Human Resources Management Curriculum
Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated September 2010
Studying in the field
As the global marketplace continues to expand, experts in Human Resources Management will continue to be in ever-increasing demand. Professionals in this field serve a vital role in today's workplace, and their responsibilities include "deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations [and] managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies" (managementhelp.org). And that's just the beginning-these professionals serve innumerable functions, and the workplace would be a very different place without them.
Therefore, it only stands to reason that studying for a career in this field requires a lot of hard work, an ability to think creatively and a desire to make the most out of your education in order to be the best professional you can be in the working world. Using the example of the program at Capella University, coursework can include such diverse studies as: accounting and finance, conflict management, training, managerial ethics, marketing, data analysis and strategic planning, and recruitment.
And while these courses may seem widely divergent, there is certainly a thread running through them: they give the student a 360-degree view of the career that lies ahead, and the ability to work at a high level immediately upon graduation.
Most students earn an M.S. as the result of graduate studies in Human Resources Management, but the on-the-job work itself is commonly said to be just as much an art as it is a science. This is because, as the name implies, people themselves are the focus of the work. As such, the variables that come into play in the office on a daily basis are both unpredictable and varied. This, however, not only makes the work of a human resources management expert challenging (in a good way), but also rewarding when it is done well, as certainly it will be if you have the proper education in the field. And while working your way through a graduate program will certainly be demanding and call for your best intellectual efforts, it will also afford you the opportunity to think outside the proverbial box, and to stretch your mind in ways you may never have thought possible.
Job opportunities in the field
Human resources management experts generally find themselves working in a corporate environment, where they are, perhaps obviously, more needed. But within this corporate context, you will find a number of aspects of human resources on which you may focus. These range from employee benefits to hiring and firing to working with executives on issues of training new staff additions. Whatever area you choose to pursue, the compensation which you might expect is described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as follows:
"Median annual earnings of human resources managers were $81,810 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $62,080 and $106,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $136,600. In May 2004, median annual earnings were $92,590, in the management of companies and enterprises industry."
The point of this is clear: human resources management can be a lucrative field, put you squarely in the center of the corporate world and afford you the opportunity to have an impact on many, many people within a company. And that, in the end, is all most people ever ask for in their professional lives.
Check out: Human Resource Management Graduate Programs
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