The human resources program at most universities and colleges falls under Business and is intended to prepare you to develop and manage company-wide programs that foster the development of the human element in organizations.
As you pursue your degree in human resources you will be required to take general business courses such as management, economics, business law and marketing. In addition, you will need to take specific human resources courses that will teach you about the psychology and sociology of the work environment, organizational culture, managing people and building teams.
Though colleges and universities differ when it comes to the specific human resources courses they offer, there are general similarities in the subject matter. Some of the specific human resources topics you may study include:
There are a wide range of human resources management degree programs available to those who want to pursue a career that requires them to understand how business decisions affect employees.
If you are unsure whether a career in human resources is right for you, you may want to enroll in a program that offers an Associate degree of Arts or an Associate of Science (depending on the school) in business administration with a concentration or option in human resources management. You can always transfer later to a program that offers a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a human resources option. And if you are interested in pursuing even more education, there are Master degree and Doctorate degree programs in the field of human resources as well.
Additionally, you may want to consider one of the many certification programs that are offered for human resources professionals. Two of the most widely accepted are the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) offered by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Much of what you will learn in your human resources program will be about topics such as labor law and best human resources business practices. However, you will also have the opportunity to develop important skills that will assist you in your future career. These include:
Careers in human resources seem to be on the upswing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), especially when it comes to labor relations and staffing.
There are plenty of traditional brick-and-mortar community colleges and universities; however, you might also want to consider getting your human resources degree through one of the many online college opportunities that are now available to you.
The BLS classifies human resources professionals into three categories: Training and Labor Relations, Compensation and Benefits Managers and Other Human Resources Managers. In addition, they recognize Human Resources Assistants as a separate group.
Human resources professionals are found in all types of organizations, from government to non-profit. However, depending on your educational level and the organization where you work, there are a wide range of employment opportunities and job titles available.
If you obtain your Associate degree you generally will begin your human resources career in an entry-level position while a Bachelor or higher degree allows you to move into a generalist or specialist role or even human resources management. Positions in human resources include compensation analyst, HRIS specialist, recruiter, and training and development manager.