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Supply Chain / Logistics
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Supply Chain Management

  • Planning and forecasting
  • Purchasing
  • Supplier sourcing
  • Operations management
  • Materials management

  • Inventory management
  • Vendor inventory management
  • Warehouse operations
  • Distribution
  • Systems management

  • Rate analysis
  • Performance analysis
  • Customer service
  • Global supply chain management


  • Manufacturers of:
    • Industrial goods
    • Consumer goods
  • Retailers
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors

  • Service providers:
    • Banks and financial institutions
    • Hospitals
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Educational institutions
  • State and local government

  • Federal government agencies:
    • Department of Defense
    • Armed Forces
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • Department of Transportation


  • Many entry-level positions as analysts, management trainees, or first line supervisors are available with manufacturers and retailers in particular.
  • Develop strong analytical and computer skills and a logical approach to problem solving.  Attention to detail is also important in this field.
  • Take courses in statistics and computer systems.
  • Learn to communicate with different types of people across functional areas.
  • Gain experience and build skills through a supply chain internship.
  • Get involved in student organizations and professional associations. Seek positions of leadership.
  • Obtain proficiency with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software like Oracle or SAP.
  • For government positions, maintain a high GPA and participate in a government internship program.
  • To work in the armed forces, consider participating in ROTC.
  • For global supply chain management positions:  Plan to start in domestic positions and work toward international assignments.  Learn about import/export laws.  Become familiar with how US Customs and other organizations regulate trade.  Cultivate foreign language skills and cultural awareness.


Transportation/Carrier Management

  • Rate analysis
  • Pricing
  • Sales
  • Marketing

  • Customer service
  • Account management
  • Systems management
  • Transportation management

  • Traffic management
  • Dispatching
  • Fleet management


  • Trucking and moving companies
  • Air freight and air carriers
  • Rail freight and rail carriers
  • Ocean freight carriers

  • Ship lines
  • Shipping companies
  • Transportation companies
  • Pipeline companies


  • Develop strong technical and analytical skills.
  • Learn to work well and communicate with different types of people.
  • Gain experience with logistics and transportation through an internship.
  • Be willing to start in a hands-on position, such as a loading dock supervisor for a trucking company.  This allows employees to learn the business from the bottom up.
  • Become familiar with Department of Transportation regulations.
  • Understand that you may work long, irregular hours in this field.


Third Party Logistics

  • Analysis
  • Demand forecasting
  • Sales
  • Customer service

  • Account management
  • Systems management
  • Warehouse operations
  • Inventory management

  • Dispatching
  • Transportation management
  • Freight management


  • Warehousers
  • Dedicated carriers
  • Freight forwarders
  • Third party logistics firms


  • Gain experience through internships or summer jobs in logistics and/or sales.
  • Develop negotiation, persuasion, and communication skills.  Be comfortable communicating with professionals from varying backgrounds (e.g., technical or business).
  • Learn to problem solve effectively and to stay calm under pressure.
  • Demonstrate a high level of motivation, organization, and planning.



  • Supply chain consultants help their clients with projects:
    • Process re-engineering
    • Software selection
    • Information technology implementation

  • Continued:
    • Strategic sourcing
    • Logistics network design
    • Supply chain optimization


  • Consulting firms


  • Learn to work well on a team.
  • Develop strong communication skills, both oral and written. Hone your presentation skills.
  • Complete one or more internships to gain relevant experience in supply chain management.
  • Obtain proficiency with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software like Oracle or SAP.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity.
  • New college graduates typically start in analyst positions.  Earn an MBA for advancement into associate and higher positions.

General Information

  • Many job opportunities exist in supply chain management, and they frequently transform as products and the marketplace change.  Stay abreast of the field through participation in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.
  • The supply chain includes: marketing, product design, suppliers, manufacturing, logistics, customers, and reverse logistics. Jobs exist within all of these functions and processes.
  • Majors in supply chain management, logistics, transportation, and industrial engineering are particularly helpful to gain entry into this functional area.
  • Information technology, analytical, and quantitative skills are important in supply chain management. Develop flexibility, negotiation skills, and the ability to make sound decisions.
  • Join student professional organizations and seek campus leadership positions.
  • Complete one or more internships to gain related experience.
  • Learn to work well on a team and to work effectively with a wide variety of people.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in jobs of interest to learn more about which functional areas and work environments are most appealing.
  • Some organizations may not have a “logistics” department. Also look for positions in operations, manufacturing, purchasing, or marketing.
  • Be willing to relocate to have more job opportunities.
  • Develop and utilize a personal network of contacts.  Once in a position, find a mentor.
  • Research relevant industry credentials such as the Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) and Certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM).
  • Many professionals start their supply chain management careers as analysts.  Consider earning an MBA  after gaining a few years of work experience to reach the highest levels.