For many, a “good career” represents a combination of strong employment growth, ample advancement opportunities and high job satisfaction. A career in human resources (HR) delivers on all counts and, importantly, offers the opportunity to make a real difference while contributing to business success.
In fact, HR specialist ranked among the Best Business Jobs in America for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report.
Here’s why a career in human resources is a good choice
HR is a rewarding career field poised for growth. Almost every company, large and small, needs HR professionals to manage employee relations, oversee recruitment and administer benefits. From growing employee engagement internally to working as a high-level recruiter at an executive search firm, there are a variety of HR career paths you can pursue depending on your interests.
A career in HR could be right for you if…
1. You want to work in a fast-growing field
A low unemployment rate and tight labor market mean companies have an increased need for HR professionals to recruit and retain talented employees. Employment for HR specialists is growing faster than average for most occupations and is expected to increase by 38,900 new jobs from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Pursuing a career in HR might be a good option if you are looking to boost your earning potential. The median annual wage for HR specialists in 2018 was $60,880, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $104,390, according to BLS data.
2. You enjoy dealing with people
HR professionals spend a lot of their time interacting with employees and company leaders. As an HR specialist, you could have a hand in employee training, employee relations, and various other aspects of employee engagement. In each of these areas, strong interpersonal skills are key to your success.
Successful HR professionals enjoy working with others and have a talent for establishing positive lines of communication. They’re able to build trust quickly and generate creative win-win solutions for everyone. If this sounds like you, then a career in HR could be a good fit.
3. You like to think strategically
HR professionals play a far more important role in an organization’s business strategy than you might realize. For example, HR consultants can work with companies to develop an employment brand that helps them retain and attract top talent. They might play a role in selecting a comprehensive benefits package that meets employee needs or even spearhead a flexible remote work policy that improves employee satisfaction and engagement. If you enjoy a challenge, HR offers lots of opportunities to make a difference and do some creative problem-solving.
4. You want to advance quickly
Today, new technologies are changing the way organizations manage their workforce and hire new employees, creating the need for more digitally savvy and forward-thinking HR leaders. Employment for HR managers is expected to increase by 9% through 2026, adding more than 12,000 new jobs, according to the BLS.
The number of human resources consulting agencies is also increasing, creating new opportunities for established HR professionals. These agencies can offer lucrative careers for professionals with specialized experience and provide a fast track to career advancement.
5. You want to help businesses be successful
There’s no denying that HR professionals play a defining role in business success. A recent Gallup study found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability and that successful organizations make employee engagement central to their business strategy. Another report by The Engagement Institute estimates that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.
By implementing employee recognition programs, investing in training and development strategies, and developing a strong employment brand, HR professionals can bolster employee motivation, resulting in lower turnover and improving a company’s bottom line.
How to begin your career in HR:
1. Earn your degree
Most entry-level HR roles require a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. At Herzing, you can earn your bachelor’s degree in 36 months when attending full time. The program prepares you for a variety of HR positions, including office manager, recruiter, payroll administrator, and more.
2. Gain experience
Some employers prefer their HR staff to have specific industry experience, such as manufacturing, healthcare, technology, or legal. If you’re not sure where you’d like to specialize, you might consider working for a recruiting or HR consulting firm that allows you to gain experience in several different areas and specialties after graduation.
3. Pursue additional training and certification
Certification is also highly desired by employers, and most upper-level HR professionals have at least one certification. Herzing graduates are prepared to sit for several industry-recognized certification exams, including the SHRM Certified Professional, CAPM Certification and Six Sigma Yellow Belt.
An MBA in Human Resources is another way to enhance your expertise and position yourself for management positions. Students in Herzing’s bachelor’s program can take advantage of a dual credit option to earn up to 12 credits toward their MBA in Human Resources as an undergraduate.
Interested in learning more? Check out our overview of what an HR career is all about, and explore our human resources management programs today.