Business school offers online degree


Photo by Helen Dudley

Professor Doug Fisher said the new online supply chain masters program aims to provide students with problem-solving skills.

Marquette approved a supply chain management master’s program in December 2017 having received allocated funding for a fall 2018 start.
Mark Barratt, an associate professor of supply chain management, said that right now is the most exciting time to be in this field. “There’s a huge gap in the market. There’s not enough people coming into supply chain management field,” he said.
New advancements in supply chain management are called Industry 4.0., said Douglas Fisher, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management. He said modern society is right in the forefront of this revolution and being adept at these technologies takes a new level of talent and training.
“That level of talent is generally someone who knows the business, has three to five years of experience but now needs some additional training … some master’s level of experience,” Fisher said.
The new program will be mostly online. As of now, it is a part-time program.
“Employers can’t afford to have an employee quit their job and get their masters. And that’s where the hybrid online model comes into play. Students can take the majority of the work online,” Fisher said.
Throughout the two-year program, there will be three “boot camp” workshops where students come to Marquette to engage in simulations and team building. At the end of the course, there is a final with advanced simulations.
The program is hoping to have cohorts of 25-30 students. Barratt said the application process opened last week. So far, one student has signed up.
Brian Till, the dean of business administration, is excited about the prospect of the new program. “The program is part of a broader effort to diversify our portfolio of graduate business programs,” Till wrote in an email.
Barratt said the hope is for companies to eventually sponsor students in this program. “We are getting huge numbers on the website and social media,” Barratt said. “The first year is seeing how many students we can get.”
Barratt said he hopes the program will later include a five-year accelerated undergraduate program. The last year would include earning a master’s degree. As of now, the undergraduate supply chain management program is ranked second in the country, and it has doubled in size in the last five years. The program “only has five faculty members, and we are really proud of that,” Barratt said.
Interviews have just been completed to hire two professors and a faculty advisor. Barratt said as a condition of the incubator, the funding has to be used this year.
Fisher said he believes the new program aligns nicely with Jesuit values. The program aims to give individuals the tools to problem-solve.
“They didn’t train Jesuits to know the answers,” Fisher said. “You didn’t know the answer but you had enough determination, grit and skill to solve the problems.”