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How Do I Get into Purchasing and Supply Management?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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Most people get into purchasing and supply management through a combination of education and experience working in the field. Many managers begin as purchasing or supply clerks, buyers, or trainees. Once a level of responsibility and leadership has been reached, it is possible to move into a managerial position. Specific requirements depend on the size of the organization, but certain attributes and skills are needed within any organization. Computer skills, the ability to make decisions, and career ambition are important to get into purchasing and supply management. Continuing education is key to maintaining the knowledge that is necessary to do this job for many years.

Educational requirements vary depending on the size of the organization. Many businesses prefer for their managers to have a bachelor's degree in a business-related field. Other companies require a master's degree in business (MBA) in order to be hired. In certain circumstances, it is possible to begin work in an entry-level position and move up to the level of manager without first obtaining a formal education past a high school diploma. This is a rarity, however, and should not be counted upon. Getting a college degree will greatly help your chances for success.

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After the completion of school, you should begin to apply for jobs as a supply clerk, purchasing clerk, or a buyer. Choose companies that you are interested in and complete their application process. Make sure that your resume and cover letter accurately reflect your skills, experience, and abilities. Find professional references from past work experiences or teachers at school. Before entering into the field, you should consider whether you have the needed skills and personality traits for the job. In order to get into purchasing and supply management, you must have computer skills, organizational skills, and be a good communicator.

It might be necessary to work at an entry-level position for more than a year before any advancement is possible. At this point you can begin to apply for jobs that are higher than your current position. Once an adequate level of experience has been reached, which depends on the specific organization, you can apply for positions as a purchasing and supply manager. This is the most efficient way to get into purchasing and supply management. Once you have succeeded at your goal to get into purchasing and supply management, you will need to take continuing education classes to stay up-to-date with the newest technology.

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