Why Supply Chain Jobs Often Exclude Applicants Without a College Degree: A Deeper Look into Hiring Trends

supply chain career


In today’s competitive job market, having a college degree is considered a significant advantage. This is particularly true for roles in the supply chain industry, where degree holders are often prioritized over those without formal higher education. This article delves into why this trend persists and explores the potential changes that could expand opportunities for non-degree holders in the supply chain sector.

The Value of Higher Education in the Supply Chain Industry


Many supply chain positions require a robust understanding of complex logistical processes, inventory management, and strategic planning – all skill sets often honed in academic settings. Employers in the supply chain industry, therefore, tend to lean towards candidates with a college degree, viewing this credential as proof of their proficiency in these areas. College degrees also give employers assurance about a candidate’s ability to think critically, solve problems, and manage tasks – essential abilities in managing intricate supply chain processes.

The Rise of Specialization


As the supply chain industry evolves, it has seen an increase in specialization. Supply chain roles often require a detailed understanding of specific areas, like procurement, logistics, or inventory management. Colleges and universities offer specialized courses that equip students with these advanced skills, further increasing the desirability of degree-holders.

Changing Technologies in the Supply Chain


While a degree offers a certain guarantee of a candidate’s skills, it is not the only measure of a person’s abilities. Many competent, experienced professionals without a degree can perform effectively in supply chain roles. However, this is where system biases come into play. Automated hiring systems and HR processes are often set up to screen candidates based on their formal education, inadvertently excluding capable, non-degree holding candidates.

Potential Solutions and the Future of Hiring in the Supply Chain Industry


As we move into a more skills-based economy, it’s essential for the supply chain industry to adapt its hiring practices. Companies should consider skills assessments, internships, and vocational programs as valid qualifications for employment. By doing this, they can tap into a broader talent pool, encouraging diversity and inclusion.

Moreover, companies should consider integrating reskilling and upskilling programs, offering training in supply chain management, data analytics, and other relevant areas. This would not only allow them to onboard capable non-degree holders but also enhance their existing workforce’s capabilities.



The preference for degree-holders in supply chain jobs is a trend rooted in the value of the specialized knowledge imparted by higher education, as well as system biases in hiring processes. However, it’s crucial to recognize that a degree isn’t the sole predictor of job performance. By shifting to a more skills-based approach to hiring, supply chain companies can diversify their workforce, leverage a wider talent pool, and ultimately, drive better business outcomes.

Anthony Allen
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