What is Human Resources and Why it Could be a Great Career Path

Apr 07, 2015   |   Business & Management
What is Human Resources? Explore CTU's HR Degree Programs
Considering what concentration you want to pursue as you work toward a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration? Human Resource Management may be a strong contender. After all, a human resource manager can be a vital member of an organization's success.

What is Human Resources?

A human resource manager generally handles the hiring and training of employees, as well as in many cases details such as payroll and benefits. Someone in this position can be asked to oversee the hiring of new staff and often may works closely on strategic planning. If working for an organization with union workers, the human resource manager can often asked to oversee labor relations, labor talks and any type of labor disputes.

For larger companies, a human resource manager can be an integral part of the human resource department. The HR department serves as a link between top management and employees, administers employee services -- such as benefits, payroll and communications -- and is responsible for disciplinary procedures.1

Why should I consider a degree in Human Resource Management?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the number of human resource specialists to grow 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.1 The number of human resource managers was projected to grow by 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, as fast as the average occupation.2 The growth is expected, in part, because organizations may need more human resource staff due to complex employment laws and health care coverage options.

Growth was expected to be especially high in the employment services industry. Employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need more human resources staff to oversee and administer their programs.3

What can I learn in a Human Resource Management degree program?

Human Resource Management curriculum at Colorado Technical University is designed to help students develop insight into management structures and processes and to help build interpersonal and professional skills in communication, human resources and systems management. The following courses are specific to the Human Resource Management concentration at Colorado Technical University4:

  • Building Effective Teams
  • Staffing the Organization
  • Managing Employee Performance
  • Human Resource Management Legal Environment
  • Training and Employee Development
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Managing Labor-Management Relations

What does it pay?

While it obviously depends on the job, the company, experience and the exact position, the median pay for a human resources manager in 2012, taking into individuals of all ages and experience levels, was $99,720 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.4 A human resources specialist median pay, taking into individuals of all ages and experience levels, was $55,800 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.5

Besides Human Resources Manager, what other job opportunities might be available with a HR degree?

Along with working in a human resources office or in the employment services industry, other potential career paths for those who earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Human Resource Management can include6

  • Employee Relations Specialist
  • Benefits Administrator
  • HR Supervisor
  • Recruiting Specialist
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Payroll Manager

Interested? Great! But don't stop your research now. If human resource management sounds like it might be the concentration for you, make sure you find a quality program that is accredited. A program that is accredited has been recognized for its high standards. Doing your research now -- by finding the right program for you -- may help you work towards eventually earning a seat behind the desk in the HR department, instead of in the interview chair.


1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Specialists and Labor Relations Specialists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists-and-labor-relations-specialists.htm
2http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm#tab-1 Visited Feb. 2, 2015
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Managers, at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm4http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm#tab-6
4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Managers on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Specialists and Labor Relations Specialists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists-and-labor-relations-specialists.htm
6 Source: Employment by summary education and training assignment, 2012 and projected 2022, Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-2

Image Source