Entering college, the discussion surrounding majors in the business school focused mostly on the basics: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Management.  Soon after arriving and introducing myself to other business students, I started to hear more about Minors or Double Majors in Management Information Systems (MIS), Computer Sciences, and similarly tech-based fields. Personally, I like to describe my as nearly tech-illiterate.  I can barely operate a TV remote.  However, as unfamiliar as many prospective business majors are with technology, it’s becoming an essential part of life and work for us.  Without developing some background knowledge in technology, without keeping an eye on where the industry is headed, we can say goodbye to the prospect of reaching our full potential.

Throughout several internships, I would constantly hear about the future of artificially intelligent technology.  Robots, I was told, are continually growing more capable of performing human jobs.  This projected disruption of the workforce seems to thrill employers while it terrifies employees.  How are people going to provide for themselves and their families if robots can perform their jobs for less?

I grew even more aware of this during my first few weeks with the procurement specialists at Source One. Working with colleagues to analyze strategic development among companies in the consulting and advisory field proved particularly educational. We analyzed where competition in the workforce was and how companies typically allocated resources.  Technology ranked highly across the board.  This wide range of companies, including many brand-new start-ups, considered emerging technology essential for growth in Procurement.  What’s more, it became clear that employees with backgrounds in programming and data science are increasingly sought after. 

This can look like cause for concern.  Young professionals looking for work might feel especially worried about entering ever-evolving, unpredictable fields.  Job security is a key consideration for students and graduates, and it’s unfortunately difficult to assess. Today’s recent graduates, however, also enjoy distinct advantages. We’re the youngest members of the workforce and our innovative, collaborative, and tech-savvy qualities can help drive the future of our industries. There’s also no reason that technological advancements should eliminate the need for diverse skillsets in Procurement.  Certainly analytical skills will help anyone looking to establish themselves in supply chain management and strategic sourcing.  It’s important, however, for both employees and employers to seek out a balance of hard and soft skills.  There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for approaching sourcing initiatives, and there’s certainly no single model for an effective Procurement professional.
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Antonia Stroponiatis

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