In Future Procurement we very often receive the questions regarding the Procurement education needed for our job. Some people ask about short courses and classes to upgrade the certain skills (and we obviously can provide such education). But still many people are talking about the University degree or any kind of higher Procurement education.
In this blog post I would like to share with you some insights that I received recently from my interview with Klaas Stek from the Netherlands. Of course things depend very much on the background you have, the industry you are looking for and many other factors… But Klaas has shared one very powerful advice on how to find the program which suits your wished position in the best way.
And his advice is -you should find the answer on 4 questions: What? How? Why? Who?
This question is probably the easiest. Because it refers to the book knowledge that universities have prepared for us. It is about the drawings, tables, graphs and other academical knowledge that we receive from universities.
This question is also quite straightforward. Here we should understand how the universities are planning to deliver this knowledge. Or how do the universities select the knowledge they want to share with the students. Because nowadays universities obviously know much more than they can tell to the students. So this point is also very important for Procurement education.
And here comes the tricky question. Why do we need to study or why do we need to get a certainc
In case of academical knowledge – you can find anything you need in books or by asking the right questions to Google. But if we talk about the skills and experience – this requires much more time and efforts. However many universities are working on creating certain hard and soft skills for the future Procurement specialists.
Klaas has mentioned a so-called “Beer game“, which can be used by universities to simulate the real business situations and challenges of competitive markets. Here you as a student can apply the knowledge and develop real-life skills. First being the buyer and investigating the market to find the proper bottles, which would fulfil all the technical requirements. Later you should negotiate the prices, cooperate with other companies trying to obtain some leverage and gain some savings. And finally being responsible entire procurement Department of the beer factory, so you can try what it means to take some important decisions in this role.
Also a good way to really gain some experience would be to have practice at the real companies. Making some research or getting summer practice in the real companies can be very valuable for these purposes.
This is also quite important question. Who are your professors (their background and experience)? Who are your fellow students? Can you really build a good network during your education?..
If you are now reading this article and thinking about the higher Procurement education – try to consider all four questions.
Because very often it is easy to forget the last two of them. And if you really expect to obtain a good education, which would perfectly fit for your chosen career – take the extra effort and investigate things deeper.
Good luck in your education and in your career!
P.S. This Thursday I run the free Webinar about Risk Management. Register here!
Procurement expert and coach at Future Procurement
You can learn more about Procurement and Supply Chain Management at our web-site www.futureprocurement.net