What Can I Expect from a Human Resources Degree?
Human resources (HR) is a term used to describe the department within an organisation responsible for the management of personnel, including recruitment, training, employee relations, compensation and benefits, and ensuring compliance with labour laws.
Its primary goal is to support and enhance the company's overall performance by attracting, developing and retaining a talented workforce.
What can I expect from a human resources degree?
A degree in human resources typically provides education in the following areas:
- Labour laws and regulations
- Recruitment and selection
- Training and development
- Performance management
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee relations
- Diversity and inclusion
- Organisational behaviour
- Strategic HR management
Graduates of a human resources degree program can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of HR practices and the ability to apply this knowledge in a professional setting.
They may work in HR departments or related fields such as staffing, talent management, and labour relations.
Degree required for human resources
The minimum degree requirement for a career in human resources is usually a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field. However, many organisations may prefer or require a master's degree in human resources or a related field for higher-level positions. Some relevant master's degree programs include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialising in HR, a Master of Human Resources Management, and a Master of Labor and Employment Relations.
In addition to formal education, it's also common for HR professionals to have certifications such as Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations and the HR Certification Institute's (HRCI) Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications.
Associate degree in human resources
An associate degree in human resources is a two-year program that provides a basic introduction to HR. It covers core concepts and practices in employment law, recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, training and development, and employee relations.
Graduates of an associate degree program in human resources may be eligible for entry-level positions in HR departments or related fields, such as administrative support or recruitment coordination. However, many organisations prefer or require a bachelor's degree for HR positions, especially those with more responsibilities and higher salaries.
An associate degree in human resources may also provide a foundation for further study and advancement, such as completing a bachelor's degree or obtaining professional certifications in HR.
Bachelor's Degree in human resources
A bachelor's degree in human resources is a four-year undergraduate program that provides a comprehensive education in HR management and practices. It covers various aspects of the field, including employment law, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and diversity and inclusion.
A bachelor's degree in human resources prepares students for various career options in HR, including recruitment, compensation and benefits administration, training and development, employee relations, and HR management. Graduates may also pursue further education, such as a master's degree in human resources or a related field, to enhance their expertise and career prospects.
Many organisations prefer or require a bachelor's degree for HR positions, especially for those with more responsibilities and higher salaries. In addition, professional certifications such as Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations and the HR Certification Institute's (HRCI) Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications could also demonstrate a candidate's knowledge and expertise in the field.
Master's degree in human resources
A master's degree in human resources (HR) is a postgraduate program that provides advanced education and training in HR management and practices. It covers strategic HR management, labour relations, talent management, diversity and inclusion, and compensation and benefits administration.
The program is designed for those who have a bachelor's degree and want to deepen their knowledge and expertise in HR. It can provide the skills and knowledge needed to pursue senior-level positions in HR, such as HR director, talent management specialist, or compensation and benefits manager.
A master's degree in HR may also provide opportunities for specialisation in specific field areas, such as global HR management, talent acquisition, or employee relations. In addition, some programs may offer practical experience through internships or projects, allowing students to apply their knowledge in a professional setting.
Holding a master's degree in HR can demonstrate a candidate's commitment to the field, increase their competitiveness in the job market, and potentially lead to higher salaries and greater responsibilities.
A career in human resources
A human resources (HR) career involves supporting and enhancing an organisation's overall performance by attracting, developing and retaining a talented workforce. HR professionals are responsible for a range of tasks, including:
- Recruitment and selection: identifying and attracting candidates for open positions
- Training and development: designing and delivering training programs to improve employees' skills
- Employee relations: managing workplace conflicts and ensuring compliance with labour laws
- Performance management: evaluating and improving employee performance
- Compensation and benefits: administering payroll and benefits programs
- Diversity and inclusion: promoting a positive and inclusive workplace environment
- Organisational behaviour: analysing and improving the way the organisation functions
A career in HR may be suitable for individuals with strong interpersonal and communication skills, a deep understanding of employment laws and regulations, and the ability to analyse and solve problems.
There are a variety of career paths in HR, including generalist roles that cover a range of HR responsibilities, as well as specialist positions in areas such as talent management, compensation and benefits, and employee relations.
HR professionals can work in various organisations, including corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and consulting firms. They may also work in HR departments, from small startups to large multinational corporations.
Job profiles and salaries
Human resources (HR) careers can encompass a variety of job profiles, with salaries that vary based on experience, education, and location. Here are some typical HR job profiles and their approximate wages in the US:
- HR Generalist: $60,000 to $90,000 per year
- Recruiter: $45,000 to $100,000 per year
- Compensation and Benefits Specialist: $60,000 to $120,000 per year
- Training and Development Specialist: $60,000 to $100,000 per year
- Employee Relations Specialist: $70,000 to $120,000 per year
- HR Manager: $90,000 to $150,000 per year
- HR Director: $120,000 to $200,000 per year
It's important to note that these figures are rough estimates and may vary depending on factors such as the organisation's size, location, and industry.
Additionally, experience, certifications, and advanced degrees can impact an HR professional's salary.