You graduated from college 2-3 years ago. You’re currently in your first job in operations. You’re starting to think about your next career move?
But then, you ask yourself two questions:
- Where do I go?
- How do I get there?
And this seems to be a point where people ask if getting the Certified Supply Chain Professional certification is worth it.
The answer is obviously…all together now…”It depends”. But that doesn’t help you. So let’s do this. Let’s discuss the scenarios when it might help.
1. CSCP shows you other jobs in supply chain.
So you may not be happy in your current role. That’s fine. It’s pretty common especially if this is your first job out of college.
But as you start to look for other jobs, you realize you don’t really know what else is out there. And more important, if you did know about these roles, would you like them?
CSCP presents the common roles in supply chain. It also provides a basic description of what the roles or business challenge require.
Then if you find a role that is particularly interesting to you, then you can find other ways to gain a deeper understanding of it.
2. CSCP teaches you supply chain management.
It’s not always easy to get a job in supply chain management immediately after graduation. If you’re in your first or second job out of college, your role is likely focused on a single function. This could be something like transportation, warehousing, inventory or forecasting.
You need these roles to build your experience. However, the tendency is to then forget how your specific role contributes to the management of the supply chain as whole.
And if you do this long enough, you start to go down the path of being a specialist in that field.
And let’s be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, often what happens is people become specialists by default. They didn’t know of any other options so they continued doing what they were doing. Over time, they worked hard and became increasingly good at what they did. At that point, it became less and less likely that they would move out of that role.
CSCP shows you what the supply chain management role is. And that means looking at the supply chain as a whole. It means executing based on what is optimal for the entire supply chain and not just one part of it.
3. CSCP continues where college ends.
There are very few programs that allow you to major in supply chain management. It’s one of those fields that tends to be inter-disciplinary and thus requires study of a lot of topics.
Some good foundations for a career in supply chain would be finance, economics, engineering, business and computer science. And it’s great if you received these kinds of education in college.
In this situation, CSCP then helps to put these skills together. It shows you how they are used to perform the various challenges in supply chain management. There are programs that teach this at the college level. But for those that didn’t take that path, CSCP is a good introduction.
4. CSCP gives you a professional context.
Now for those that did study supply chain in college, CSCP gives you more of a professional context.
And of course, an added bonus is that it can serve as a good review of concepts you may have taken many years ago.
5. CSCP is a recognized brand.
We put this last for a reason. Honestly, we don’t think this should be your top reason for pursuing CSCP.
Yes, employers are generally aware of APICS and CSCP. Some job opportunities will even specify “CSCP certification a plus”. But in practice, employers will typically (or should) hire the best candidate not the one with the CSCP designation.
Now if it’s down to two equally strong candidates with good fit, then perhaps the one with CSCP certification gets the job.
But there are too many variables in job hiring that it’s practically impossible to say how much CSCP certification helps.
All this said, what we think it does is communicate to recruiters that you are serious about a career in supply chain management. And you didn’t just say it, you actually took the time to learn and pass the CSCP certification program.
So Should You Do it?
Only you can answer that. Sorry.
Hopefully the above discussion helps you make an informed decision based on your situation.
However, if you do pursue it, we recommend doing it because you want to grow personally and professionally. Do it because you want to be able to demonstrate that you are indeed a supply chain leader.
CSCP Review helps you prepare for the Certified Supply Chain Professional exam. It offers over 1,100 practice questions covering the CSCP 2012 material. Additionally, it provides access to instructors to help you if you have any questions.