Logistics Goes to the Head of the Class
02/25/2006 - Inbound Logistics (cir. 55,050)
Job prospects heat up for the Class of '06
02/24/2006 - Money (cir. 1,924,414)
New association links South Asian psychologists
02/01/2006 - Monitor on Psychology (cir. 102,350)
Materials Institutes Weave Global Networks
02/01/2006 - Physics Today (cir. 120,846)
Logistics Goes to the Head of the Class
02/25/2006 - Inbound Logistics (cir. 55,050) Return to Top
February, 2006 | List all feature stories Logistics GoesTo the Head of the Class By Amanda Loudin Ten years ago, logistics education meant learning how to drive a forklift. Today, schools focus on teaching total supply chain management, and graduates are quickly snatched up by recruiters who know smart logistics managers can help the bottom line. Logistics and supply chain education has come a long way from its early days. 'Thirty years ago, eight students enrolled in my logistics classes,' says Dr. Ronald Ballou, operations professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. 'Three years ago, I taught two logistics classes with a total enrollment of 70 students.
Though graduate program enrollments and class sizes have declined overall recently, I still have 30 students enrolled.' Companies' increased awareness of the importance of logistics and supply chain management has greatly impacted logistics education, says Dr. William Oliver Hedgepeth, assistant professor of logistics, University of Alaska, Anchorage. 'Logistics education has been on the upswing over the last 10 years,' he says. 'Defining exactly what constitutes logistics and supply chain management is constantly changing as company managers, owners, and board members learn how employees trained in logistics can help increase the bottom line.' Logistics education is also on the rise at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass., where applications for logistics and supply chain management programs increased 20 percent annually over the last five years, according to Dr. Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT's Master of Engineering in Logistics program. 'By comparison, applications for top-10 MBA programs have dropped an average of 5 percent over the same period,' he says. As the number of students focusing on logistics and supply chain management has grown, so too have the number of programs offered. Premier schools such as Michigan State University, Penn State University, the University of Tennessee, and Georgia Institute of Technology all offer logistics and supply chain management programs, and more schools are added to the mix each year. So, how have logistics and supply chain management programs changed over the past few years and where are these programs headed? What skills do logistics students need to succeed in their careers? What are recruiters looking for? Inbound Logistics posed these questions -- and others -- to several of the nation's top logistics educators.
Each professor's unique experience and perspective helps shed light on the state of logistics and supply chain management education today. What Students Need Now There's no question that a career in logistics and supply chain management today carries more clout than it did in the past. As a result, employers expect students with logistics degrees to bring more to the table than ever before. 'Until 10 years ago, logistics education came from three primary sources the military, the 'school of hard knocks' -- years of driving trucks or forklifts before working your way up the corporate ladder -- and a small number of engineering programs focused on materials handling, warehousing, and transportation,' says Dr. John H. Vande Vate, professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. 'In the last decade, companies have recognized the importance of logistics and elevated its role from the stockroom to the boardroom.' As a result, logistics and supply chain management graduates must be well-rounded, well-educated, and flexible. 'People entering the logistics field need the ability to think broadly and interact with people in a variety of areas within a company.
It's not enough to just be a good tactical thinker,' says Dr. Robert Trent, supply chain management program director, Lehigh University
, Bethlehem, Pa. 'They also have to be team-oriented.' Both people and analytical skills are key, says Dr. Arnold Maltz, associate professor, supply chain management, Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe. 'Successful students all share an enthusiasm for their work, an appreciation of how effective logistics and supply chain management benefits their companies, and the ability to use analytical tools to identify possible solutions to operational and strategic problems,' he says. 'Students who excel at front-line supervision also need the ability to relate to customers and people they work with.' Not surprisingly, the qualities logistics students need aren't that different from those that students in other business areas need. 'Technical skills and general management skills are important in every discipline,' says Dr. Thomas Speh, professor of distribution, Miami University of Ohio. Speh identifies four key qualities of successful logistics students 1. Passion. 'The high performers in logistics have a deep passion for the discipline,' he says. 'Those who don't have passion don't go very far.' 2. Humility. 'The most successful logistics managers understand that they need to see logistics from the bottom up. They are willing to start out managing third shift in the warehouse,' Speh explains. 'After spending four years in college learning to be a manager, it is humbling to spend one or two years in a warehouse supervising people twice your age.' 3. The ability to tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity. Logistics changes quickly, says Speh, and many variables must be dealt with on a moment's notice. 'You have to be able to roll with the punches and have a contingency plan to fall back on,' he notes. 4. The ability to interact with people inside and outside your firm. 'If you can't do this, you won't be happy or successful in your career,' warns Speh. The Changing Face of Logistics Education The qualities students need to succeed play a key role in the design of logistics education programs around the country today.
