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Unlocking the Future: Young Professionals in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is often regarded as a dynamic and ever-evolving industry, but what's the perspective of the young professionals entering this field?

A recent collaborative effort between the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Penske Logistics, and Korn Ferry sought to uncover just that. The comprehensive study, now in its fourth iteration, gathered responses from nearly 200 young professionals under the age of 30. Their experiences and aspirations have illuminated a wealth of insights that could reshape the supply chain landscape.

Karyn Troxell, vice president of human resources for Penske Logistics, who participated in the study, is optimistic about the industry's potential. "For young professionals looking to shape the trajectory of their careers, the transportation and supply chain sector is an incredibly opportunistic and viable industry to work in," she noted.

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • High Job Satisfaction: A remarkable 96% of young professionals expressed excitement about their supply chain careers, with an equally high percentage keen on recommending these careers to others.
  • Diverse Career Motivations: Over half, precisely 58%, of young professionals in the supply chain field are attracted by the diverse range of opportunities available, highlighting the sector's attractiveness.
  • Tangible Impact: 57% recognized the tangible impact supply chain roles have on business outcomes, emphasizing the significance of their contributions.
  • Exposure and Awareness: More than half, 53%, have gained firsthand supply chain exposure through internships or education, contributing to an increased awareness of the field.
  • Changing Perceptions: Interestingly, the percentage of those "strongly agreeing" that supply chain is an excellent career choice has declined by over 10% since 2016. This shift likely reflects the heightened competition in the field and underscores the importance of compensation, advancement opportunities, and work flexibility in retaining talent.

As Karyn Troxell rightly pointed out, "Cultivating the future of supply chain talent has never been more exciting." The study showcases the diverse motivations of these young professionals and the real impact they bring to the industry. Their fresh perspectives are already reshaping the field.

As the supply chain sector continues to evolve, these insights offer a compass for employers and industry stakeholders. Leveraging these findings can help attract, retain, and develop the talent necessary to meet the ever-changing demands of the supply chain landscape.

The results of the 2023 Young Professionals Survey were presented at CSCMP's annual Edge conference in Kissimmee, Florida, on October 3. For a more in-depth exploration of the study and access to detailed insights, click here.

By: Tana Korpics

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