The responsibilities of human resources professionals have evolved beyond just hiring and firing employees. Today’s HR staffs play a critical role in managing and improving what is often a company’s most valuable asset–its people. Human resources managers suggest policy changes, facilitate mergers, and improve employee productivity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently recognized the importance of a good human resources director when it hired a veteran HR professional to manage a human resources department that previously had been overseen by agents. Many larger companies look for entry-level job candidates with a bachelor’s degree in human resources administration. Some companies also prefer candidates who have business or technology backgrounds or a strong liberal arts education. Good communication and leadership skills are key, as HR professionals spend a lot of time working with people.
Human Resources Degree Programs Shape Careers
A degree in human resources will prepare you for the complex administrative tasks, staffing issues, and employee development that HR jobs entail. Here are some of the foundational courses you’ll take in a human resources program:
- Performance analysis and improvement strategies
- Compensation and benefits
- Conflict resolution and mediation
- Training and development principles
Some schools also offer a master’s degree in human resources administration, which will allow you to concentrate in areas such as non-profits and organizational development. A master’s degree also may require research and field work.
Human Resources Professionals In Demand
As the government and courts continue to set standards for workplace issues such as health and safety and family leave, businesses will need highly qualified HR professionals. A degree in human resources administration will prepare you to compete for the best HR positions.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- National Human Resources Association
- Society for Human Resource Management
About the Author
Author and business coach, Joe Taylor Jr. helps professionals change careers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.