Preparing for a Career in Human Resources


Before starting your career in human resources—or even before you decide to study HR management in a course or college setting—you should be aware of the needs and expectations within the industry. In terms of potential for growth, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that HR manager positions are set to grow 13% by 2022. This means that many companies and organizations are set to expand their operations, which is great for people looking to enter the HR field.

However, jobs and careers in HR are evolving and growing in terms of what is expected of the department. While recruitment, retention, and development are essential parts of HR’s leadership role, there are certain preparations that can be made to ensure even greater professional success. As in any other career, doing the right amount of preparation is critical to getting the job, developing your goals, and eventually being promoted for your achievements.

How Degrees Complement HR Careers

In order to guarantee that you have a fair chance at becoming successful in the management field, it is wise to enroll in a degree program in human resources. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), which is a career resource that offers information about careers in the U.S., suggests that HR positions are most available to people who keep in mind three main points:

  1. Having an educational background that exemplifies responsibility and diversity
  2. Gaining certifications and previous experience in HR, especially for advanced positions like arbitrators and mediators
  3. Having both a college degree and an earned certification can open many unique opportunities in the field

It is clear from the OOH that it will indeed help your chances in finding an HR position if you have a college degree and respective certifications that reflect your knowledge of the role and responsibilities.

Is a Graduate Degree Essential to Getting Hired?

If you already prepared for your position in HR by receiving a college degree, you may be wondering if a graduate degree may help your chances even more. The truth is, it all depends on the business that you wish to work for. In some scenarios, it may make sense to enroll in a graduate course that allows you to simultaneously save money by consolidating your loans. Consolidating loans is a good way to ensure financial stability so that you are able to receive an advanced degree without garnering an overwhelming amount of student debt.

Increasingly, a Masters degree in human resources, business administration, and organization development will be appealing to companies looking for new hires—and some even liken Masters degree to being as essential as a Bachelor’s degree in the field. Once you have the financial side of the degree figured out, completing the degree will allow you to hone your skills and learn the strategies within HR. The time and investment is ultimately up to you, and you can enhance your employability in other ways if you are not interested in pursuing a graduate degree.

Knowing that many HR departments seek individuals with a range of educational experiences and certifications, you can prepare for your career by making these preparations and gaining the knowledge that will be required of you.