The Weekly Wrap: More Supply Chain Degrees, Investors Seek TINA, Misinformation Costs

 

 

Hottest Degree – Supply Chain Management

Looking for a major where 76 percent of students are placed in a job at or before graduation? That’s the employment rate for Supply Chain Management (SCM) majors and MBAs, according to research firm Gartner. That figure rises to 93 percent within three months of graduation.

Colleges and universities mirrored businesses for decades in giving CSM short shrift. However, that is rapidly changing.

“For years, we had sort of taken logistics for granted,” Skrikant Datar, the dean of Harvard Business School told Bloomberg. “The pandemic caused us to rethink it.” 

Reality-Based Curriculum

Other schools are adding or expanding supply chain management programs. In addition, much of that coursework will deal with real-world supply issues.

Penn State is adding a reality-based course in supply chain risk management to its Master’s program. As a result, it will borrow heavily from the pandemic experiences of Hershey and Dell Technologies.

Programs at other schools often feature faculty with experience handling supply chain issues at major corporations.

In addition, those major corporations are on the hunt for graduates. 

Take this quote from Global Trade Daily on the University of Tennessee’s two annual job fairs for supply chain students.

“Roughly 1,000 students arrive to these fairs to be ultimately placed in touch with between 160 and 180 Fortune 500 companies for internships, full-time jobs as well as co-op programs.” 

SALARIES

A degree in supply chain management could land graduates a job in logistics, purchasing, or management. The U. S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects logistics jobs to increase 8,200 or four percent over the next eight years. Meanwhile, Management analyst jobs are expected to jump 11 percent, according to the BLS.

The average annual base salary for an MBA in supply chain management is over $86,000 according to Payscale. A Bachelor’s or advanced degree in supply chain management can qualify for a range of jobs and salaries. At the low end, buyers average $58,889. Directors of supply chain management average $139,865.

TINA Buffers Economic Concerns

Economists have begun lowering expectations for economic growth. As a result, many investors are seeking comfort with their old friend TINA.

But wait. It’s not what you think. TINA is an acronym. It stands for “There is no alternative.” The reference is to investors loading up on stocks because other investments offer worse returns.

Looking Ahead

Goldman Sachs lowered its growth projections for the year from 6.4 percent to 6 percent. 

At the same time, Goldman continues to project an increase in stocks.

Goldman is not alone. Bank of America’s July Global Fund Manager’s Survey showed 47 percent think the economy will improve. That is down from a high of 91 percent in March.

Delta and TINA

Fund managers and investment banks are walking back earlier forecasts due to continued concerns about the Delta variant and supply chain disruptions.

“The coronavirus situation has deteriorated over the last couple months,” according to Goldman’s Sept. 6 investor note. “Daily new cases increased from 20k to 163k (based on a seven-day moving average), daily fatalities have increased six-fold, and hospitalizations now exceed the winter peak in the South.”

TINA Effect

Investors usually look for conservative investments in times of economic uncertainty. However, with bond yields low, many see stocks as the only option. Thus, you have the TINA effect.  

Many forecasters, such as Goldman, have lowered growth projections. However, most remain bullish about stocks.

Bank of America is one exception. Its head of U.S. Equity & Quantitative Strategy, Savita Subramanian, sees little growth in stocks through 2022. 

Regardless of forecasts, many investors are still in love with TINA.

What Could Go Wrong

The TINA effect is based in part on group participation. It becomes a self-fulfilling reality as more people join in. As a result, stock prices can exceed value. That creates a bubble. When the economic winds change, that bubble can burst.

Misinformation Has Consequences

The spread of misinformation by foreign sources is well documented. However,  misinformation is also being spread by domestic sources that are impacting our health decisions and our pocketbooks.

How Misinformation Impacts Your Finances

A 2019 report from the University of Baltimore’s Roberto Cavazos and cybersecurity firm CHEQ shows that misinformation costs the stock market $39 billion annually. However, the global impact is almost twice as high.

“This first-ever in-depth economic analysis of the economic impact of the problem says the price tag to the global economy is $78 billion each year,” according to the University of Baltimore, “with economic damage being inflicted on major sectors including politics, finance, advertising, online retail, and media.”

The report determined that misinformation is “affecting everything from stock markets to media, reputation management, election campaigns, financial information, and healthcare.”

What a Tangled Web

Misinformation spreads rapidly across the internet.  

A report from Science found that false information spreads 70 percent faster than factual information.

The top one percent of false news posts were distributed to between 1,000 and 100,000 people, according to the report. Whereas verified factual reports rarely reached more than 1,000 people. 

Public Health Hazzard

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently declared misinformation a public health hazard.  

Dr. Murthy specifically cited misinformation about COVID and vaccines. However, his warning extended to all false information online.

“From the tech and social media companies who must do more to address the spread on their platforms, to all of us identifying and avoiding sharing misinformation,” said Dr.Murthy, “tackling this challenge will require an all-of-society approach, but it is critical for the long-term health of our nation.”

How to Combat Misinformation

Do not be a spreader.

Before hitting the share button, ask yourself:

  • Does the article cite credible references and provide links to original sources? If not, it may not be reliable.
  • Is there transparency about the author and website? For example, District Media is SA’s parent and you can find tabs for “About Us”, “Our Team” and “Contact” on our home page.
  • Is the article published by an individual or on a credible website? Anybody can write anything on social media. However, if the information is published on an established site, it has probably had to pass some form of editorial review. 

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