Story of the week: What Can I Do with a Human Resources Degree?

Ask any CEO about the key to a successful business and you’ll probably hear a lot about people. No company can thrive without skilled, committed employees. But ensuring that a company finds the right people, and gives them the training and support they need to succeed, isn’t easy. That’s where human resources professionals come in.

The human resources department has been an important part of corporations and other companies since the early 20th century. Writing for the Society for Human Resources Management, Sandy Reed and Meyrna L. Gusdorf, both senior professionals human resources, explained how business owners and managers of that era realized they needed experts to make sure they were getting the most they could out of workers. HR specialists help ensure that employees understand their importance on their work teams and see how their interests line up with those of their employer. They also work on recruitment and develop strong compensation plans and training programs that to give employees the chance to keep learning and growing on the job.

HR is a broad field, so if you choose this career path, you can branch out and focus on a particular area like recruiting, workforce development training, or compensation and benefits administration. You might work for a consulting firm, providing specialized knowledge to many companies. On the other hand, you might find your best fit acting as a “department of one” at a small or mid-size firm. Those positions demand a Jack-of-all-trades who can work with upper management to develop hiring and training programs while also handling day-to-day matters. As an HR professional, you may spend hours helping employees navigate the process of choosing an employer-sponsored health insurance package or writing a long-term plan for hiring and career development in a large organization.

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