With all the buzz and press about supply chains recently, it’s no surprise that career opportunities in the supply chain world are also on the rise. In fact, logistician / supply chain manager was identified as one of the top growth jobs for 2013 and identified as one of the jobs with the highest growth since 2010.
More than 250,000 supply-chain jobs will go unfilled each year through 2018 for lack of qualified talent according to a study by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics based on U.S. Department of Labor estimates. Picking up on the demand, more colleges and universities are offering dedicated programs and degrees in supply chain management and related fields.
Companies are specifically looking for candidates with a combination of both technical skills and business skills. Supply chain careers require being able to understand and communicate cross company complexities and dependencies as well as the ability to interact with outside suppliers and customers. With so many supply chains today being global in nature, cultural awareness and effectiveness are simply a part of the normal day-to-day job for supply chain leaders.
Supply chain professionals also need the technical skills to understand the capabilities of software such as global trade management systems, transportation management systems, ERP systems and warehouse management systems and how they can work together. Along with all that software, comes a whole bunch of data, and as we all know, data alone doesn’t mean much. A supply chain professional must be able to analyze and interpret data to pull out the relevant information to help make smart choices for the company as a whole.
Given the ever growing global economy and increasing ecommerce demands, qualified employees with an understanding of the supply chain and its importance are critical resources for businesses to succeed. Additionally, careers in supply chain management are paying more and are available to a variety of education levels, while providing plenty of opportunity for advancement. That said, the field does require greater skills and knowledge as one moves up the “chain.”
As the need for these sought-after skills increases, more schools are offering graduate programs that focus on supply chain management. And it isn’t just in the US, the Indian School of Business has had an increased demand for programs like project management and supply chain management, and colleges in Canada are seeing an increase in enrollment and interest in supply chain programs as well.
Is It the Job for You?
Current supply chain professionals can tell you – it is an incredibly dynamic role. To keep pace with increasing demand, a global environment, and crucial quality and safety issues and regulations, many industry professionals have a full plate and then some. If you want to work in this industry, you’ll need to be flexible and always willing to learn, but a big positive is more and more companies are looking to professionals with supply chain management experience to promote into executive positions.
There are opportunities and challenges abound, and to predict the future would be foolhardy at best; however, it is safe to say a supply chain career will be ever changing and never boring.
If you’re looking for a career in supply chain management or related field, apply for one of our job openings here.