A career in human resources (HR) requires good communication skills, as well as an ease with meeting and working with new people. Read on to learn more about this field, including what type of education you'll need to obtain an HR position.
Is HR Development for Me?
HR development is one component of HR management, a field that focuses on research and analysis to improve human relations in the workplace. HR professionals review factors that influence work performance, including management styles, employee demographics, educational backgrounds, work environments, technological integration and more. They also use statistical and mathematical analyses to determine how to best improve the employee experience and in turn, overall production.
As an HR management professional, you can pursue work in virtually any type of industry, from banks and law firms to schools and retail businesses. You might be in charge of all HR aspects for a small company; alternatively, you could focus solely on training new employees for a large one. As you gain work experience and take on more responsibilities, you may qualify for a promotion to supervisor. A master's degree may help you achieve a high-level management position.
Employment and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of human resource specialists was projected to grow by 8% from 2012-2022; a 1% decrease in job openings was expected for labor relations specialists during the same period. By comparison, human resource managers can look forward to a 13% growth in jobs through 2022. In May 2013, the BLS also reported that the average annual salary for a human resource manager was $111,180. As of the same month, human resource and labor relations specialists earned average annual salaries of $61,560 and $56,590 respectively (www.bls.gov).
How Can I Work in HR Development?
Overview of Educational Options
Though a bachelor's degree is a common requirement for pursuing an HR career, few programs specific to this profession are offered at this level. Master's degree programs in human resource management are more common.
Those schools that do offer bachelor's programs in HR can prepare you for entry-level positions in office administration, employee relations and employee training. As an HR management student, you may study global business issues, employment law, organizational behavior, cultural diversity and ethics. Other bachelor's degrees that may be beneficial for those interested in HR include a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
As a student in a master's program, you may pursue topics in labor and employment law, labor market analysis and diversity in the workplace. You might also study employment benefits and compensation while learning how to manage workforce flow, develop human capital and make HR decisions. At this level, you may be able to choose a concentration in HR development, focusing on issues concerning staffing and training.