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Supply Chain Management: The Next Big Thing?

Sarah DiPietro is a bargain hunter. The 21-year-old Lansing (Mich.) native says she analyzes all her purchasing possibilities in search of the best deals. So when it came time to narrow down her general business focus at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, she gravitated toward the one undergraduate business major that would allow her to indulge her inner haggler: supply chain management.

Supply chain management—the acquisition of parts and raw materials, from purchasing to delivery—is not one of the classic B-school majors, for either undergraduates or MBAs. But job openings, comfortable salaries, and the prospect for advancement have caused the academic community to take notice, with more students majoring in the subject and more programs offering courses and concentrations in it. With such companies as H.J. Heinz and AnnTaylor Stores creating C-level supply chain positions in the past few years, more students are seeing career possibilities in the major.