.”
In the U.S., 37 percent of all jobs are in the supply chain economy, employing 44 million people in jobs that have higher average wages compared to business-to-consumer positions. Plus, the growing complexity of global business operations has ignited unprecedented demand for skilled supply chain personnel. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of SCM jobs will grow by 5+ percent annually over the next decade and 22 percent in the next two years alone.
Belmont’s SCM major focuses on all facets of the business process from planning and forecasting to purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, quality and customer service. Students will learn business fundamentals and analytics in supply chain functions of planning, sourcing, making, delivering and returns. Plus, Supply Chain Management majors at Belmont can focus on one of five tracks within their degree program: Health Care, International, Analytics, Services or create their own General track. As a hallmark to the Belmont program, juniors and seniors will gain meaningful work experience through a required “hands-on” cooperative internship.
“Through partnerships with key companies in Middle Tennessee, we are creating pipelines for future leadership, beginning by placing our students in experiential internships,” said Dr. Dennis Chen, associate dean and associate professor of management and international business. “With three major interstates, the Cumberland River, an international airport and a rail terminal, Middle Tennessee is already a major intermodal player in the nation’s supply chain across a wide variety of industries. The knowledge base in this field has been tested continuously during the pandemic, by necessity, which translates to our program being informed by truly leading-edge insights.”
A robust network of Middle Tennessee supply chain management leaders has been assembled to help drive the new program and keep its faculty and students connected to the needs of the profession.
Graduates with knowledge of business processes, analytics and operational strategies are increasingly recruited by companies seeking to build supply chain management solutions. Employment opportunities cover a wide range from managing marketing and sales relationships, to operations and logistics positions, to sourcing and new product development. To learn more about Belmont’s program, visit the University’s Supply Chain Management website.