What Degree Do I Need For Human Resources

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 3 minute read

Work as a human resources specialist and you can choose from a variety of interesting settings, from large corporations with hundreds of employees to small businesses with a handful of key employees. A college degree is almost always required to work in the human resources industry. Many people who work in human resources should have a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field, though there are exceptions. Learn more about the qualifications and opportunities in human resources if you’re interested in pursuing this career path.

An Overview of Human Resources

A human resources professional’s responsibilities can be summarized as: A few of the duties carried out by those in human resources management may be familiar to you. These may include screening and interviewing job candidates, terminating employees, maintaining employee files, and resolving disputes. However, depending on the company for which they work and the degrees and experience they have, HR professionals may also perform a wider range of duties. A human resources manager may transition into a human resources consultant. They serve as a bridge between an HR department and the company’s top management, ensuring both departments are aware of the latest regulations and providing guidance on corporate policy implementation. As an HR professional, there are a variety of paths you can take.

Non-Managerial Jobs

People who work in human resources but don’t become managers are called Human Resources Specialists by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In 2010, they earned an average of $52,690, and the job outlook was better than average, with a 21% increase in the next decade. You will need a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field if you want to become a human resources specialist. A bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field is preferred by most employers, according to the BLS, but some prefer candidates with relevant experience in addition to or in lieu of traditional degrees.

Positions in Management

For human resources managers, the BLS says they “usually require a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business administration.” BLS points out that some programs don’t offer these degrees, so you may be able to get your master’s in a different but related field and take additional courses to compensate for the lack of specific subject matter. There are a variety of qualifications needed for different positions at different companies. According to the BLS report, human resources managers earned a median salary of $99,180 in 2010 and the job outlook for the next decade was about as fast as average.

Both management and non-management positions have a wide range of degree options available to students. To work in an HR department, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or a closely related field. If you want to move up the ladder and have a better future, you’ll need a master’s degree in human resources or an MBA with a concentration in human resources. Specializing in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the Society for Human Resource Management provides in-depth analysis of the necessary qualifications for each position.

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