Are you looking for a career that’s varied and challenging? Then why not consider studying supply chain management? Professionals working in this essential sector keep products moving smoothly and efficiently between manufacturers and customers. Their responsibilities cover every stage of the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to transporting the final product.
Whether you choose a short online course or a degree, there are plenty of benefits to be gained by taking a supply chain management course. Here are six of the best reasons to enrol.
1.There are lots of study options
Taking a foundation degree, HND or bachelor’s degree is the most direct way to become a supply chain manager. There are a number of relevant degree subjects to choose from including logistics, supply chain management, business management, business administration and international travel. We’d also recommend looking for courses that include a year-long industrial placement, as you’ll need some hands-on experience to impress employers.
If your degree program doesn’t come with a placement, consider applying for a graduate scheme during your final year. Offered by a range of graduate employers such as Royal Mail, British Airways and DHL, these include a variety of placements and will prepare you for your first supply chain management (SCM) role.
But what if you’d rather not take on the financial commitment of a degree course? Start by applying for a junior role such as a transport clerk and you’ll still achieve your goals. Once you’ve gained your first post, you’ll be able to undertake some vocational training and work towards your dream job. There are plenty of high-quality course providers available, including the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM) which offers courses from level two upwards.
2. You can study from home
Need a course that fits around your other commitments? Not a problem, as many SCM courses can be studied flexibly from home. For example, all of the Institute of Supply Chain Management’s courses are available online.
Here’s how it works. Once you’ve signed up for a particular IoSCM course, you’ll be given access to a customised learning platform, where you’ll find your course materials, a huge library of resources and a variety of mock tests. You’ll also be able to attend monthly face to face or online workshops and you’ll be assigned a student support liaison in case you need extra support.
3.The salary prospects are excellent
According to PayScale, supply chain managers earn an average salary of £39,616. Larger companies often pay more than this and if you become a senior manager you could earn upwards of £60,000.
These numbers are pretty impressive, but you don’t have to wait until you’re a manager to earn a decent salary in this sector. For example, completing the IoSCM’s Level 2 Diploma in Supply Chain and Operations will qualify you to work as a junior purchasing analyst, earning around £23,000.
Once you’ve gained some experience, you’ll be able to move on to a level three qualification, which will develop your specialist knowledge and refine your management skills. Complete this qualification and you could earn £33,000 as a process engineer, or £32,000 as an inventory and logistics controller.
4.The work is interesting and varied
Many SCM jobs involve practical and administrative duties, a combination which keeps them interesting. For example, if you’re working in a junior post your responsibilities could include hands-on tasks like checking stock, as well as more office-based tasks like planning delivery timetables and tracking products.
Supply management roles that require more experience will also involve monitoring staff, providing training and ensuring that targets are met.
While your exact responsibilities will vary depending on your role, if you become a supply chain manager your daily duties are likely to include:
5.There’s a wide range of employers
Because so many businesses and organisations rely on their supply chain, the qualification you gain will give you access to a wide range of employers. You’ll find supply chain professionals playing an important role in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, retail, engineering, energy, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and the public sector.
Third-party logistics companies that work with supermarkets, hospitals and prisons also employ supply chain professionals, as do the emergency services and the defence industry.
6. You’ll develop your skills
Committing to a course means that you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of effective supply chain management, from strategic sourcing to warehousing. You’ll learn about relevant business processes and develop important management skills, including the ability to lead a team and improve its performance.
Once you’re working in the sector, you’ll continue to grow your transferable skills and gain specialist knowledge. As well as learning to think on your feet and work under pressure, you’ll learn how to manage projects, negotiate with supply chain partners, problem solve and communicate with a broad mix of people.