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APICS Supply Chain Management Now

The Right Credentials for the Right Job

By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE - February 22, 2013

APICS Operations Management NowJob searchers know that finding the right job isn’t easy, especially in times of economic uncertainty. Harder still is finding and nurturing a strong, sustainable career.

This week, the New York Times gives us a thought-provoking glimpse at the current employment landscape. “The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job,” Catherine Rampell writes. The article describes the tight job market at all levels across organizations, industries, and geographies.

One reason, of course, is that the employment game is a buyer’s market. “When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,” says Suzanne Manzagol, executive recruiter at Cardinal Recruiting Group. Demand for higher credentials pushes the less educated candidates down the chain, contributing to an unemployment rate for people with a high school diploma more than double for those with a bachelor’s degree: 8.1 percent compared to 3.7 percent.

Because so many people are going to college these days, those without diplomas are viewed by employers as lacking ambition or the ability to succeed. However, the Times offers an alternate explanation for fields a bit closer to home for many of our readers: “Some jobs, like those in supply chain management and logistics, have become more technical, and so require more advanced skills today than they did in the past.”

Demonstrating strategic knowledge

At APICS, we understand it’s essential to show your employer you have the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the requirements of supply chain and operations management, including logistics. One proven way is to earn your APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation. Employers recognize that professionals with these certifications know the essential terminology, concepts, and strategies related to demand management, supplier planning, sales and operations planning, and more. And research indicates that professionals with an APICS certification earn about 15 percent more money than their noncertified counterparts.

As supply chain and operations management evolves, it demands even more from professionals. Accordingly, APICS is placing greater focus on the difference between tactics and strategy. Tactics, while vital to getting the day-to-day work of the organization done, often is not enough when considering the needs of the business at large.

One of the aims of the APICS Educational and Research (E&R) Foundation is to explore these emerging topics in supply chain and operations management education, including supply chain strategy. This week, Executive Director Sharon Rice is beginning a blog on the work of the foundation and some of these topics. Visit apics.org/foundation to learn more.

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