What is Supply Chain?

And would I like to work in this field?

If you are trying to find the answer to either of these  questions, you are in the right place!

This site has been created to give you the tools and information you need to decide whether a career in supply chain is right for you, and if so – what type of job might be the best fit.  Click through to discover:

  •   Definitions and descriptions of the 7 key functions within supply chain
  •   A detailed list of the Educational programs and degrees / certificates appropriate for various roles within the field
  •   Sample job descriptions of positions within supply chain.  

Whether you are a high school or college student exploring career options,  or someone already in the workforce thinking of changing careers, this site will provide answers to your questions.

So, What is Supply Chain?

Today,  the term supply chain refers to all the activities involved in the transformation of natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.  

For example, all the processes that occur to convert tomatoes in a farm field into a sauce sold on supermarket shelves are part of the supply chain.  

Why should you work in the supply chain?

Because supply chain is a growing, evolving field.   Think of Amazon.  It’s a supply chain company that turned the retail industry on its head.   It uses technology to create a customer experience that is unmatched by any other company.   Amazon continues to evolve and will eventually impact industries other than retail.   To remain competitive in today’s global economy, companies need to deliver their products faster and cheaper than anyone else.. and it’s the supply chain that makes this happen.

Since supply chain is a fast growing industry – there are lots of jobs and great opportunites for career advancement. Many companies struggle to hire enough qualified employees to meet the demands of their changing environment.  

The supply chain industry will need to fill about 1.4 million new jobs between 2014 and 2018, according to a study by the logistics trade group MHI. That's roughly 270,000 jobs per year. But the talent shortage is one of the “major barriers preventing innovation in the supply chain,” the study found.

The number of available positions is likely to inflate in coming years as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age and the need for workers with experience in engineering, analytics and robotics continues to rise.

-- Industry Week, Nov 2015

Another key reason to consider working in the supply chain industry is that there are many different types of career opportunities. Whether you like IT, engineering, mechanics, process management, problem solving, etc, there is a role that can utilize your skills.   

 Learn about the 7 areas of Supply Chain

Latest Supply Chain News

Amazon's recent $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods is a game changer to the way we shop but also to the supply chain. Disruption can often lead to job growth and career opportunities for those willing to take them and the supply chain has seen a great deal of this change recently.

There are so many jobs in Supply chain, because there are so many types of companies to work for.  This blog does a great job explaing the 10 segments within this growing career field.   


This is a great article about the increasing career opportunities within Supply chain.  It has a very nice summary of pay ranges by job titles as well.  One of the most comprehensive I have seen in a while.  It also highlights the areas with the most growth..

"The fastest-growing positions, however, include Demand Planner (a mid-level job with a salary range of $50,649-$86,160), Purchasing and Procurement Clerk (an entry-level job with a salary range of $32,051-$54,397), and Logistics Analyst."


High demand for supply chain professionals

Gartner is a highly recognized research organization that provides insights about supply chain.  It publishes a listing of the "top" supply chain schools in the US.  This list is a good starting point for anyone looking at a 4 year degree, but there are many other schools in the US that offer very good programs as well so keep an open mind when looking for the right school.  You can review a list of the other schools by going to the educational programs tab on this website.  

Table 1. Top 10 2014 U.S. Undergraduate Supply Chain Program Ranking



1 (tie)

Michigan State University

1 (tie)

Penn State University


University of Tennessee


University of Texas at Austin


Western Michigan University


Brigham Young University


University of North Texas


Auburn University

9 (tie)

Arizona State University

9 (tie)

Rutgers University

Source: Gartner (August 2014) 

A great article about salary progression in the supply chain industry

Amazon is a SUPPLY CHAIN company, like thousands of others that operate in this exciting and growing industry.
Learn what it takes to have a career in this field.