How Do I Become a Chief Human Resources Officer?

N. Kalu
N. Kalu
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

To become a chief human resources officer, you need both education and experience in the human resources and job recruitment fields. Those who seek chief human resource officer careers will usually first obtain a bachelor's degree before moving on to a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Some also choose to stay within the same company's human resources department for a number of years after graduating from an undergraduate program. Either path will help you become a chief human resources officer as long as you are diligent about your work and determined to help implement a variety of employee retention and satisfaction programs.

A bachelor's degree is required for nearly all executive human resources positions. Due to the fact that these positions require a high level of analytical skill, organizational management skills, and innovation, going through a bachelor's program will introduce you to logical ways of thinking and solving problems. As a chief human resources officer, you will be called upon to enforce company rules, recruit new employees, and advise existing employees on proper conduct. Majoring in a social science, such as psychology or sociology, will help you understand the nature of people better, which will help you solve disputes that will arise on the job.

If you wish to stand out among other applicants for senior level human resources positions, you may want to consider attending business school. Business school can be a great place for extending your network, making key business contacts, and brushing up on the quantitative skills you will need if you plan to work in a corporate setting. Most graduate programs which grant an MBA degree will also offer classes in people management, molding future executives into strong and competent leaders in their respective industries. As someone who is striving to become a chief human resources officer, this type of education will be invaluable to you as you figure out the best ways to manage and instruct employees.

Gaining on the job experience in the human resources field will also help you become a chief human resources officer. The more you learn about the rules and regulations of your industry and your specific company, the better positioned you will be for a promotion to an executive level position. Learning how to handle employee and regulatory paperwork in the most efficient way possible will impress your managers, who will hopefully keep you in mind when promotion time comes.

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