Supply chain management graphic.

New St. Thomas Master’s Program Addresses Changing Landscape of Supply Chain

Recent geopolitical conflicts, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, and pressing climate change issues have underscored the critical importance of efficient and resilient supply chains in the global economy. To address these challenges, the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business is introducing a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, aimed at equipping professionals with the skills to navigate and optimize supply chains through data-driven solutions.

Developed in collaboration with industry leaders across the Twin Cities, the program integrates supply chain management with data analytics while enhancing leadership and practical skills, positioning graduates for success in a competitive global marketplace.

“In our unique program, we teach our students to see beyond the surface of purchasing, logistics and inventory management, emphasizing that at the core, these are both managerial and data application questions,” said John Olson, associate dean of academic programs and innovation at Opus College.

“Alongside reinforcing fundamentals, our program integrates critical areas such as sustainability, sourcing and logistics and empowers our students to strategically leverage data across every aspect of the supply chain. Data isn’t just a tool; it’s the lens through which the future of supply chain management will be defined and shaped.”

The demand for supply chain professionals is rapidly increasing, a trend that is expected to continue as companies across various sectors look not only to innovate and streamline their operations, but also implement sustainable supply chain practices. LinkedIn findings indicate that U.S. job postings for supply chain managers more than doubled from 2019 to 2022. Furthermore, projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest that the demand for supply chain professionals will grow by 28% between 2021 and 2031, significantly outpacing the average growth rate of 5% for all occupations.

“To excel in the field of supply chain management and stand out in the job market, students must develop a combination of technical knowledge and communication skills,” said Kyle Goldschmidt, associate professor of operations and supply chain management at Opus College. “The ability to streamline operations, reduce costs, enhance flexibility, and respond swiftly to market changes is a critical competitive advantage. This comprehensive skill set enables our graduates to immediately contribute to operational improvements and value creation in any organization, positioning them as future leaders in the field.”

The program’s hands-on approach, coupled with exposure to cutting-edge technology and industry collaborations, provides students with a holistic view of end-to-end supply chain management. It also emphasizes the crucial role of supply chains in sustainable and ethical business practices, preparing graduates to confidently lead in complex business environments and champion corporate social responsibility.

The program, however, is not just about immediate job readiness, but about shaping visionary leaders in supply chain management. “Our graduates will be able to tackle contemporary challenges from day one, navigating complex global networks, managing risks, and leveraging technology to drive performance improvements,” said Goldschmidt.

The Master of Science in Supply Chain Management is designed for individuals at different career stages, including newcomers to the supply chain industry, those transitioning from related fields or the military. The program’s structure offers working professionals the flexibility to complete the degree at their own pace, including evening and online classes, making it possible for them to advance their education while maintaining their careers. Moreover, the program holds STEM designation, offering international students the opportunity to extend their post-graduation stay in the U.S. through Optional Practical Training (OPT). Applications are now open for this new program starting in fall 2024.