Help Us Build a Global Classroom for Supply Chain Talent

MIT is developing an online learning curriculum for supply chain management
Redefining education. A curriculum for online learning that MIT CTL plans to launch next year will provide new sources of supply chain talent across the globe

This article was written by Dr. Chris Caplice, Executive Director, MIT CTL, caplice@mit.edu.

The supply chain profession urgently needs to fix the problem of a chronic shortage of talent.

We believe that an online learning curriculum now under development at MIT CTL could offer a solution – but we need the industry’s help to shape it.

The new virtual classroom is called SCMx, and it has the scale and flexibility required to educate huge numbers of individuals worldwide in a single sequence of courses.

In our opinion such a curriculum would expand the talent pipeline and provide a world standard for supply chain education.

The plan is to launch the first module of SCMx in 2014. Your feedback and guidance are welcome as we develop the curriculum and prepare for its launch.

What makes this online learning initiative so special?

Primarily, it is part of a much broader project that aims to revolutionize virtual education.

MIT along with Harvard University, Berkeley University of California, and The University of Texas System (and many others) have created an online educational service known as edX that provides “the best courses, from the best professors, and the best schools, spanning dozens of subjects.” Check it out at http://www.edx.org

To give you an idea of the potential of the edX platform, consider that the first class taught by an MIT professor as part of the service was in electrical engineering and attracted 155,000 students from 163 countries. These numbers are expected to grow as the edX platform matures.

The SCMx (Supply Chain and Logistics Management) curriculum will take edX in a new direction. SCMx is one of two new offerings (the other one is Foundations of Computer Science) to be introduced over the next year, that are much more expansive than the single courses currently available on the edX platform.

Each of the three SCMx courses will be 12 weeks long and designed to be completed in sequence. The first course introduces the students to supply chain fundamentals and core concepts.  The second class builds on these core concepts to cover supply chain design and integration.  Finally, the third class focuses on the development and implementation of supply chain strategy as well as other advanced topics.

When it launches, SCMx will enable the supply chain industry to reach a vast, global pool of potential talent. It will also provide the opportunity to learn about the types of virtual courses and credentials that learners value.

Ultimately, we see SCMx as a transition to a new era in supply chain education, where globally available virtual classrooms complement the traditional, on-campus model.

Work is underway on SCMx1, the Fundamentals course, with the goal of launching and going live in the fall of 2014.

We have reached out to individuals in MIT CTL’s 48 corporate partners to help us develop the curriculum. Their feedback is invaluable not only as supply chain professionals, but also as employers of the talent we aim to educate.

It is vitally important that SCMx is shaped by the industry it is designed to serve, which is why we are looking for more practitioners to participate in this project.

Much has been said about the supply chain talent crisis; now we have an opportunity to create a potential solution.

Do you want to get involved?

To provide feedback and gain more information about edX please contact the author and/ or comment on this blog post.

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