If you're considering a career in supply chain management, you're making a good choice: supply chain management is an increasingly in-demand profession. Supply chains have become more complex in recent years, and the ability to manage them effectively and ensure an efficient production and distribution of goods is key.
When researching how to get a job in supply chain management, many people will find that supply chain & logistics is a field that many people enter from adjacent or related industries. For that reason, the requirements for supply chain manager jobs can vary significantly, and will also depend on the type of roles you're considering.
In general, those seeking to become supply chain management professionals should meet the following criteria:
- At least a bachelor’s degree in business-related field
- Experience with logistics and operations
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) experience
- Strong quantitative skills
- An understanding of corporate strategy and systems approaches
It's also important to find ways to learn and apply logistics knowledge in a real-world setting. One of the best ways to do this to learn on the job, by working closely with other departments, seeking out opportunities to learn more about different areas of the supply chain, or even offering to step into a more supply chain-focused role if your organization doesn’t already have a dedicated team or person doing that work.
Pursuing a Supply Chain Management Education
If you’re thinking about a career in supply chain management, you may want to consider building your skills and experience through education. Although a bachelor's degree (or higher) is almost always required for jobs in the field, you do not need a degree in supply chain management specifically. A degree focused on a specific aspect of the supply chain, or a more general business degree, will also prepare you for a job in the field and will be highly regarded by potential employers. However, if your degree is not in SCM, it is important that you have an understanding of the complexities of the supply chain, and are familiar with management strategies. For this reason, a supply chain management certificate (available at both the undergraduate and graduate level) may be useful - either as a stand-alone credential or built into a broader degree program, such as an MBA.
Certificates are a great way to build skills more quickly, and to obtain a valuable credential to highlight your expertise in a shorter time frame. Certificates also have the benefit of being more adaptable; at Champlain, our supply chain management curriculum is constantly re-evaluated and updated to reflect changing industries, global events, economics, and more.
If you’re someone who already has a degree and some experience in the field, a certificate is a great way to formalize your knowledge and help you take that next step in your career. If you're looking to get an introduction to supply chain, and learn the nuts and bolts of the field? An undergraduate certificate in supply chain management might be right for you (even if you already have a bachelor's degree). Or, if you're in a management role and want to gain some experience in supply chain specifically, or understand how the supply chain affects your organization and industry, a graduate certificate in supply chain management is a great choice.
No matter which option you choose, you'll be building in-demand skills that will help you build your qualifications for supply chain management jobs, setting you up for a successful career ahead.