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Human Resource Management: What Can I Do With This Degree?

Human Resources

  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Employee relations
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Labor relations
  • Selection and placement
  • Recruiting
  • Retention
  • Occupational safety
  • Equal employment opportunity
  • Diversity issues
  • Policy development

Employers

  • Financial institutions
  • Hotel, restaurant, and retail chains
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Educational institutions
  • Employment and staffing agencies
  • Professional employment organizations (PEOs)
  • Other medium and large size organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Labor unions
  • Federal government agencies including Department of Labor, Employment Security Commission, Bureau of Labor
  • Local and state government agencies

Information & Strategies

  • Develop strong computer skills, especially with spreadsheets and databases.
  • Obtain internships in human resources.
  • Develop presentation skills and conflict resolution abilities through coursework and activities.
  • Cultivate strong analytical skills.
  • Be willing to start in an entry-level human resources or benefits assistant position.
  • Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance.
  • Earn a graduate degree to reach the highest levels of human resource management.
  • Learn government application procedures. Complete a federal government internship program.

Training and Development

  • Industrial training
  • Technology training
  • Management development
  • Performance improvement
  • Organizational change

Employers

  • Corporate universities
  • Consulting firms
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Retail and customer service industries
  • Restaurant and hotel chains
  • Business and industry training facilities
  • Educational institutions

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain related experience through internships and part-time or summer jobs.
  • Develop the ability to comprehend operational systems and to process new information quickly.
  • Acquire current knowledge of issues in technology, industry, and business education through professional association journals.
  • Develop solid knowledge of the content area being addressed in training.
  • Be prepared to start working in another area of human resources before moving into a training position.
  • Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance.
  • Learn about International Organization for Standardization (IOS) criteria.

Nonprofit

  • Development
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Programming
  • Administration

Employers

  • Community agencies
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Private foundations

Information & Strategies

  • Volunteer in community development projects or with an organization of interest.
  • Take on leadership roles in campus organizations.
  • Learn how to administer a budget through coursework or volunteering.
  • Develop planning skills.
  • Obtain an internship in fundraising or related field.

Business

  • Management
  • Operations management
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Sales

Employers

Public and private corporations including:
  • Retail stores
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Insurance firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Product and service organizations

Information & Strategies

  • Develop a strong background in other business functions such as marketing or management.
  • Gain leadership experience through campus involvement or volunteer work.
  • Intern with companies in fields of interest.
  • Gain strong writing and public speaking skills.
  • Develop proficiency in computer software application packages.

Law

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Labor relations
  • Employment law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Large corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Public interest legal agencies

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain a law degree.
  • Join a debate team and participate in mock trial.
  • Take courses in employment law, conflict management, and labor relations.
  • Gain experience with mediation.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

  • Organizational development
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Personnel selection
  • Performance appraisal
  • Job analysis
  • Individual development
  • Labor relations
  • Ergonomics
  • Teaching
  • Research

Employers

  • Consulting firms
  • Educational services
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private and public companies
  • Government agencies
  • Military research organizations
  • Test preparation companies

Information & Strategies

  • Double major or minor in psychology as an undergraduate.
  • Earn a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology.
  • Demonstrate strong interest in studying behavior of people at work.
  • Obtain internships in areas of organizational development.
  • Conduct independent research study in areas of interest.
  • Develop aptitude in statistical analysis and computers.

General Information

  • Be prepared to start in entry-level positions within organizations and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Develop an area of expertise along the way.
  • Graduate education including MBA, MS, or JD qualifies one for higher salaries and positions with greater responsibility.
  • Obtain internships in an area of interest such as human resources, training, or organizational development.
  • Participate in related co-curricular activities and obtain leadership positions to broaden skills.
  • Successful human resource professionals are business-minded and well-rounded. Cultivate "hard skills" such as technology and statistics along with "soft skills" such as mediating and advising.
  • Develop excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Demonstrate a strong desire to work with people of various backgrounds and educational levels.
  • Learn desktop publishing and other software packages.
  • Become familiar with current business literature and news.
  • Join professional associations in field of interest, such as American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management, American Management Association, Employment Management Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and others.
  • Become a member of the student organization, Association of Human Resource Development Students (AHRDS). Network with human resource managers through AHRDS meetings.
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