Aidan Morrison recently published an article on LinkedIn about the top five reasons supply chain management is a great field to work in. We’re a bit biased as a boutique search firm that specializes in supply chain recruitment with a vested interest in the success of this industry, but his words did ring true. The Argentus team is enthusiastic about the depth and breadth of opportunities a career in supply chain can offer for bright, strategic, analytical professionals.
As we’ve explored before on the blog, the vast, often invisible network of the global supply chain is an incredible feat: for commerce, for communities, and for the public. We take its existence for granted (unless there’s a problem), but supply chain makes the world turn – and it does so behind the scenes 24/7, 365 days a year with considerable and nuanced efficiency.
Playing a working role in this system allows people to take advantage of supply chain management as a growing field, along with the chance to tackle invigorating, rewarding business challenges and develop evidence-based strategies that can make a real difference in the market.
So what can you expect with a career in supply chain?
Strong forecasted job growth. As Morrison correctly observes, “Global connections are constantly expanding; there are more supply chain jobs now than ever before. Many employers are expecting headcount to increase with positions that span a variety of sectors such as manufacturing, retail, energy, healthcare, and the public sector.” Given the ongoing supply chain talent gap, a deficit of qualified and well-suited candidates gives those professionals who are the right match not only more opportunities for advancement but also increased access to great jobs and more choice.
Financial security and competitive compensation. Supply chain management is one of the most lucrative industries out there for professionals right now, regardless of experience level. Whether you’re a fresh-faced graduate, early career, mid-level, senior, or working at an executive level, supply chain salaries stack up handsomely. In Canada, recent stats from the Supply Chain Management Association report [X about income]. It’s also worth noting that job satisfaction and employee engagement tends to be high; “whether it’s due to pay, room for growth, travel opportunities, or the cross-functional nature of the role (or a combination of all four factors), supply chain jobs tend to be well-enjoyed by those in the field.”
Accessible skills development and training. Supply chain needs people with educational backgrounds in business, engineering, logistics, accounting, project management, and software. Supply chain employers are looking for professionals with experience managing direct reports, an insider grasp on regulatory policies and procedures, fresh takes on process improvement, and financial experts who can optimizes cost savings with vendors, suppliers, and stakeholders. There’s something for everyone, and top industry certification programs and credentials can complement your existing work experience and qualifications, too, along with many companies today making a commitment to more in-house training and learning advancement initiatives.
Career mobility and flexibility. Supply chain has undergone a huge amount of transformation in recent years – a transition from transactional to strategic, from blue collar to white collar, and from siloed warehousing and distribution functions to high-level corporate strategy and occupying the heart of change management for businesses. This means an abundance of career paths and skills requirements that do not fit neatly into compartmentalized boxes. Upward movement is part and parcel with a career in supply chain. There’s a built-in volume of complexity for the industry that creates flexibility, mobility, multi-directional development, and transferable expertise. No static, dead-end jobs to see here; your success story awaits.
A commitment to gender equity and corporate diversity. Historically, women and visible minorities have been very underrepresented within supply chain management, but current trends show signs of change, encouraging more gender parity in the workforce and better understanding of what will help attract and retain women, as well as people of color. For example, many companies are now realizing that to achieve a more strategic vision for supply chains that have an ear to the boardroom, qualities typically associated with female workers lead to competitive business advantage, such as strong communication skills and collaborative problem-solving. And an openness to global supply chain professionals who are bringing their valuable experiences from abroad to North America could be just the kind of revitalizing fresh take the industry has been looking for.