As the demands of corporate logistics and supply chain management departments change, so too does the education designed to prepare students for the 'real world.' As with the field itself, logistics and supply chain management education is constantly evolving. Technology has helped educators teach more efficiently. By using the Internet for communication and to post course materials, teachers can be more creative with class time. 'Reading materials, lecture notes, and PowerPoint slides are available online, so class time isn't spent only on lecture, but on team assignments, working through analyses, and running simulations,' Speh says. 'This 'inverted classroom' approach yields a greater focus on analytical, conceptual, and team-building skills.' 'The technology of education is accelerating change,' says ASU's Maltz. 'I can contact my students at any timeVande Vate is a professor and executive director of the Executive Masters in International Logistics program at the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Over the past few years, Dr. Vande Vate has split his time between Georgia Tech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. William Oliver Hedgepeth Dr. William Oliver Hedgepeth is assistant professor of logistics at the College of Business and Public Policy, University of Alaska, Anchorage.
He has also taught courses at Old Dominion University, University of Florida, and in schools throughout Europe. He has authored numerous articles and books. Dr. Ronald Ballou Dr. Ronald Ballou is professor of operations at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
He has published more than 50 articles in professional logistics, operations, and marketing journals, and is the author of several books. His area of research includes supply chain design and management -- specializing in facility location -- inventory control, and optimizing transportation systems. Dr. Thomas Speh Dr. Thomas Speh is the Rees distinguished professor of distribution at Miami University of Ohio. He is past president of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals; past president of the Warehousing Education and Research Council; and has presented research in 10 different countries.
His focus is on supply chain management performance measurement, supply chain management collaboration, warehousing cost analysis, and reverse logistics/returns and functional integration. Dr. Arnold Maltz Dr. Arnold Maltz, associate professor, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, focuses his research on international issues in logistics and supply chain management, with special concerns for U.S.-Mexico border operations. He is also investigating logistics issues involving global sourcing and the likely consequences of the United States' transformation to an import-driven economy.
He is co-author of 28 referred publications, three monographs, and two books. Dr. John T. (Tom) Mentzer Dr. John T. (Tom) Mentzer is the Harry J. and Vivienne R. Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business in the department of marketing and logistics at the University of Tennessee. His focus is on logistics' contribution to customer satisfaction and strategic advantage in supply chains; computer decision model application for logistics, marketing, and forecasting; and sales forecasting management. He has benchmarked supply chain management and demand management practices at more than 500 companies.
Dr. Robert Trent Dr. Robert Trent is the supply chain management program director and the Eugene Mercy associate professor of management at Lehigh University
, Bethlehem, Pa., where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Prior to his return to academia, Trent spent seven years with Chrysler Corporation. He is author of numerous articles and has focused his research on supply chain management.
Like what you've read? Why not subscribe? It's FREE!
Job prospects heat up for the Class of '06
02/24/2006 - Money (cir. 1,924,414) Return to Top
With a strong recruitment push, higher salaries and in some cases, multiple job offers, all signs are pointing up for the class of 2006.
Class of 2006...prepare to flip your tassel with confidence. The way things look right now, the nearly 1.5 million college seniors expecting to graduate this spring are set.
Recruiters are reportedly fighting for space at campus career fairs, according to college career offices. And employers are expected to hire 14.5 percent more graduates this year, according the National Association of s and Employers (NACE).
"We looked back and this was best year in the past three or four years," said Andrea Koncz, a spokesperson for the NACE.
Maybe the best indicator of the strength is the number of recruiters that have flooded college campuses.
"This year we've had 23 percent more companies on campus in the fall than we did last year," said Donna Goldfeder, director of career services at Lehigh University
, which graduates approximately 1,000 seniors every year.
Recruitment efforts have even been so strong that at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of Texas at Austin, officials reported they could not accommodate every recruiter.
