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Supply chain workforce training: addressing the digital skills gap

Abbas Foroughi (Department of Management and IS, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, Indiana, USA)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 18 September 2020

Issue publication date: 17 June 2021




The purpose of this research was to address the critical need for supply chain workforce training to empower employees to use new digital technologies and to identify and evaluate current sources of supply chain training.


An online search was performed to locate training that is available for supply chain employees. Training providers who met the online delivery criterion were identified and evaluated on: (1) amount of supply chain content and/or digital technology content, (2) flexibility, (3) customizable and (4) credentials offered.


Several sources of supply chain training were identified—supply chain professional organizations, consultants, MOOC courses and MicroMasters programs at colleges and universities.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study are limited by the fact that the number of supply chain training providers identified is not exhaustive and because the study examined training opportunities available at a particular point in time. Course offerings will change over time; certification requirements will be updated, and new providers will appear.

Practical implications

By identifying sources of supply chain training that are currently available to help bridge this serious skill shortage, the results can serve as a guide to enterprises moving toward supply chain digitalization.

Social implications

To succeed in the current environment of digital transformation, employees need opportunities to build digital skills that are demanded by corporations around the world. This is especially important at a time when unemployment is at an alarming rate.


An earlier version of the paper was presented at the 2019 Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute, November 23–25, 2019, in New Orleans, LA.



Foroughi, A. (2021), "Supply chain workforce training: addressing the digital skills gap", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 683-696.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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