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How do I get a Human Resources Degree?

Ken Black
Ken Black

A human resources degree, or HR degree, is one of the most common degree offerings, and is available at many colleges or universities having a business school. Those interested in this career will have a number of options from which to choose, not only relating to schools, but also in terms of courses and setting. Those who want a degree in human resources should research those options and choose a school they are comfortable with. Getting a human resources degree also means determining what level of degree to get.

While many who seek human resources degrees are interested in a Bachelor's Degree, other options also exist. Increasingly, many employers are looking for those who have obtained a Master's in the field. This is due to the technical nature and knowledge required for the job. Further, the field is also highly competitive, meaning those with advanced degrees may have an advantage over other candidates. Some people, who may already have some experience in human resources, or who may have limited duties in that area, may even opt for an Associate's Degree in human resources, but this option would probably not be recommended for those trying to establish new careers.

A human resources manager conducting an interview.
A human resources manager conducting an interview.

Many schools offering a human resources degree program also have built in some flexibility with the program as well. The vast majority of human resources coursework is classroom based, meaning there is also the opportunity to use a non-traditional classroom setting. Online options are becoming very popular. For those who need non-traditional college schedules, using an online forum, or attending night classes may be the best option. Both are readily available in many areas.

Getting a human resources degree involves choosing the right classes once enrolled in college. An academic adviser will help with this process once a major is declared, but there are some classes that are mandatory. These classes help prepare the student for a variety of issues they will likely encounter as a human resources professional. They include: business management, employment law, labor relations, employee development, and industrial psychology.

It is also important for those who are considering a human resources degree to take advantage of any internships along the way. In some cases, practical work experience or internships may even be required in order to earn a degree. This involves getting hands-on experience during a semester of college by actually working closely with a professional in the field. Most of the time, it is a mutually-beneficial situation. The professional gets some additional help, while the student gets some additional experience. Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the company and the duties.

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    • A human resources manager conducting an interview.
      By: apops
      A human resources manager conducting an interview.