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Supply-chain management is a promising field for young career-seekers, but they need to possess certain skills in order to succeed, says Brown. Chief among them is the talent to amass, analyze and deploy data so that it "makes sense for the supply chain .... You have to be able to take hundreds of thousands of data points, and pull that together into some meaningful information."
In addition, companies are looking for good technology skills - the ability to work with key applications such as enterprise resource planning, warehouse-management and transportation-management systems. Finally, there is the pressing need for "soft skills," which enable employees to communicate effectively, work well in groups and manage people.
Some of these requirements are traditional, while others have come to the forefront more recently. "As the profession has evolved," says Brown, "there is more of a dependency on technology. "Students have to feel comfortable working in these systems. [Those without that ability] are going to be at a disadvantage."
Practical experience is also critical. The business community is in search of good candidates for internships. Students can acquire practical experience while still going to school. The internship route "is a very strong foundation for future employees," says Brown.
Other important factors include grade point average and community service, although "practical experience trumps a lot of other facets of a resume." Management-training programs can be a valuable means of identifying and developing supply-chain talent, she says.
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Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, supply chain careers, supply chain talent, global logistics, supply chain jobs, supply chain planning, supply chain jobs
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