According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has dropped 5.8% in the past eight years, making the job market a relatively open book for recent graduates. Job seekers are now in the driver seat while companies are competing to find and maintain the most qualified workforce. While all industries are feeling this strain, the logistics industry is one hit especially hard.

What started as a driver shortage has extended its way throughout supply chains. The labor shortage can be seen throughout the logistics industry from warehouse managers to forklift drivers to shipping specialists.

The Amazon Effect is placing an additional strain on supply chains to keep up with the demands of the consumer. It is becoming more and more difficult to get a product into a buyer’s hands within the now-expected two-day delivery period. New supply chain management (SCM) professionals are needed to innovate solutions and navigate the intricate network of warehouse and transport services.

Because of these demands, supply chains are increasing salaries, benefits, and bonuses to incentivize supply chain management candidates.

If you’re interested in business, thinking creatively and strategically, and looking for degree with great career potential, check out these reasons to put SCM on your list:

1. Less competition

Supply chain management is an industry on the rise with positions all over the world that need to be filled. Every year, hundreds of thousands of supply chain jobs go unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants.

According to the University of North Texas’ logistics degree program, there are five local employment opportunities available for every one supply chain management graduate.

2. Good Pay

Salaries for those in SCM range from starting pay at 45k to 60k upwards of 200k for directors and executives. The average salary for supply chain managers is $84,086 per year. And in today’s logistics labor market, negotiating a salary is in favor of the applicant.

3. The degree is applicable in more than one industry

Critical thinking is a skill valuable anywhere, not to mention the ability to be innovative, strategic and creative. Not only does SCM touch on manufacturing, transportation and trucking, warehouse management, and shipping and delivery, it has an even broader purview of job prospects. Deloitte LLP, the largest international employer of accountants, recruits SCM graduates to consult manufacturing and logistics companies. Purchasing departments at everything from the Department of Defense to FEMA need professionals who understand logistics. The key is having a firm understanding of your skills and to know how to sell yourself in any industry, because there is a way with SCM.

4. It is becoming more relevant, not less

Complex supply chains are the norm today, and more oversight is needed than ever before to find logistic solutions to get a product to its final destination efficiently and cost-effectively. Globalization and internet store-fronts have transformed some of the most basic parts of the supply chain. Stiff competition and a move toward sustainability have created a need for innovative management more than ever before. While a lot of traditional manufacturing and trade jobs are disappearing in America, supply chain managers are in high demand.

5. It is a college-to-career degree

There are a number of great SCM programs all over the nation, either stand-alone or incorporated into MBA degrees, that are all focused on training students how to a do a specific job after graduation. While broader degrees in humanities or business or science have value, a degree in SCM has a clear career path beyond graduation, which allows college professors and advisors to teach students the most relevant and helpful information for their post-graduation life. Moreover, many of these programs have industry contacts and recruiters who work with them to aid students in networking and job searching.

To Sum It Up

Supply chain management is proving to be a promising degree for undergraduates. Many employers are scouting qualified undergraduates. If you are innovative and searching for a promising career path, check out these top 25 schools for supply chain degrees. Wanting to learn more about the status of the logistics industry? Check out this year’s WERC report by DC Measures.