Whether you want to continue with your studies at university or would prefer on-the-job training then there is a pathway to your buying career.
What qualifications do I need?
Getting into the profession does not demand a degree, but increasingly, those entering procurement find that they need to be qualified in some way. This can range from specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, college qualifications or studying for your professional qualification while working.
Check out the learning pathway graph to see the routes into buying through study.
Business-related degrees offer clear benefits when starting in the corporate world, but people enter the procurement profession from all different backgrounds. Whatever you’ve studied, it shouldn’t be a barrier, and some degrees will be positively helpful in some sectors – a degree in engineering could come in handy if procuring for an aerospace firm for example.
With some post-graduate degrees you can specialise in procurement, and some of these are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, so when you finish, as well as having a degree, you can apply for professional recognition (MCIPS). Read more about the CIPS accredited degrees and programmes.
Top skills for a junior buyer
BTEC procurement pathway
BTEC Business study programmes are a valid route into procurement and supply. You can study full or part time, at school or college.
Because they are vocational or work-related, you will gain skills that employers will find really useful and make you a great prospect in the jobs market. They also help you progress onto further and higher education, earning points equivalent to A levels and can count as part of UCAS points for entry into higher education. A general business studies BTEC has modules on procurement and supply, and this might be a way for you to keep your options open and still explore what buying is all about.
Read more about the BTEC procurement pathway.
University isn’t for everyone and with the rising costs of tuition fees you may wish to look at an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Look for advertised apprenticeship positions, such as those in business
administration. Or ask your employer – they may be happy to support you through CIPS qualifications.
Throughout the world the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) qualifications are recognised as driving leading-edge thinking and professionalism in procurement. Achieving MCIPS signifies you as a procurement professional and it is recognised as the global standard for top-quality procurement professionals. Most job adverts require you to be prepared to study CIPS qualifications.
There are five levels of qualification that support professional development: the Certificate, Advanced certificate, Diploma, Advanced diploma and Professional diplomas.
Download: Guide to CIPS qualifications