With the economy still struggling to climb out of a recession, recent college graduates are facing bleak prospects in the job market: more than half of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed and many more are facing a job market where employers are only hiring part-time or dropping benefits.
Fortunately, there are some outlier industries that are still growing and hunting for fresh, new talent to develop. As far as degrees go, engineering, accounting, and nursing remain old standbys, but colleges are also rising to meet the needs of an expanding market for graduates in supply chain management (SCM).
In today’s world, it is becoming more and more complex to get a product into a buyer’s hands with manufacturing, assembly, storage, and delivery happening in locations all over the world. To address those complex needs, supply chain management professionals are trained to innovate solutions and understand intricate logistics to navigate an intricate network of warehouse and transport services across a broad variety of industries and products. The goal of supply chain management is to get a product to its end destination as cost-effectively and quickly as possible.
If you’re interested in business, thinking creatively and strategically, and looking for degree with great career potential, check out these reasons to put SCM on your list:
- Less competition
Supply chain management is an industry on the rise with positions all over the world that need to be filled. According to the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the logistics industry is projected to create more than 1 million jobs over the next four years and only 75,000 students will be graduating with related degrees to fill those positions. In fact, every year hundreds of thousands of supply chain jobs go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants. The University of North Texas’ logistics degree program even boasts a 100% job placement rate.
- Good pay
Salaries for those in SCM range from starting pay at 45k to 60k upwards of 200k for directors and executives. In the current job market, many recent college graduates struggle to even find full-time, benefitted work related to their field of interest – landing a solid pay-check and opportunities for professional development right off the bat is increasingly rare.
- The degree is applicable in more than one industry
Critical thinking is a skill valuable anywhere, not to mention the ability to be innovative, strategic and creative. Not only does SCM touch on manufacturing, transportation and trucking, warehouse management, and shipping and delivery, it has an even broader purview of job prospects. Deloitte LLP, the largest international employer of accountants, recruits SCM graduates to consult manufacturing and logistics companies. Purchasing departments at everything from the Department of Defense to FEMA need professionals who understand logistics. The key is having a firm understanding of your skills and to know how to sell yourself in any industry, because there is a way with SCM.
- It is becoming more relevant, not less
Complex supply chains are the norm today, and more oversight is needed than ever before to find logistic solutions to get a product to its final destination efficiently and cost-effectively. Globalization and internet store-fronts have transformed some of the most basic parts of the supply chain. Stiff competition and a move toward sustainability have created a need for innovative management more than ever before. While a lot of traditional manufacturing and trade jobs are disappearing in America, supply chain managers are in high demand.
- It is a college-to-career degree
There are a number of great SCM programs all over the nation, either stand-alone or incorporated into MBA degrees, that are all focused on training students how to a do a specific job after graduation. While broader degrees in humanities or business or science have value, a degree in SCM has a clear career path beyond graduation, which allows college professors and advisors to teach students the most relevant and helpful information for their post-graduation life. Moreover, many of these programs have industry contacts and recruiters who work with them to aid students in networking and job searching.