Well-trained human resource officers are integral to a high-functioning organization, and what they do can vary by organization or industry. It’s a field that favors those who are detail-oriented and want to bring the best out of employees. There are many great answers to the question, “What can you do with a human resources degree?,” which makes pursuing a career in the field exciting in many ways.
A career in human resources is very fulfilling, whether it’s screening new hires, training personnel, recommending and managing employee benefits or crafting and implementing policies that will have a direct impact on labor and management relations. Of course, you may be called upon to terminate an employee so you also have to prepare for that eventuality.
But first, the roles of human resources professionals should be outlined. Those in this field strategize and coordinate the administrative side of the business. They interview and hire new staff, deploy workforce, study personnel benefits, compensation packages, and serve as a go-between with management and less senior employees. In some cases they will serve as mediators, or retain a third party to serve as one, in instances where company policy is violated.
Human Resource professionals play an essential role in today’s workforce, where success may be determined by an organization’s capability to engage, retain, develop, and support top talent.
Both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human resources are important career building blocks for professionals who want to be actively involved in organizational growth.
In order to get an idea of what you can do with a human resources degree, consider these learning outcomes from an accredited online university:
- Demonstrate theories and practical applications in the field of human resource to equip yourself with the right tools to hire and develop talent
- Find your way through the intricate world of staffing, talent development, training, compensation and benefits and information systems
- Utilize new advancements in global human resource management
- Communicate company policies and HR strategies to employees
- Utilize learnings about other disciplines like marketing, accounting, psychology, management, and finance
- Learn and utilize knowledge of cultural elements and diversity to perform well in global and local business environments.
- Conduct library and internet research and critically evaluate information sources
The Future is Bright
The projection by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for this industry is very bright. The number of human resources jobs is expected to grow 9% between 2014 and 2024, which is above average compared to other fields.
Now, more than ever, human resources professionals have to be extremely flexible with changes and advancements in staffing, labor management, and new federal, state, and local laws that impact organizations. Their goal is to create a harmonious working environment, while sustaining operations and exceeding productivity goals.
Personnel who started training in human resources make great CEOs, as concluded by a Harvard Business Review paper in 2014. Companies already recognize this fact. For example, Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, and Nigel Travis, the top exec of Dunkin Donuts, both started out as HR officers.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Human Resources Degree?
Human Resources Specialists – as a Human resources specialists you would handle all the recruiting, screening and placing of workers in the company. In a typical day you may also deal with other human resources tasks, such as those related to employee relations, training, and compensation and benefits. Median pay is $59,180.
Customer Service Representatives – You would handle customer complaints, explain company policy and products and coordinate orders. Median pay is $32,300.
Social and Human Service Assistants – In this role you would be in charge of providing support to employees and their families. Expect to work with multiple disciplines and coordinate with different stakeholders across an organization. Median pay is $31,810.
Labor Relations Specialists – Like the name suggests, you would interpret and implement labor contracts, particularly on issues like overtime pay, paid leave, salaries, benefits, health insurance, and other benefits. Median pay is $62,310.
Compensation and Benefits Managers – In this role you would oversee development of compensation, retirement and benefits package for the employees. The median pay is $116,240.
Training and Development Managers – If you’re interested in employee development, this role is for you. Job duties include crafting training and development programs to enhance the skills of workers, determine leadership qualities, and shrink the skills gap. Median pay is $105,830.
Administrative Services Managers – You would be in charge of the operation side of things and ensure the office is running smoothly. The facilities, record keeping, and maintenance would be your responsibility. Median pay is $90,050.
Insurance Sales Agents – You are expected to handle accounts and sell insurance plans. You should learn the ins and outs of the policies and be able to communicate effectively these policies to clients. Median pay is $49,990.
There is not just one answer to the question, “What can you do with a human resources degree?”
No matter your area of interest, there is likely a career path that fits your background – whether you come from the corporate or military world. If you’d like to get your foot in the door you’ll need a solid educational foundation. If you need to complete your bachelor’s degree, or are ready to take the next step with a master’s program, there are great online programs that will give you the tools you need to succeed in this exciting field.