There are very few programs that, across the United States, and when you think of all the hundreds of colleges, to have 20 to 25 schools that offer a major in industrial distribution, that’s really special and very unique. And interestingly, the job opportunities and the career outlook is expansive and amazing. And so, the two don’t necessarily match.
So take any product, take a cell phone, take a pacemaker defibrillator, take a soft drink, any kind of product goes through that manufacturer, distributor, end user, supply chain. That’s where industrial distribution students live. Purchasing, supplier relationships, sales, production, operations management, product development. So, there’s a vast array of business concepts that are involved, and our students are trained to understand that very, very well.
So that at the end, they’re able to go out and work for either a manufacturer or a distributor of any type of product, and understand the business concepts that are critical to that industry.
It is a very unique program, and as a unique academic program, it also calls for a very unique individual who chooses to enter into this field for their career. It matches two really amazing kinds of circumstances. Really phenomenal students, and a really amazing academic program.
The Collat School of Business is based on a very rich core curriculum, as well as upper level business curriculum. Because we know that our students need to have a solid foundation in business, and it’s in these foundation courses that they begin to understand the role of a manufacturer, or a distributor, and how that body of knowledge represents a career.
The ID program, through the work of Charles Collat, was the first endowed academic major on campus. That is a tremendous legacy for our program, and is why, quite frankly, we are so successful, is the vision of Charles and the vision of the many, many industry partners that he has brought to UAB’s campus to join the ID program.
It is very important for our online students to be part of that. And so our online students in the Industrial Distribution program will have a very unique connectivity to our campus program, because they will also be interning with these industry partners that are all across the United States. They will be also interviewing with our recruiters that are hiring ID students. They also will be the recipients of ID scholarships.
It takes a lot of purposeful work to connect students with people who work in this industry. Whether it be a company that sponsors our program, or whether it be a graduate who was worked in industry 5, 10, 15 years. Those connections are very important. And online students should expect those connections to this program, and the faculty who come here each day in a very heightened way.