Velma Arney, who oversees 4,500 undergrads as the director of career services at Texas' McCombs School of Business, said "we were booked very early and we knew it was going to be a strong [recruiting] year."
In addition to increasing their visibility on campuses, recruiters have also been trying to lock up talent earlier, according to Terry LaMarco, the associate director of the career center at the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
This year, more students are even finding themselves in the enviable position of deciding between a handful of job offers, according to Mark Smith, the director of the career center at Washington University.
"We had some students with offers in the fall who are shopping around," said Smith. "That's a great position to be in when you're 22-years old."
So who's cleaning up?
Like most years, engineers have been in high demand, while finance and accounting degrees are also getting their fair share of offers. While those students tend to be in specialized fields such as information system management or civil engineering, there is hope for English majors too.
Nowadays, career counselors say companies are taking a good look at the liberal arts field for candidates who have the ability to communicate, lead, think critically or simply adjust to the job demands. From a sector perspective, the federal government is expected to be one of the most ambitious employers, hiring 22.8 percent more college grads this year, followed by the service industry which is projecting a 21.6 percent increase.
Money isn't everything
When it comes to that paycheck, grads should take comfort that they are probably going to get paid a little bit more than the class of 2005.
NACE's recent quarterly salary survey revealed that the starting salaries offered so far are on the rise, with chemical engineering, electrical engineering taking the top two spots.
Even liberal arts majors should, on average, get paid $30,828, 6.1 percent more that last year's class.
But with the upbeat outlook for this year's graduating class, college counselors say a salary is no longer the most important factor when it comes time to picking a job.
Brad Dudley, the director of Pepperdine University's Seaver College career center, says his seniors are interested in finding a place that matches their personality. "The comment I hear most often from students is they want to work for companies that share their values," said Dudley.
And, adds Texas' Arney, that includes finding a place that provides adequate benefits and allows a balance between work and personal life.
"Yesterday they needed the money, said Arney. But today it's all about the whole package."
New association links South Asian psychologists
02/01/2006 - Monitor on Psychology (cir. 102,350) Return to Top
As Puni Kalra, Neera Nijhawan Puri, PhD, and Arpana Inman, PhD, walked the streets of San Francisco following APA's 2001 Annual Convention, the three women talked about a connecting the growing number of people interested in South Asian psychology with a forum for constant communication worldwide. As founders, they brought that idea to fruition in 2001, in the form of the South Asian Psychological Networking Association (SAPNA). SAPNA which in Hindi means â€œdreamâ€ hosts a listserv, sponsors a Web site and holds a banquet in conjunction with APA's Annual Convention.
Currently, the listserv - a discussion group conducted through e-mail - functions as the association's communication hub, says Inman, an assistant psychology professor at Lehigh University
. Every week, SAPNA members across the globe, from North America to India to New Zealand, use the listserv to discuss research, post articles, comment on current events, recruit research subjects and match up students to mentors, says Puri, a psychologist and life coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
About 300 people belong to the listserv and participate in the discussions, Pun says.
SAPNA membership is open to anyone interested in psychology related to the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, Inman says.
"The response has just been amazing. It's a place for us to share thoughts and connect with each other," she says.
Working with fellow co-founder Nita Tewari, PhD, the group obtained a $4,000 grant from APA's Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and launched its Web site in early 2005.
Demand for an association to address the psychological concerns of people from South Asia, and serve as a forum for South Asian mental health professionals, had been building for years as South Asians grew as a minority within the United States, Inman says. Indeed, the U.S. population of people emigrating from South Asia, or whose parents came from South Asia, significantly increased in the past 40 years. The 1960 Census listed about 14,000 people living in the United States as born in India and Pakistan. By the 2000 census, that number rose to more than 1.2 million.
These immigrants and their children frequently con front psychological issues created by living in a culture with different values, says Puri. Those issues include parental expectations about educational success, suitable careers, dating and values that often conflict with what children learn from the surrounding culture, Puri said.
"We have a lot of work to do, we have a group of people who have some real challenges with immigrant acculturative stress," she says.
The SAPNA Web address is www.oursapna.org.
Materials Institutes Weave Global Networks
02/01/2006 - Physics Today (cir. 120,846) Return to Top
Himanshu Jain, professor, materials science and engineering, was quoted in an article for Physics Today magazine. For a complete view of the article, please click on the paperclip above.