John C. Taylor, chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Wayne State University, is optimistic about the future of a brand-new master’s degree with a significant concentration on automotive supply chains. During an exclusive on-camera interview at the annual AIAG Supply Chain Summit held June 20, 2017, in Livonia, Michigan, Taylor discussed some of the benefits of the burgeoning program.
“Across industries, students are increasingly taking master of science degrees after their bachelor’s degrees,” Taylor says. “This is a great program for people who have had some business exposure and now they want to zero in on a functional area.”
The master’s of science degree in automotive supply chains is in addition to Wayne State’s substantial supply chain program. Taylor says the university has focused on supply chains for many years, growing the program to include about 450 students at the undergraduate level whose majors focus on supply chains, and about 200 students at the MBA level.
“We think this is very exciting,” Taylor says. “This is probably the largest concentration of supply chain personnel in the world, here in Southeast Michigan. We think we can build a very, very interesting program that can serve the needs of our market.”
The program, which starts this fall, will include international study opportunities and significant content from AIAG. Taylor says the degree will give students a distinct leg up in the automotive industry.
“They are going to pick up a lot of real-world content that’s going to help advance their careers,” Taylor says. “In addition, they will get a lot of practical, hands-on content and knowledge that they will be able to apply in their positions every day. It will also help broaden them out. If they were focused, let’s say in purchasing, this is going to expose them to leading-edge content across a broader sphere of supply chain topics such as logistics, international, quality, and so on.”