Supply chain management (SCM) professionals monitor the movement of goods from their source to their customers.

Only a few weeks ago, not too many people were thinking about supply chain management. Most of us were probably assuming that the supply chains that bring us medicines, medical equipment, food and other goods were working well.

Then suddenly, the pandemic made supply chain management a major national concern. We started to ask questions like these . . .

  • Why is my local supermarket running low of certain products during the crisis? Who is in charge of getting those goods to the store?
  • There are supplies of medical ventilators in factories, but how will they be transported to where they are needed most? Who is managing the process?
  • Components are needed to manufacture the medical equipment that is needed now, but will those parts arrive in time to enable manufacturing and shipping of that equipment?

The current pandemic has, if anything, increased awareness of the value of studying to prepare for a career in the field. There are various specialties in supply chain management, including retailing, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and more.

What College Majors Can Prepare You for a Career in Supply Chain Management?

Colleges and universities across America offer opportunities to major or specialize in supply chain management. In addition, many offer courses on the subject as part of their undergraduate and graduate business curricula. And some institutions, including MIT, offer short programs of study that award certification in supply chain strategy and management.

Topics covered in the MIT certification course include:

  • The role of supply chain design in business strategy
  • How to integrate supply chain design with product and process development
  • How supply chain structures change and are affected by the speed of change in a given industry

Supply Chain Management Is a Good Career Choice

The Institute for Supply Management has identified career paths for supply chain management professionals, including:

  • Distribution
  • Inventory control
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing supervision
  • Materials management
  • Packaging
  • Procurement/purchasing
  • Product/service development
  • Receiving
  • Retail
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing

Suddenly, supply chain management has burst into our national consciousness as a career that plays a critical role in supporting our national wellbeing. Could supply chain management be a viable career for you, for your students, or for your children?

That is a question people should be thinking about today.

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