Human Resources Degree: Why You Should Earn an HR Degree

planningIf you need help, assistance, or have questions about company policies at work regarding training, compensation, or benefits, where do you usually go?  The answer is: straight to the human resources department.  The human resources department is an essential department of any successful company, and because of its importance, it is no surprise that a human resources degree is a popular choice among many students.  Graduates with a human resources degree are expected to experience a fast growth in employment opportunities in the coming years.

The human resources department has a single focus, and that is to keep its company strong by managing relationships between an employee and the company that they work for.  If you are interested in becoming an integral part of a company, read on to see what types of HR degrees there are, what you can do with a human resources degree, and how you can prepare for a career in the field of human resources.

Types of Human Resource Degrees

If you are enrolled in an academic program or plan on enrolling in one, there are four different types of human resources degrees that you can choose to earn depending on how far along you are in your academic career.

  • Associate’s Degree in human resources:  An associate’s degree in human resources is an entry-level degree that will introduce students to the basic concepts of business and human resource management.  It is true that many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree for management positions.  However, an associate’s degree can help an individual gain entry-level experience in the field.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in human resources:  Like an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is also a common entry-level requirement if you want to get into the field of human resources.  Two common types of bachelor’s degrees are a degree in human resource management or a business management degree that concentrates on human resource management.
  • Master’s Degree in human resources:  A bachelor’s degree is usually a requirement towards earning a Master’s Degree in human resources.  These days, a master’s degree in human resources or labor relations is becoming more common if you are looking to secure a management positions in human resources.
  • Doctorate Degree in human resources:  a PhD or doctoral degree in human resources will advance your knowledge of and expertise of global workforce issues on a broader spectrum.

Human Resources Degree Opportunities

Often times it is helpful to consider what you want to do with your human resources degree as you look towards obtaining a degree.  There are a number of options that you can go into whether you are looking for an entry-level or a management position.

  • Human Resources Assistant:  A human resources assistant is an entry-level position where you will be responsible for assisting another person with human resources duties.  These duties may include: recruiting, staffing, benefits administration, employee orientation, employee communication, and other administrative tasks.
  • Human Resources Generalist:  As a human resources generalist, you will be responsible for a wide range of duties.  You can expect to work with recruiting, hiring, employee communication, training, benefits management, planning of company functions, safety regulations, and much more on a daily basis.
  • Human Resources Manager:  Management positions generally supervising one person or a staff of people in human resources.  HR managers are responsible for assigning tasks as well as taking care of many duties yourself.
  • Labor Relations Manager:  Labor relations managers can expect to work for a large organization.  Duties can include the following: implementing and overseeing labor relations programs, collecting data and statistics, assisting with contracts, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

As you can see, regardless of what job you pick up within the human resources field, you will be working closely and dealing with meeting the needs of others on a daily basis.

How to Get Ready For A Career In HR

human resources degreeAfter you obtain your degree, let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare yourself for a career in the human resources field to ensure that you are as successful as possible and acquire the essential skills as a human resources professional.

  1. Get your degree:  Although associate degrees are also popular, aim as high as you can.  A bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree are the best options if you want the most career options.  While working towards your degree, make sure you are taking classes relevant to the field.
  2. Get the right skills:  A career in human resources requires that you to have excellent communication skills, as you will be working regularly with people at all levels within the company.
  3. Be ready for diversity:  The field of human resources is diverse with people from of all different ethnic backgrounds, religions, age groups, and cultures.  Be prepared to work with all these different types and know how to be respectful and courteous towards each of them.
  4. Join organizations:  A great way to immerse yourself and find contacts in the field of human resources is to join professional clubs and organizations on campus or otherwise.  This will help you stay current in the field and prepare you for any training needs required.  There are plenty of professional organizations as well that offers classes and certifications for HR professionals.
  5. Network:  It will help with your professional and personal development if your goal is to be successful human resources professional.
  6. Stay up to date:  As with any other field, make sure that you stay up to date with the developments in the field of human resources, such as: unemployment and hiring statistics and issues governing workers or employees.
  7. Intern:  Once you have your degree, you may choose to intern with a larger HR department or company to help you gain experience and get a feel for the field.  Make use of this opportunity to develop relationships and gradually look for ways to move up within the company.

Prepare for the Exciting Field of Human Resources

A human resources degree will provide you with the tools you need to keep a company strong, relevant, and aware of its issues with its workers.  As long as there are jobs, employees will need to be trained, issues will need to be straightened out, and policies will have to be adhered to.  All of these things are dealt with by a human resources professional.  If you are interested in a human resources degree, start dipping into the field with this course on managing a diverse and ever-changing workflow as an HR professional.