Every day in a normal logistics and supply chain career is different. There are lots of ways in, not just university. You'll build all kinds of useful skills and might even get international business experience! Read on...
What does LOGISTICS mean? Let’s begin at the beginning. If you’re not sure what a career in logistics is all about, logistics means getting goods to where they’re needed – for example, you could be managing a warehouse. Logistics management is a type of supply chain management, and only one organisation is involved.
What does SUPPLY CHAIN mean? ‘Supply chain’ describes all the management and co-ordination it takes to make something and get it from the supplier to the customer, and there’s more than one organisation involved (for example, suppliers and manufacturers). If you think of it as links in a chain, suddenly it all makes sense.
The supply chain can be broken down into finding goods to sell (or the things needed to make them) then moving them to their new home in storage, producing and packaging them as needed, storing them in their bright and shiny new forms ready for people to buy, then making sure they hit the shops, restaurants, supermarkets or wherever they’re meant to go.
You could even be a buyer who finds and buys the goods your company will sell. That’s right, there are supply chain jobs where you can buy stuff with someone else’s money for a living – it’s called procurement!
5 Reasons to get into logistics and supply chain careers
- A savvy career choice that can take you places
When you think about how many shops there are in the UK, and restaurants, and places that store lots of things for people to use, you may have a lightbulb moment and suddenly realise logistics is EVERYWHERE! As long as people want to buy stuff, even if it’s from far away, there’ll be jobs in logistics so you can keep your career headed in the best direction of all - up.
- Skills, Skills, Skills
Are you the organised one managing a large group of friends to meet up in town? When you get a project or homework to do, do you immediately start thinking about when to fit the extra work into your life and where you’ll get the research information from? If you’re organised and like the idea of boosting your business and management skills, logistics is a great business area in which to achieve that.
- You don’t need a degree to get into logistics
Think you can only get into logistics through the uni route? Think again. Any good logistics manager can tell you there’s more than one route into this career. Although some organisations require you to have a degree (look into degree courses covering supply chain management, operations, distribution and logistics), you’ll also find a huge range of entry-level ways into the field. Research school leaver programmes, apprenticeships, internships and undergraduate opportunities to get you started. Build your experience over time and there are LOTS of opportunities for promotion.
Of course there’s more than one way into the industry and the university route is good too. There are lots of relevant degree courses to choose from, like supply chain management, operations management, distribution and logistics. All of these degrees will give you useful business skills and experience which can be applied to careers in all kinds of areas. If you’re an undergraduate there are lots of work placements available to boost your degree, too.
- Logistics careers have so much variety
If you’ve got plenty to offer the world but haven’t fully decided what you want to do yet, logistics could be a perfect place for you to start, because of its variety. After all, you could end up working for a non-profit volunteer organisation, for huge brands you love... or even the government. As well as giving you the chance to work for all kinds of employers to see what you enjoy most, your daily work will be exciting and varied, too.
- International business experience
Ever pictured yourself doing business abroad, staying in hotels and seeing the world? Many employers needing logistics work done have international customers, so you could be building relationships with professionals in many different parts of the world, like Asia, South America or... anywhere!
Useful logistics employers
Travis Perkins Plc
Tarmac EDF Energy Asda NHS Thales Whether you’re a creative type, or a wow at business, you’ll find a logistics role that’s right for you. It’s one of the most flexible career choices around... and it can literally take you places.