Online Human Resources Degree
Human resource management ensures that an organization’s capital, it’s human resources, are maintained, developed, nurtured and managed in a way that is strategic for both the short and long-term, resulting in success at all levels within the organization. Professional human resource management also establishes a reputation for excellence among the communities where the company does business, and the clients that are being served, for the high quality of it’s employees, employment practices, benefits and compensation.
Human resource management ensures that an organization’s capital – its human resources – are maintained, developed, nurtured and managed in a way that is strategic for both the short and long-term, as well as beneficial for both sides, resulting in success at all levels within the organization. Professional human resource management may also work to establish a reputation for excellence among the communities where the company does business, and the clients that are being served, for the high quality of its employees, employment practices, benefits and compensation. With coursework that tends to center around topics such as employment law, organizational change and behavior, training and development, ethics, interview and recruiting techniques, staffing needs, and similar subjects, there are a variety of courses that can help provide the educational background necessary to guide you in your work once out in the human resources field.
With businesses and organizations large and small often looking for guidance with the rules, regulations, and laws that govern employment and workplace operations, there can be a variety of opportunities in just about every industry and field for those with a human resources education. From the private or corporate business world to government departments and services, human resources-related roles and activities tend to play a prevalent and relevant role in most of our daily workplaces.
Choosing an Online or Campus-based Human Resources Degree Program
While at first thought, the idea of getting an online degree within a field that has the word “human” within it might seem rather odd. But while much of the work related to human resources once out in the field may be dealing with the human aspect of the working world, much of the learning associated with the degree can easily be taught by way of an internet-based degree. With a vast number of managerial tactics and techniques, employment laws, and human interaction skills that can be applied to the field of human resources, there are any number of subjects that could make for great subjects to be taught online.
Courses relating to negotiating, labor laws, diversity, affirmative action, organizational training and development, human resources management, employee training and development, conflict resolution, coaching and motivating, employee relations, behavior in the workplace, and similar topics might all be part of a human resources degree curriculum. And while students could benefit in some such coursework from group work with their classmates, class presentations, public speaking practice, and similar human interaction based learning, much of the coursework may be perfect for online learning.
Deciding whether an online or campus-based human resources degree program is right for you, will likely depend upon your personal situation and how you prefer to learn. Some people don’t need a classroom environment in which a professor will present information in person, in order to properly understand material. They would prefer the benefits an online education might present such as increased scheduling options, lower costs, the ability to pair work, family and schooling, and similar positives of such degree work over the human interaction that can accompany a campus-based human resources degree.
Discovering Your Passion for Human Resources
Unlike certain other professions, a career in human resources could turn out to be a true passion. To some, the thought of dealing with the laws that govern and add structure to our workplaces and work environments might sound dull, but others might find it intensely interesting. There are numerous ways that having a degree in the human resources field can not only help a person working within the field better govern and regulate their work environment, but do so in a more human way. As many of us know, a workplace is often more than just a place we go to toil, it’s also a place we go to socialize, learn, develop, and grow. This means that bringing the “human” side to human resources can add some life what many view as quite stringent rules and regulations that guide us in the workplace. A degree in the field may help the students of human resources be able to pair and better balance sympathy, empathy, and understanding with the laws by which they and employees must abide.
Career Paths in Human Resources
Of course many of those students working toward a degree in human resources might envision themselves in a management role within the field; however, depending upon the size of the organization and the scope of operations and duties, this may or may not be the level at which a degree holder starts his or her career. Just jumping into a directorial human resources position within a company that has hundreds or even thousands of employees might just be too big of a step, even for those with a great degree in the field. While it might not be an impossibility, degree holders may more likely find themselves starting in a role such as training manager, labor relations specialist, human resources assistant, payroll specialist, or similar specialized area of the human resources field. Maybe one of the best parts about the possible human resources career paths is that such options are available in just about every field and industry. From sports teams and Fortune 500 companies, to “mom and pop” style operations or governmental services at the local, state, and federal level, human resources roles are integral at almost every level and every type of organization, opening a vast realm of opportunities for those with a degree within the field.
Roles and Duties within the Field
From helping managers and department directors handle disciplinary actions and train employees, to handling pay and payroll issues or watching the employees you have hired or helped to recruit and hire grow and develop over time, many people can find the roles and duties that come along with a position within human resources intensely interesting and satisfying. And a day in the life of a human resources employee could vary significantly. Duties could have you training employees regarding new benefits or changes in benefits related to their jobs and work. You may find yourself training new employees regarding their work, surroundings, safety measures, and rules. It could be that the day will be spent wining and dining possible new recruits or time-tested experts in their field who you would like to have working for your organization. Otherwise, there is a vast variety of other regular duties that could fall into your lap within the daily assignments of the human resources realm such as reviewing payroll material, distributing paychecks, handling employee disputes or discipline, representing your employer within the courtroom or when dealing with unions issues regarding lawsuits or employment issues, providing career guidance, doing annual reviews, and handling a slew of other duties and assignments.
Job Outlook in the Human Resources Field
There are several job and career-related categories that might be reviewed when considering the job outlook for the human resources field. The first of these categories is for human resources managers. With a 2010 median annual pay of $99,180 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a job growth outlook of 13 percent compared to all other jobs (which is about as fast as average), this area of the field appears quite attractive. However, as mentioned previously, not everyone starting off in the human resources field will be doing so as a manager. Therefore, looking at related roles within the field, we see that according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2010, human resources specialists earned a median pay of $52,690 and had a job growth outlook of a faster than average 21 percent compared to all other jobs. Meanwhile, human resources assistants earned a median annual salary of $37,250 in 2010, while for the category of “Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists, All Other” the median annual salary was $54,310.