How to Start a Career in Supply Chain

Breda Fitzgerald 02.08.2017

The sector is growing, demand in supply chain skillsets are expanding, and so are opportunities for further career development within the sector. It can be difficult to start a career in supply chain without experience however below are some steps to guide you in the right direction.

First Step - Get a Qualification

More and more companies are asking for candidates with supply chain qualifications.  There are numerous courses on offer such as IIPMM, APICs, strategic procurement and CILT. Some of these courses are also part-time and can only enhance your career prospects.  Having a qualification will assist in your application for entry level roles such as warehouse operative, junior planner or supply chain analyst.

Second Step - Experience

It has long been said that there is no substitute for experience. This is certainly true for individuals thinking about SCM careers, so do not be afraid to ask your employer about junior internal opportunities, internships, temporary positions, where you can build on your skills that are desired by employers in supply chain areas. 

Third Step - Technical Skills

Brush up on your IT skills where necessary. I specialise in planning roles, and I find recently that most companies are looking for candidates who are extremely analytical, experience with ERP systems, SAP and ORACLE are highly sought after, along with the old reliable Microsoft Excel.  So if you have the opportunity to get exposure in anyway to these systems - do not turn it down.

Lastly - Industry Knowledge

Last but by no means least, it can be difficult to break into an industry when you have no experience as they naturally look for knowledge about their industry sector. If you have a good knowledge of general supply chain that can go a long way to helping you adapt to a new industry, but in some cases, you will need additional arguments to convince a potential employer so be prepared for those questions!

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Breda Fitzgerald's picture
Senior Consultant | Supply Chain | Planning | Forecasting