Looking to break into the transport and logistics sector? Discover what skills and qualifications you'll need and where to find work experience
Do I need a related degree?
For graduate management roles in passenger transport, any degree subject is typically accepted, although employers may prefer business or economics related degrees.
In logistics and supply positions, a logistics related degree is often preferred, while for engineering jobs an accredited engineering degree will usually be essential.
Some other jobs don't require a degree but you must have professional qualifications. For example, to become a pilot you need an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), and to drive a lorry, bus or coach you need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
The majority of the workforce in transport and logistics doesn't have a degree, so you can enter the industry without a higher education qualification. Some jobs in the sector can be entered with an apprenticeship.
You should check each job to find out if a relevant degree is required or if a particular subject is more applicable than others.
For information on entry requirements and relevant qualifications, see job profiles.
What skills do employers want?
Graduate recruiters in the transport and logistics sector require candidates with:
- communication and customer service skills;
- practical problem-solving ability;
- language skills;
- organisational and strategic planning skills;
- flexibility, adaptability and the ability to be mobile.
Where can I get work experience?
Candidates with work experience are in high demand and there is a tendency to recruit experienced staff looking to change companies rather than newly qualified graduates without experience.
However, some of the larger organisations in the sector - such as Arriva, British Airways and DHL - offer formal work experience through placements or internships.
As the majority of organisations are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many do not advertise formal work experience placements. But you can approach these organisations speculatively to enquire about possible opportunities. Be aware that these may not be paid placements.
To find work placements and internships in the transport and logistics sector, search for work experience.
How do I find a graduate job in transport and logistics?
Some of the larger organisations offer graduate schemes in areas including: general management; engineering; operations; transport planning and logistics; IT, finance and HR. Find out more by visiting individual company websites.
Some examples of employers that offer graduate schemes include:
- British Airways;
- Mott MacDonald;
- Network Rail;
- Royal Mail Group;
- Transport for London (TfL).
To find out about vacancies in SMEs you'll need to apply speculatively as smaller companies tend to use less formal recruitment methods. It is also important to build up a network of contacts as many opportunities in smaller organisations are found through word of mouth.
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) UK produces a guide about careers in the sector, which has a list of specialist logistics, supply chain and transport management recruitment consultants.
To find graduate jobs in the transport and logistics sector, search graduate jobs in transport and logistics.
Additional useful information about careers and job opportunities in the sector can be found at Careers that Move.