What is the Best Degree To Become a Human Resource Professional?

If you’re wondering what is the best degree to get to become a human resource professional, there are several options to consider. If you are a good leader, interact well with others, and feel confident in your decision-making skills, a human resource manager career could be a perfect fit. Whether you prefer a small business atmosphere or you enjoy working for a firm that handles thousands of clients, becoming a human resources professional offers many interesting avenues, most of which require a degree.

Overview of Human Resources

You might already be familiar with some of the job responsibilities of human resources specialists such as maintaining employees’ personnel files, handling terminations, interviewing applicants, and hiring and screening job candidates. However, human resource professionals also perform a broader range of duties depending on the company with whom they’re employed as well as the experience and degrees they hold. For instance, a human resources manager may become a human resource consultant. In this position, the professional offers advice on corporate policy, implements HR procedures, and keeps both departments up-to-date on regulations and rules, acting as a liaison between the human resources department and the company’s higher-level administration.

Management Positions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources managers typically need to hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration or human resources. However, some programs don’t offer these specific degrees, and aspiring human resource professionals may be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field while taking coursework that makes up for the lack of human resources-specific subject matter. Keep in mind that different companies require different qualifications, so it is difficult to determine one specific degree that is better than others. However, aspiring HR managers will find the most success with a bachelor’s degree in human resources.

Non-Management Positions

Individuals who enter the field of human resources but do not wish to seek management positions are referred to as human resources specialists. If you plan to become a human resources specialist, you will also need to earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. According to the BLS, most companies prefer that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources or a related field, but some employers prefer candidates with years of experience in lieu of or in addition to a traditional post-secondary degree. In 2016, the median pay for human resources specialists was $59,180 per year or $28.45 per hour, and employment of human resources specialists is projected to grow five percent from 2014 to 2024.

Related Resource: What Types of Careers are in Human Resources?

For both non-management and management positions, students have options with regards to choosing a degree path. For the most part, aspiring human resource professionals will need to earn a degree in human resources, business, or a related field in order to gain employment in a human resources department. If you hope to engage in a more lucrative career with better prospects by entering the management track, you will likely need either a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources or a traditional master’s in human resources degree. In any case, determining the best degree to get to become a human resource professional will greatly depend on the employer as well as the type and length of experience an applicant has.