:: Human Resource Training
Human resources is a broad field that offers employment opportunities no matter what degree level you attain.
From associate’s degrees to master’s and MBA degrees in HR, the field is rife with possibility, and there are even a number of professional certifications to help you progress in your career. In fact, Glassdoor considered HR Management one of the top five careers in their Best Jobs in 2018. Read on to learn more about human resources degrees and how they can further your career in human resources.
Associate’s Degree Programs
Graduates with an associate’s degree in human resources management qualify for entry-level positions, such as basic human resources generalists. HR associate’s degree holders often also enter into specialized HR roles in private, public and nonprofit organizations; human resource clerks, HR assistants and assistant recruiters are some of the most popular jobs. Others work as training and development coordinators, payroll assistants and compensation or benefits specialists.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
A human resource management bachelor’s degree equips you with the necessary tools to enter an HR career in a variety of business settings.
Programs typically include a comprehensive overview of human resources principles and practices, business and technology training and communication courses.
Students can expect a human resources bachelor’s program to include core business training in areas, such as accounting, finance, information technology and marketing. Additionally, most programs require an array of general education courses to meet various general studies distributions and also allow room for electives.
As an example of a typical course load, University of Phoenix offers the following program of 120 credit hours of undergraduate courses for Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Human Resources:
Examples of Core Courses
- Business Communications and Critical Thinking: Students will develop skills in critical thinking and decision making through the forms of written communication, including memos, emails, business letters, and reports. Other topics include communication ethics and cross-cultural communications, personal communication styles, solving organizational problems, and the evaluation of an organizations strategic direction.
- Introduction to Computer Applications and Systems: Students learn to apply Microsoft® Office tools including work processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software to accomplish business objectives.
- Management Theory and Practice: This course explores the rich field of management in theory and practice, and as both a science and an art. Students learn to apply management concepts to current workplace issues
- Ethics and Social Responsibility: This course provides a foundational perspective for ethics and social responsibility in relationship to individuals, organizations, and the community.
- Organizational Development: This organizational behavior course encompasses the study of individual and group behavior in organizational settings. Other topics include strategic elements of organizational behavior, workforce diversity, managing change, effective communication, and performance systems.
- Fundamentals of Human Resources Management: This course will provide students with a critical perspective on the development of human capital in the context of a unified system of attracting, retaining and developing talent that creates and supports the vision and values of the organization. Students will develop an understanding of the critical business implications for human resource professionals today.
- Strategic Human Resource Management and Emerging Issues: The course explores how to align human resource management (HRM) with the business strategies, and the emerging issues facing business, and to understand the HRM competencies and leadership skills necessary to be a true strategic business partner.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs
Both an MBA with a concentration in human resources and a human resource master’s degree will prepare you to take on HR leadership positions across industries. MBA and master’s in human resources graduates go on to attain such high positions as director or vice president of human resources.
While each track offers advanced training in human resources and managerial concepts and theories, the human resources MBA allows students to develop a broad set of business skills that can also transfer to other arenas.
In contrast, the highly specialized master’s in HR offers students the opportunity to focus almost exclusively on issues related to human resources.
Schools and universities now offer short, intense certificate programs in HR specialties such as compensation and benefits management or employee relations. These certificate courses are ideal for those already pursuing a career in HR, who are want to make a lateral move from one area to another.
If you are new to HR, a certificate course may also enable you to test the waters and help you decide whether a career in HR is for you. By sampling a few courses, you can assess your interest level. Often, universities will allow you to enroll in their certificate courses and then transfer the credits into their full-time degree programs.
Professional human resource certifications provide a widely recognized way to demonstrate your HR knowledge and training. The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) awards several levels of professional certification:
- PHR (Professional in Human Resources)—The PHR Certification exam is comprised of a test in the following areas: strategic development, workforce planning and employment, human resource development, total rewards, employee and labor relations and risk management.
- SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)—The SPHR Certification exam is comprised of a test in the following areas: strategic development, workforce planning and employment, human resource development, total rewards, employee and labor relations and risk management.
- GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources)—The GPHR Certification exam is comprised of a test in the following areas: strategic HR management, organizational effectiveness and employee development, global staffing, international assignment management, global compensation and benefits and international employee relations and regulations.
- PHR-CA and SPHR-CA (PHR and GHR with state certification in California)—The California certification is designed to augment the PHR and SPHR certifications and it focuses on California laws and practices that are different from federal laws and practices.
HRCI certifications require a “hands-on” experience component, which generally translates to approximately two years of experience as an HR professional. This qualification adds a great deal of value to the certification and is helpful in convincing employers that you are as well-versed in HR practice as you are in theory. These certifications also require you to complete a certificate or degree program and pass an exam.
In general, coursework for an associate’s degree in human resources covers personnel recruitment and evaluation, employee relations, staff training and development, employment law, business ethics and compensation and benefits. Students should also expect to take some general education courses, such as math and writing. Coursework for a human resources management bachelor’s degree covers contemporary HR issues, including the following:
- Organizational theory and design
- Behavioral science
- Legal issues in HR management
- Performance management and assessment
- Employee training and development
- Compensation and benefits
The curriculum for an MBA in human resources generally involves corporate management and business strategy concepts, organizational behavior and design, ethical leadership, and in-depth HR concepts and tools as they relate to general management.
Coursework for a human resources master’s degree typically involves detailed studies of human resource subsystems, including legal issues in the workplace, compensation and benefits, and recruitment and training. Students will also take classes covering leadership and strategic management concepts, organizational psychology and organizational design.
Master of Business Administration- Health Care
University of Phoenix
Program: The Master in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management (MBA/HRM) program is designed to meet the needs of a broad but unique population - the working adult manager or supervisor who could benefit from a graduate business education. Because the tools of the human resources management science are applicable to the problems of the public sector as well as the private sector, students whose career interests involve not-for-profit enterprise are also encouraged to seek admission. The MBA/HRM program requires a practical background in business, and the successful candidate will have a least three years of relevant experience.
Contrary to popular opinion, human resources is about more than just hiring and firing the right people. It’s about understanding how people are integral to a business’ success, and implementing the proper procedures to make everyone on staff as productive as possible. Because of this diversity of duties, being trained as a human resource specialist can be a thrilling choice, preparing you for a long and varying career.
An interdisciplinary background is ideal for this field, which translates into a wide variety of coursework when you begin your human resource training. Relevant courses of study include business administration, psychology, economics, and statistics. Your education then advances into more specialized training, where you learn how to recruit and hire the best people, how to train and develop personnel, and how to conduct performance appraisals. This makes adding computer, information technology, and communication classes vital to your human resource training.
While general courses provide the foundation for most entry-level positions, combining these with more intensive fields of interest will qualify you for more senior jobs. Gaining a background in labor law and history, industrial relations, or even political science will make it easier for you to apply for many positions in labor relations or business administration.
In addition to human resource classes, many degree programs offer internships that give you firsthand experience in the field, experience you can then take with you into the workplace. This, as much as any of your other training, turns you from a willing student into a valuable commodity for any company.