On September 28, we reported on 2018 Universum Survey of Top Global Employers for Business Students. The retail industry is the largest non-government employer in the U.S. supporting 42 million jobs and is often the first employment opportunity for many Americans. As college students start their new school year in a booming economy with a tight labor market, knowing that a retail career on their resume is valued by hiring managers across industry sectors can be helpful to those considering in internships or full-time positions in retail as well as reassuring that it will help and not limit their ability to transition to other sectors in the future.
A National Retail Federation commissioned study “Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success,” by market research firm GfK shows that 80% of hiring managers across industries value the foundational job skills that a retail job experience instills in its employees. They also believe that those skills are transferable to jobs and careers in other sectors. For students considering careers or jobs in retail, the NRF Foundation provides an interactive toolkit “Retail as a Career” to identify various opportunities in retail.
As technology permeates across retail functional areas and organizations themselves, many retailers are launching technology and digital innovation initiatives to stay competitive like Target’s Tech Incubator, Walmart Labs, and Canadian Tire’s Digital Innovation centers in the Americas and around the world. Sam Berndt at NRF reports that computer-science graduates are in demand in retail and offer a good balance compared to the Silicon Valley rush. Compensation is competitive, they can be located in small and large communities with low cost of living, have interesting projects like developing innovative technological applications in AI and autonomous vehicles.
Adapted from: Berndt, Sam (2018), “4 reasons computer science grads should be looking for jobs in retail,” in Retail as a Career, NRF Foundation.