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Teaching Tip: Encouraging Students to Take the CPIM Exams

June 20, 2013

apicsDecades ago, Jay passed the CPIM (Certification in Production and Inventory Management) exams sponsored by APICS, and has been a fan of the program since then. The CPIM course is taught in classrooms in 24 states and online through the APICS web site and costs $2,750 for APICS members and $2,975 for non-members, according to Software Advice (June 14, 2013). Getting certified “demonstrates command of the subject matter,” says APICS CEO. “APICS certifications are recognized for the rigorous exam process, depth of the content and the excellent quality of the courseware. APICS certifications are highly respected by employers and are frequently included as a preferred designation in job descriptions.”

In one recent study, researchers identified a growing demand for supply chain workers: data collected from 2009-2011 compared to that from 2004-2006 reveals a 14% increase in upper level transportation, logistics and distribution management jobs and a 10% increase in mid-level sourcing, procurement and supply management positions. At a time when some manufacturing sectors appear to be picking up steam again after the prolonged recession, workers in this area who possess more finely-honed skills are reaping extra financial rewards. Individuals who hold APICS certification can expect to earn 14-20% more than their similarly qualified peers, says APICS.  The certification helps make workers more efficient in areas such as day-to-day inventory and production management, global supply chain activities and customer relations.

Through certified workers, the CPIM also aims to help companies develop a common language for their various systems and common practices across these systems. Many companies find it essential to employ this common language when installing ERP systems or developing S&OP processes. Despite the intensity of the certification process, the accreditation can yield significant rewards for those who pass the final exams. As the manufacturing sector continues to emerge from the recession, CPIM is a useful way to gain crucial operations and supply chain skills that will distinguish a person from other applicants to secure higher-paying, in-demand positions.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2013 2:52 pm

    I earned my CPIM when working for a prior employer many years ago and I continue to maintain this certification. I would encourage any student that might want to take these CPIM exams to purchase the exam content manual (http://www.apics.org/productcatalog/apicsproduct?ID=7967 ). Many of the concepts covered in this textbook align to the APICS body of knowledge, but there are a few gaps (encourage students to further read the other concepts to be ready for these exams).

  2. June 26, 2013 3:40 am

    Yes, like Wende and many other OM faculty I have and have maintained my CPIM certification. I think that almost 40 years of exposure to the APICS body of knowledge has strengthened both the Heizer Render text, but also my class room lectures. And like Wende I encourage my students to take one or more of the exams so they have a head start in the ‘new college grad’ job search. I also encourage them to attend the local APICS, SMI, or QC meetings not only for the education, but also for the ‘networking’ opportunities. This touch of real world experience can be of benefit to both faculty and students.

  3. July 4, 2013 6:08 pm

    There are many societies offering certification, and the list is growing. For example, Certified Analytics Professional (INFORMS), SCPro (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals), multiple variations at the Project Management Institute, multiple variations at the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, and multiple variations at the Institute for Supply Management.

    As educators, these are opportunities for our students, and also tests for us. Are we really meeting our lesson objectives? Certification will separate the leaders and laggards in education quickly.

  4. July 4, 2013 9:55 pm

    Steve,
    I want to congratulate you on being in the first group of professionals to pass the INFORMS certification in analytics!

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Andreas Wieland’s supply chain management blog for academics and managers

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