You don’t see too many people go into the supply chain management field straight out of college. In fact, when we were in college, supply chain management wasn’t really a field that you explicitly decided to enter.
The common routes we’ve seen to a supply chain management career are:
- Someone who formerly worked in manufacturing. Started doing production planning for the plant and expanded to planning other related processes.
- Someone who formerly worked in logistics. Started planning transportation lanes or managed a distribution center.
- Someone who was formerly a management consultant that did a lot of operations related projects.
- Someone who formerly worked in purchasing. Maybe they were responsible for buying critical direct raw materials.
In some ways, it’s hard for a person just out of college to go into the supply chain management field. Why?
1. The field itself is pretty broadly defined. Here are what a lot of people associate with supply chain managment:
We don’t really view these as supply chain management. They’re all part of it of course, but none of these speaks to managing the enterprise wide collection of processes.
2. A lot of organizations don’t actually have a supply chain management group. It’s hard to get a job in a department that doesn’t exist.
3. The job requires a level of tenure in a firm. To be effective, you’ll need to bring together a lot of established groups and strong personalities.
Not impossible to do without this tenure of course, but also not easy. We don’t entirely agree with this, but it definitely has to be noted.
4. There are few college degrees focused on supply chain management. This has changed dramatically over the last 5-10 years. There are now very good programs out there. However, it’s still not as geographically widespread as other functions.
APICS Young Professionals and Students
This is why we’re excited to see that APICS has an entire blog dedicated explicitly to students and young professionals. It’s encouraging to see a growing interest in the field from a younger generation.
We have no formal association with APICS and this blog of course. But we like the topics they discuss. Here’s why:
- It’s actually written by young professionals and students for…well…young professionals and students.
- The writing style is conversational and has a hipper feel to it.
- The topics are relevant to the audience. A sampling shows posts on internships, interesting books, job hunting, and social networking.
- It’s not generally about news. Getting news is good, but too many folks do that already. We need more points of view that spur discussion and sharing.
We don’t want to do the APICS Young Professionals/Student Blog a disservice by not describing it in more detail. We suggest that if you are part of this tribe, go visit the site yourself.
Then come back here and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your thoughts.