How do you rank Supply Chain and Logistics degrees?

Roger OakdenGlobal Logistics

The value of student’s entry scores.

A high school student is considering studying an undergraduate degrees in supply chains and logistics, but why do programs have different entry criteria?

Prospective undergraduate students must achieve their selected program’s mark in the country’s (or state) post secondary education examinations. Reviewing three universities offering supply chain and logistics degrees in Australia; University A requires 77 marks (out of 100), University B requires 54 marks and University C requires 50 marks.

As 78 marks is considered a good exam result, University A is obviously aiming to attract students from the upper quartile, but are the other two universities offering inferior programs by requiring an entry score that is 30 percent lower? From the review, the conclusion is no.

University programs in supply chains and logistics are typically offered through a business or commerce faculty, therefore at least one third of the program will be general business topics. To qualify as a major field of study, the supply chain and logistics discipline must contain at least eight focussed courses, subjects or units. The balance of learning can be a minor discipline plus electives or all electives, plus some universities require a final year project to be completed.

What is in the programs?

Reviewing the syllabus of each university, they provide core business topics such as accounting, law, marketing, organisation management and business statistics. The Supply Chain and Logistics topics at each university have similar titles and use similar textbooks! To finish, University A requires a minor in another business discipline plus electives, University C has a defined minor in a specialist area of logistics plus electives and University B allows students to structure their additional learning via electives. Universities A and C require a final year project and University A includes a compulsory additional year of their program for students to work in a logistics role and submit assignments based on the work environment.

The essential information that is missing from each university’s publicity is the experience of logistics lecturers and instructors; what is their capability to teach the ‘how’ of topics, but also encourage students to question ‘why’.So, what degree program would you select?

Its a difficult call, especially for a high school student considering their next step. It is unlikely that careers teachers can help, nor parents and friends. So what criteria are they likely to rely on? Perceptions concerning which are ‘good’ universities and the university rankings, even though ‘good’ and highly ranked universities can offer poorly taught courses.

This example of the three universities shows there is little differentiation in programs to prepare undergraduates for their first job. Of course, once working in the world of supply chains and logistics, graduates are unlikely to be questioned about the university from which they graduated!

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About the Author

Roger Oakden

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With my background as a practitioner, consultant and educator, I am uniquely qualified to provide practical learning in supply chains and logistics. I have co-authored a book on these subjects, published by McGraw-Hill. As the program Manager at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, I developed and presented the largest supply chain post-graduate program in the Asia Pacific region, with centres in Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong. Read More...