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Human Resources Management

The Breakdown

They are unsung heroes. They keep track of perfunctory yet important office functions. They ensure that all proverbial “Ts” are crossed and that essential policies are followed. And they typically oversee all hiring and firing. Indeed, the human resources department is indispensible to nearly every company.

Should you decide to major in human resources management, you will study the components necessary for an office to operate smoothly. You’ll learn about organizational theory and behavior, gaining an understanding of human dynamics within a professional setting. Moreover, you will study labor relations and legal regulations. Those courses will allow you to recognize what is needed to create a fair and compliant environment for your employees. Additionally, you’ll learn how corporations navigate the hiring process, from recruiting potential candidates to interviewing and ultimately extending an offer to new employees. And, of course, you’ll learn how to negotiate and decipher topics such as benefits packages and compensation. Finally, you’ll take some classes in economics and accounting to acquire a firm foundation in business practices and administration.

For those in human resources, there is nothing more vital than interpersonal skills. Certainly, the very job title demands that you excel at (and enjoy) working with people. Moreover, an aptitude for written and oral communication is a pre-requisite for success. It also helps to be detail oriented and deadline driven. And you should recognize that employees will forever be in your debt if you establish a policy for summer hours.

Nuts and Bolts

As a human resources major, you’ll study the inner workings of companies with classes like: Business Ethics, Employment Law for Business, Human Resources Management: Analysis and Problems, Labor Relations, Dynamics of Organizational Behavior, Applied Business Statistics, Principles of Microeconomics, Introduction to Financial Management and Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Decisions, Decisions

Undergrads considering human resources management might also enjoy studying economics, business administration, real estate, entrepreneurship, finance, psychology, accounting, actuarial science, marketing, international business, hospitality and hotel management.

What's Next

The beauty of human resources is that nearly all corporations rely on an HR department, regardless of whether they have ten employees or ten thousand. Therefore, those who study human resources management will be able to work in a wide variety of industries and settings. Of course, HR is a general umbrella and there are a number of different positions one can hold within the department. For example, some graduates work as recruitment specialists, finding the best potential hires for a company. This position often entails quite a bit of travel, especially to college campuses and job fairs. Others might focus on becoming an employee benefits manager, negotiating and administering benefits programs such as health insurance and retirement. Additionally, some people become labor relations managers. They often address grievances with regards to items like salary, pensions, contract disputes and stipulations and management practices. HR managers can also specialize in training and development, helping employees develop skills to enhance productivity and work quality. Finally, a handful of human resources professionals serve as equal employment opportunity officers, working diligently to ensure that company policy does not violate these important standards.


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