Human Resources: Common Questions About Careers and Degrees
What schools are available? Can I go to school online?
You're in luck! There are many nonprofit and for-profit traditional schools that offer degrees in human resources and human resources administration. You can find programs by degree-level or location here. If you’re interested in the convenience of an online program, you’ll also be pleased. Associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in human resources, which will allow for entry-level careers such as human resources generalist, are all available in the online format. We can help you find an accredited online school.
What careers can I pursue with a human resources degree?
The field of human resources offers perhaps one of the broadest ranges of career opportunities in the workforce today. Though obviously bonded by a set of common practices and goals, human resources careers are surprisingly diverse.
After obtaining a human resources certificate, a graduate is qualified for the following positions:
- Human Resources Clerk
- HR Assistant
- Training and Development Coordinator
- Payroll Specialist
- HR Generalist
A recent graduate with a human resource bachelor's degree may anticipate being placed in the following positions:
- Human Resources Manager
- Employee Relations Manager
- Compensation or Benefit Analyst/Manager
- HR Information Systems Manager
- Training and Development Manager
- Labor Relations Manager
- Director of Human Resources
- VP of Human Resources
Learn about your career options.
What degree programs will I take?
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.
Course work for a bachelor's human resources In general, course work 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
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.
A master's degree or MBA with human resources focus covers the following curriculum:
- 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.
- Course work 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.
Read more about HR degree programs.
What can I expect after I submit a request for information to a school?
First, you'll need to make sure you fill out the form correctly. For example, if your completed education level is high school graduate, you would need to complete a bachelor's program before applying to a master's degree program. So if you enter "high school graduate" and request master's degree information, your request may fail. Be sure to request information for the correct level of education you plan to pursue.
Once you’ve selected the schools you're interested in and submitted your information, you'll receive a thank you from the schools you chose. You'll be contacted by these schools either by email or telephone. The advisors who call you will ask you about the programs you're interested in, when you would like to start school, and talk about financial aid options, among other things. Feel free to ask questions!
How do I apply for financial aid?
Financial aid is available from a variety of sources. Government financial aid is the most common, but before you can be considered for aid, you'll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Other types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, private loans and PLUS loans. Download our free Financial Aid Guide and Checklist to understand all of your options and begin making your "paying-for-school" plan.
How does the admissions process work?
Different schools work in different ways. But you'll need to be aware of dates and schedules, and make sure your forms and fees are sent in and paid on time. All schools have an admissions office with advisors who can help, so be sure to use their services. We've also created a free Admissions Guide and Checklist to help you understand the basics around returning to school.
What are some tips for success in my education program?
You'll need to be the right personality fit for a career in human resources, so it's important to learn whether this is the career for you before you jump into the time and expense of a school program. If you’re a good communicator, are detail-oriented and have good management and decision-making skills, and like to interact with people, this might be the field for you.
U.S. News and World Report offers four top tips for adults going back to school:
- Use financial aid resources
- Carefully plan your study time
- Interact with other adult students
- Set some time aside for yourself
For adults considering online degree programs, AllOnlineSchools.com suggests these handy tips:
- Understand the time commitment involved in online education
- Create a workspace that is conducive to learning
- Make a daily routine; Study at the same time every day
- Analyze your time-wasting tendencies
- Use online tools for better time management
- Prioritize work to avoid procrastinating. Try tackling harder subjects first.
- Schedule study time around your professors' online office hours
- Take notes, participate and speak freely in classes
- Find an online study-buddy in your program
- Ask a friend or family member to volunteer as the "learning police"
- Know your goals: take your online education and yourself seriously
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