February 2013 | Commentary | Checking In

Learning on the Job

Tags: Education & Careers

Felecia Stratton is the editor of Inbound Logistics magazine.

Today's supply chain is vastly different than 10 years ago—and positively futuristic compared to 1981, when this magazine first espoused a novel approach to managing transportation and logistics. The pace of change has been swift and sweeping. Technology innovation and proliferation have broken down functional silos and torn asunder geographic boundaries and constraints. Shrinking computers and expanding clouds have given way to "big data" marshaled by supply chain control towers. What do we make of it all?

It's a question that many logisticians consider as they evaluate their own skillsets in a fast-changing world. Many of you likely came of age in this industry before supply chain and logistics curriculum became vogue. Today, an established network of undergraduate, post-graduate, and professional development programs are educating and preparing tomorrow's leaders. But it doesn't stop there.

Technology provides supply chain practitioners of all ages the opportunity to hone their expertise and remotely pursue myriad degrees and certifications. The idea of online education has given new meaning to learning on the job.

Justine Brown's feature article Distance Learning: Making the World Your Classroom documents how universities are extending their reach to students and professionals alike through distance learning programs. Online courses provide convenience and flexibility, whether through independent study or more traditional offerings that stream live classes. Some combine in-person and online components to deliver the best of both.

As a mission-based magazine, Inbound Logistics facilitates this new approach to learning as well. Our content is educative. We deliver cases studies that demonstrate real-world examples of transportation and logistics best practices, as well as market research, news and trends, resource guides, and how-to tutorials that provide you with the requisites to enrich your job knowledge and take the next career step.

We also support education at the grassroots level. Recently Inbound Logistics partnered with the American Society of Transportation & Logistics to offer a $2,500 scholarship to undergraduates who are pursuing a career in transportation and logistics. To apply, students submit a 2,000-word essay on why they chose logistics and supply chain as a career path, and how they envision that career impacting the company they will work for, as well as the U.S. and global economy. E-mail us for more scholarship information.

In the supply chain sector, career education and professional development is a continuing process—and one that doesn't end in the classroom. As you flip through this issue, or click through our vast library of online content, we hope that Inbound Logistics contributes to your own on-the-job learning experience.