The field of human resources is defined by the personnel that constitute an organization. According to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Career Center, a human resources department are professionals who help with the hiring, training, and firing of workers across all departments at an organization. Whether it is a public administrative body, like non-elected members of a government, or a for-profit private company, human resources are needed to add qualified workers to the organization. This broad field includes several occupations that require different levels of work experience. However, do all human resources jobs require a college education?

Types of Human Resource Workers

First, its important to establish the types of workers that may be employed in a human resources department. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are about four different types of human resources workers that could work at specific organizations. A human resource manager is the head manager of the human resources department. These managers plan and direct human resources policies to the department and to other workers. These managers also interact with the managers of other departments within the organization about employment policies. Compensation managers are human resources workers determine the compensation and benefits for workers across departments. These managers research and establish the competitive wages that drive workers in the organization. Compensation managers also review and ensure wages and benefits are being distributed fairly to workers. Training managers are human resources workers who create the organizational standards that every new hire must become accustomed to. The manager also coordinates with specific departments about the protocols and standards the new hire must learn for their position. Finally, the BLS defines human resources specialists are the workers who interview potential employees for the organization. The specialists coordinate with department managers and the human resources manager to see what type of hire the organization needs. The specialist assesses whether the individual meets the quality standards of the organization.

Some companies may have different titles for these positions and many organizations may not have all of these professionals in their human resources department. Some organizations may have their human resources specialists also act as training managers, for example. However, these are the common type of workers the BLS defines in human resources departments. Each of these professions have similar education requirements, but what really separates them is the amount of work experience required.

Is A College Degree Necessary for These Jobs?

The BLS lists all the academic requirements for these human resources professions. According to the BLS, all four human resources jobs require a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree requirements are typically in human resources or in business administration with human resources concentrations or classes. However, the BLS makes the point that candidates with master’s degrees may be preferred. Master’s programs in business administration or human resources are typically available at many business schools. In addition, holding several years experience are common traits the BLS states these managers need. The BLS adds that certifications are available for all managers, which can help candidates appear more competitive.

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The only profession that offers some entry-level academic requirements are human resources specialists. The BLS says that some organizations may hire specialists who only have a high school diploma, but only for rudimentary tasks like interviewing or recruiting. Many specialists just have bachelor’s degrees. Nevertheless, the BLS highlights that many workers in human resources do need a bachelor’s degree, at least, to enter the job market in human resources.

Human Resources Management

United States Department of Labor

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Training and Development Managers