With the growing demand for various career options available for students, Logistics and supply chain management is one of the successful professions that play a major role in the development of India’s economy. All types of businesses whether it is a big and small, there is always need for logistics managers to help with inventory and accounts receivable. A small business may have one person in charge of these duties, while large corporations have separate entire logistics and supply chain department. The work of a logistician begins with bringing in the supplies and raw materials necessary for a business or organization to operate. Inbound logistics are then used in conjunction with outbound logistics to distribute products or services where they are in demand. If you are thinking to choose this as a career, this field of logistics has a lot to offer.
The required skill set
The basic skills required to have a successful career in logistics are- Commercial awareness, Numeracy, Good problem-solving skills and Ability to think quickly, logically and analytically. Other than these, having time management skills and being detail oriented can take your career in logistics and distribution to the highest levels. Product distribution and material allocation is done by the logistic professionals using their management skills. Various aspects undertaken in the classes are industrial planning, supply chain management, and production operations management. There are numerous work avenues for those who major in logistics or distribution.
Education in Logistics
Seldom, a degree is not required to build a career in logistics and distribution. However, there are better-paying positions and options for those who go for a degree or a specialized course from a university. There are various levels of degrees that can be pursued in regard to logistics. The first and the basic one is an associate’s degree. This prepares the graduates for entry-level careers in transportation & warehousing, which are the two major key areas of the logistics industry. After the associate degree comes the bachelor’s degree, which helps the aspirants to qualify and pursue administrative positions in the supply chain management. This is followed by the master’s degree for which the applicants may need to take GMAT or other standardized tests to apply to graduate schools.
There are different education degrees for different occupants depending upon the nature of their work. For instance, undertaking the career as a Logistician one might require a Bachelor’s degree in business, supply chain management or related field. Similarly, if one wants to build a career as a shipping and packing clerk, a high school diploma or equivalent educational certificate is the requirement. Online education is also creating a different avenue altogether for logistics degree programs which is being offered by many schools at all education levels. This also allows one to study distantly simultaneously working on other things.
Job prospects for the bright career
With the globe being more than ever connected because of globalization, this is a great time to be involved in the logistics sector. According to the BLS, employment in the field is expected to grow 22% between 2012 and 2022. Several jobs in the field of logistics and supply chain management are available including logistics manager, integrated programs director, supply chain director, inventory manager, supply chain planning manager, and many others. A bachelor’s degree, in either field of business, industrial engineering, or supply chain management is preferred generally by the companies while appointing logistics managers.
Logistics personnel’s main employers are the private industries that include retail, as well as local, state, and the federal government. Depending on the occupation, working conditions may also vary. Truckers along with the government workers travel more often than the stockroom clerks who have to report to the same location each day whereas retail workers have longer working hours around holidays and special sales occasions.
Specific Career Fields associated with Logistics Management
As discussed above, degrees other than logistics management can also prepare you for this particular line of work. The knowledge can be applied to the various career options listed below:
- Business Sustainability and Green Operations: Generally the careers in business sustainability and green operations are focused towards minimization of the impact on the environment. No carbon footprints should be left and this is what is looked after by the specialists.
- General Management: General management strives towards high-level leadership that connects all the working parts of the organization together. There are various positions under general management that focus on day-to-day operations and team management.
- Operations Management: Operations management manages the production and business operations where the specialists analyze, control and create systems and processes concerned with the output of goods and services.
- Project Management: This is done by the specialists to oversee and control company resources that can help in achieving organization goals in an effective and time efficient manner. The managers are supposed to work closely with the team members in order to motivate them to get the work done.
- Entrepreneurship: This is one large career field that can be considered to be one of the finest career options relating to logistics management. This requires common skills to run a business and supervise the staff members.
The logistics industry is not only one of the swiftest growing sectors but also the heart many other industries that depend on the movement of the raw material and the final goods and other material. This industry has a huge network of its own and has a lot to put forward to the ones who aspire to thrive in this competitive field. Once you understand the logistics of the logistics industry, there is no stopping.
The author is Mr. Sumit Sharma, Co-founder of GoBOLT, one of the tech-logistics companies based out of New Delhi. He can be reached at [email protected]