Ready to embark on a career path that is as rewarding as it is challenging? If you're interested in a career that will allow you to work closely with others, human resources (HR) may be the right field for you.
Is HR a good career? Ultimately, this all boils down to exactly what you're looking for in your future work experience. However, if you like working with others and want to make a direct difference in the success of a business, then this path may be worth exploring. With a better understanding of some of the perks of working in HR and getting started as an HR professional, you can make a better-informed decision for your future.
Exploring the Appeal of a Career in Human Resources
There are many reasons to consider a career in human resources, ranging from the high demand for HR professionals to the job satisfaction that those working in the industry report.
The Rapidly Growing Field of HR
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for human resource specialists is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2022 and 2032. That's faster than the national average for all occupations, with an estimated change in employment of more than 51,000 through 2032.
Combine this high demand with the relatively high earnings of an HR professional and it's easy to see why so many people working in this field tend to be happy with their jobs. According to BLS data, the median pay for a human resources specialist was $64,240 per year in 2022, with the highest 10 percent of earners bringing in more than $116,000 annually.
Overall, the job outlook for those in HR remains promising—with businesses across all industries in need of experienced and skilled HR professionals to help them reach their full potential.
The Interpersonal Aspect of HR
HR professionals need to possess some key skills and core competencies (including interpersonal skills) to perform their jobs successfully. Some of the most critical skills for HR management professionals include:
- Business management and leadership
- Human capital development
- Communication and conflict-management
- Strategic thinking and planning
- Creative problem-solving
- Workplace culture development
The Strategic Role of HR Professionals
While much of the work of an HR professional is tied to interpersonal skills and managing employee relations, there is a strategic side to this line of work as well. Specifically, HR professionals (and especially HR managers) need to have basic business acumen to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company. In some cases, this may include having some accounting and budgeting skills, as well as a strong knowledge of internal business processes and best practices.
Potential for Quick Career Advancement in HR
Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to a career in HR is that there is a lot of room for growth and advancement in this industry—and that advancement can occur rapidly if you're motivated and play your cards right.
How HR Roles Contribute to Business Success
The scope of an HR professional's work can vary greatly depending on the size of the company, the exact job title, and your location. In general, HR professionals are responsible for tasks such as:
- Processing and administering payroll
- Overseeing recruitment and hiring
- Assessing employee performance
- Developing and implementing training programs
- Maintaining compliance with industry regulations
- Handling conflicts between employees
- Managing employee compensation and benefits programs
These everyday duties can contribute majorly to the success of a business – and when HR professionals do their jobs well, they may be recognized and rewarded with promotions and other exciting opportunities.
Starting Your Journey in Human Resource Management
If you're interested in embarking on an HR career path, you may be wondering what you need to do to get started. Do you need a degree? How much experience will you need? What about formal training and certifications? There are a few things you need to know before you dive in.
The Importance of Earning a Degree
Most employers looking to hire human resources professionals (including HR managers) will want applicants with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in HR or a similar field. Having a degree will help you qualify for more jobs while ensuring that you have the strong foundational knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this competitive and dynamic field.
Earning a bachelor’s degree is also an excellent step toward a more advanced degree, such as a master's degree, if you choose to pursue additional education in the future.
Gaining Relevant Experience
In addition to a formal degree, having some experience in HR will pay off when it comes time to search for your first job. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to have direct HR experience under your belt, but having experience in roles that require strong interpersonal skills, technical knowledge, and business acumen will prove useful as you start your career. Internships are also a great way to gain some experience while you're completing your degree program or even after you graduate.
The Value of Additional Training and Certifications
Despite the high demand for HR professionals, this industry remains extremely competitive. In addition to having a minimum of a bachelor's degree and some relevant experience, you can also set yourself apart by pursuing additional training and certifications to help you sharpen your skills.
You might consider, for example, getting your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification to boost your reputation and help you establish yourself as a recognized thought leader in your field.
The Variety and Flexibility of Roles in HR
One of the best things about working in HR is that just about every business needs HR professionals, meaning that regardless of where your interests lie, you can work in just about any industry as an HR professional or HR manager.
The Growth Potential in HR
Consider, too, the high potential for growth that exists within the HR field. While many human resources professionals start as HR assistants or HR coordinators, there are plenty of ways for you to advance your career by working your way up to positions such as:
- HR manager
- HR director
- VP of HR
- Chief HR Officer (CHRO)
Pursuing a career in HR can be a rewarding experience for those who possess the drive and dedication to meet the challenges inherent in this dynamic field.
Finding Meaning in HR Work
Another major advantage of working in HR is knowing that your work directly impacts the people within your company every day. Because you get to work directly with employees, you can see the results of your hard work in action. This is something that simply cannot be said in every profession. Perhaps this is part of the reason why an HR manager is frequently regarded as one of the most rewarding career paths out there.
Does a Career in HR Align With Your Personal and Professional Goals?
The demand for HR professionals constantly growing, and the variety and flexibility of roles within the HR field is evolving as well. If you're interested in pursuing a career in human resources, finding an excellent degree program is the first step to success.
At Champlain College Online, we're proud to offer an online bachelor's in human resource management, which can prepare you for work as a human resources specialist, manager, benefits administrator, or any number of other roles in HR. Learn more about our human resource management program or explore more resources for your future career in HR. Likewise, you can request more information about any of our programs by reaching out today.
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