Human resources schools are available through campus locations or online programs. Online programs have become popular for working individuals who cannot disrupt their work schedules and income streams from their current jobs. Choosing the right school starts with having a clear picture of what your career goals are and enrolling in a program that will supplement your on the job training. At the undergraduate and bachelors level, schools offer business administration degrees with an HR concentration. At the graduate level, there are degrees available specifically for human resource management.
A bachelors degree with an HR concentration will cover topics such as labor and employment laws, compensation systems, recruiting methods, occupational behavior, and diversity in the workplace. In addition to the core curriculum, at the bachelors level, you will learn about general business strategies and topics. Courses on productivity, business management and leadership, as well as some general business economics are typically part of the program as well.
At the graduate level, many schools offer an mba or a human resource management masters degree. These programs are designed for those who will be in upper level or leadership roles within the HR department of a company. A common path in the career is to start with an entry level position, then, over time, continue to supplement your skills through on the job training and online learning through a college or university.
Once you have been in an HR role for at least two years, it is a good idea to become certified through The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). The HRCI offers a PHR (Professional in HR) certification for the entry to mid level professional. Those who have a masters degree may take the exam for certification after only one year of experience, while those with a bachelors degree must have at least two years of human resources job experience. There are additional levels of HR certification and different types; however, the PHR is usually the first step.
The first step is to research schools and find one that is aligned with your career aspirations. From there, it is a matter of continued training on the job, certification, and further education. If you are a natural leader with high ethical and personal standards, and want to be advocate for both workers and businesses, a career in human resources could be a rewarding one.