As we move closer toward a predominantly digital society, the face of the workforce is ever evolving. While this means some career paths will soon dead-end, there are some professions that will always be in high demand. One such profession is that of the human resources manager. Every business that requires employees also requires a human resources department and an individual to oversee the workings of that office. While it will always remain a promising field, how exactly does one break into the field of human resources?
There are some careers that don’t require more than a high school education or a 2-year degree from a community college. Human resources positions aren’t among them. At a minimum, a bachelor’s degree is required to break into the field and many colleges and universities specifically offer a human resources degree. Even when that specific major isn’t offered by your chosen school, taking relevant courses is your next best option. Business and finance majors are recommended and a minor concentration in psychology and sociology may also prove beneficial.
You need experience to get the job and you need a job to get experience. It’s the same in any field, just as it is true in the human resources career path. The first goal in gaining a position as a human resources manager is to get an entry level position in a human resources department, yet even that requires experience.
While pursuing your education, take advantage of summer breaks to participate in internship programs. Even unpaid internships will ultimately lead to that first entry level position. From there, you can continue to rise, until you finally reach that coveted managerial position.
Another essential requirement for pursuing a career as a human resources manager is your resume. Even in the beginning, its value as an assessment of your education, work experience, and professionalism will go a long way toward helping you achieve the next stepping stone in your career. Keep font sizes and styles consistent and limit bullet points to outlining each job. Make sure to include all relevant contact information, including a personal website, if you run one. Once you have a completed resume, ask your college advisor to look it over.
Back to School
By the time you have been working in a human resources department for a year or two, it may be time to consider returning to college. Sure, you’re probably still paying off your first educational loans, but, if you want to move up, you will need more education. While not always essential for promotion, a human resources master’s degree will set you apart from the competition.
The education involved in acquiring a master’s degree also provides training that may be required of you in the future, so getting a jump on things now can only serve to benefit you later. Depending on the business of your company, a master’s degree may, in fact, be required. For instance, a human resources manager’s position in a manufacturing environment may require extensive education in labor relations or industrial management.
Rise Up the Ranks
Continuing your career in human resources is essential to rising up into management positions. Even more beneficial is remaining with the same company. As you continue your career, your own managers will observe your work ethics and performance to determine your potential as a manager.
As most companies prefer to promote from within, instead of hiring from outside the organization, your chances of getting that promotion grow stronger with time. Establishing yourself as a reliable human resources associate is key to moving up into your goal position of human resources manager.