Inside Logistics

Young professionals choose supply chain for social justice

58 percent of young professionals surveyed stated they pursued a supply chain career due to its beneficial societal impact


September 24, 2021
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A new study has found that 58 percent of young professionals surveyed stated they pursued a supply chain career due to its beneficial societal impact.

This result from the 2021 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Young Professionals in Supply Chain Report is up from just 13 percent who responded in this fashion in 2019, and 10 percent in 2017. The report is produced by Korn Ferry and presented by Penske Logistics. It examines the sentiment of supply chain professionals aged 30 and younger working in manufacturing, third-party logistics and consulting.

“As a leading employer, these results are very encouraging as we seek to recruit, hire and develop a diverse group of future supply chain leaders,” said Karyn Troxell, vice-president of human resources at Penske Logistics.

“The pandemic has clearly elevated society’s attention to careers in the supply chain and it has also resonated with a purpose-driven generation of young professionals working in our industry. We’ve been impressed with the CSCMP Young Professionals group and their dedication to advancing the profession.”

Love my job

Approximately 88 percent of supply chain professionals identified their jobs as good, 80 percent felt it was better than most, and 77 percent deemed their work as enjoyable. Sixty percent of young professional are remaining with their current employers for development opportunities and work environment, culture and co-workers. Salary and benefits were cited by half as their reason for staying in a job.

Conversely, respondents said they might choose a different employer for development opportunities, followed by salary-benefits increases, finishing school or having graduated, and wanting more interesting type of work.

Among all respondents, 99 percent agreed being part of the supply chain is a quality career choice, with 95 percent expressing excitement for their development track and training opportunities.

Respondents became interested in a supply chain career for the impact that it can have in business; the variety of opportunities; and the fast pace and challenges of keeping supply chains running on time.

Ideal career

The ideal supply chain career for a young logistics practitioner involves an employer offering competitive pay, career advancement opportunities, an opportunity to be involved in strategy, work-life balance, and a strong, collaborative team environment.

Approximately 44 percent of the respondents indicated a willingness to relocate to advance their careers.

The next generation of logistics leaders are searching for employment via social media; online job boards; directly on a company’s website; and via word-of-mouth through their professional peer networks.

“These future leaders are looking to develop within the fast-paced and challenging environment that makes up the complex supply chain industry,” said Korn Ferry senior client partner Melissa Hadhazy.

“Now more than ever it’s critical to nurture future supply chain leaders and equip them with skills that can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”