Supply Chain Careers: A Smart Choice for College Students

As students move into college dorms this month, many are undecided about which major to pursue.  While committing to a  career path as a young adult has always been intimidating, the changing nature of work makes it even more complicated. Will jobs that exist today still be a viable option when today’s students graduate from college? Or will ChatGPT and robots eliminate many salaried positions?

Predictions about technology replacing humans run the gambit from rose-colored to Doomsday. In a 2023 report, Goldman Sachs estimated that “18% of work globally could be automated by AI,” citing administrative and legal jobs being the most at risk. However, the report also projected that many employees displaced by AI would find new employment in jobs that are created from AI adoption.

Huge Career Opportunities in AI 

Learning how to control emerging technologies could be a surefire way to ensure job security. In an MHIcast about disruptive technology, Envista Corp. CEO Jim Barnes stated, the biggest opportunity is around AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning).”

In the same MHIcast, Kevin Blankespoor, SVP and general manager of Boston Dynamics’ Warehouse Robotics Group, identified the emergence of a new crop of jobs. “You are seeing new jobs in supply chain now that didn’t exist ten years ago,” he said. “We’re excited that there is a new generation of robot wranglers that can learn how to use our robots. A new generation of technicians that can learn how to fix robots. So there are a lot of jobs that are just being created now that are kind of the next generation of fun jobs.”

A recent McKinsey Global Institute report titled, “Generative AI and the Future of Work in America,” highlights forces that will continue to create STEM jobs. “The ongoing process of digitizing the economy will require adding more tech workers in every sector,” the report stated. It also noted how the CHIPS and Science Act is fueling tech jobs by funding semiconductor manufacturing and R&D and scientific research.

Major Job Growth Predicted for Supply Chain Industry

Although most industries will add tech jobs in the coming years, the forecast is particularly upbeat for the supply chain industry. A  Forbes article states,  “Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 28% job growth for logisticians—more than five times the average projected growth rate for all occupations (5%) during that period.”

Another incentive for college students to eye the supply chain industry is the competitive pay. Glassdoor reports: “The estimated total pay for a Supply Chain is $80,708 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $70,997 per year.”

MHI’s “Jobs of Tomorrow” docuseries is a good way to get acquainted with the new wave of jobs in the supply chain.