Kicking Off A Career in Supply Chain

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Finals are complete, diploma accepted with proud family and friends looking on, and celebrations commencing. Now the post-college graduation reality sets in for graduates…the job hunt. Whether majoring in something specific to the field or any variety of business related degrees, the supply chain industry provides a plethora of career opportunities for qualified and motivated college graduates.

The supply chain industry stretches across a wide variety of fields including retail, food and beverage, and e-commerce. Supply chains move goods from suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, ultimately providing the final product to consumers 2. Supply chain positions are available within a company that utilizes product movement or graduates can find a position with third party logistics providers whose main focus is supply chains. There are a multitude of functions associated with supply chains not just for those with supply chain related degrees. There are approximately 108,900 supply chain managers in the U.S., with an expected growth of 26% by 20201. Great opportunities are available for those entering the workforce after graduation.

Types of Supply Chain Positions

Careers in the supply chain are very diverse, stemming from a multitude of college majors. The most popularly hired majors are Supply Chain Management, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, and Management Information Systems. A Supply Chain Management degree can lead to roles such as a Business Analyst, Operations Supervisor, or Supply Chain Management Trainee. Technology has a significant role in supply chains generating many opportunities for graduates who studied computer science or information systems. There are many components to keeping warehouse or transportation management systems moving and getting products from point A to point B3. While these may be the most popular degrees hired in the supply chain industry, there is an abundance of other positions in areas that do not require supply chain degrees. Available positions consist of everything from Human Resources, Security, Marketing, Accounting, and more.

Getting in the Door: Résumé Qualities

A degree is not enough to land your dream job. In the competitive world of job applications, candidates must stand out and a résumé is the first ticket in the door. A résumé should be clear, concise, free of spelling and grammar errors, and highlight the candidate’s best qualities and skill sets. The background should not just list responsibilities in previous positions. A good résumé highlights successful projects that link previous work to the skills needed for the position. Internship history is also important in expressing previous experience and showing dedication to learning in the field.

Applicant Qualities

Possessing the right qualities to shine in an interview will make a candidate stand above other applicants. A major quality for the supply chain industry is having an analytical skill set. Companies look to collect information and data to determine the best course of action and numbers are a huge part of that4. Being able to analyze those numbers and have business acumen is also important. It’s not enough to just know how to work with numbers, but there is a need to know what they are saying as well4. A global perspective is also key in supply chains as many companies often have international operations and an understanding of cultures is important in trade4. End to end supply chain solutions providers work business to business and having relationship building skills puts a candidate at the forefront of their peers along with communications skills4. In addition, candidates should be articulate, intelligent, and carry a strong sense of professionalism with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Graduating from college can be an exciting but stressful time as alumni determine their future route in a chosen career. The supply chain industry has a multitude of positions fitting a variety of courses of study but applicants should come prepared with an enthusiastic and fresh approach to the industry. Brushing up a résumé and fine tuning interview skills gives a competitive advantage needed to jump start a supply chain career.


  1. https://www.looksharp.com/s/supply-chain-management-entry-level-jobs
  2. https://business.ku.edu/sites/businessdev.drupal.ku.edu/files/docs/What%20Can%20I%20Do%20With%20SCM%20-.pdf
  3. http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/logistics-supply-chain-management-jobs
  4. https://logisticsviewpoints.com/2010/11/17/interview-questions-for-supply-chain-candidates/