Can I Get a Job in Human Resources With Only an English Degree?

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Human resources professionals handle a diverse range of tasks and take on many roles in every type of industry. Some of the common responsibilities of a human resources specialist include training, communicating with clients and employees, managing records, and leading departments in different capacities. Human resources professionals should have strong abilities in communications, negotiations, and organization. There are a variety of requirements and degree programs that qualify a candidate for a position in human resources, including degrees in human resources, business, communications, and English.

Related Resource: Entry Level Human Resources Jobs

After an English Degree

The biggest benefit of an English degree is the skill set that a graduate acquires while taking courses. Some of the transferrable skills that students in English programs develop include strong written and verbal communication skills, the ability to apply principles of rhetoric to persuasion and arguments, researching and assessment techniques, developing conclusions from research and evaluation, synthesis of ideas, and organization of material.

Some of the common positions associated with an English degree are teaching, writing and editing, media, advertising, local government, civil services, archives, and sales or marketing. Another field that English graduates qualify for are careers in human resources.

Minimum Requirements for Human Resources Professionals

Requirements for human resources personnel positions vary by the company and individual needs of the organization, but there are some standard requirements for most positions. First, a bachelor’s degree is commonly required, but a degree in human resources is not necessarily mandatory. Any degree that gives students exposure to a diverse general education are often valued in human resources positions, and undergraduate degrees can be tailored to include human resources and general business coursework to make the degree more viable for human resources employment after graduation.

Other typical requirements include some experience, and taking advantage of internships while pursuing a degree is often recommended to gain this experience. Other ways to gain experience are to join professional organizations in human resources and attend conferences and workshops in the field such as the National Human Resources Association. To read more on the networking, career services, and events offered by the NHRA, visit

Another helpful entry for a resume, although not always a requirement, is to obtain human resources certifications before beginning to apply for positions.

Additional Training, Education, and Certifications in Human Resources

There are a number of human resources certifications that can be helpful when looking to get started in a human resources career. The Human Resources Certification Institute offers a variety of advanced professional designations for this career. Some of the options for certification through the HR Certification Institute include the Professional in Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources, Global Professional in Human Resources, Human Resources Management Professional, and Human Resource Business Professional. For information on the certification programs, visit the HRCI at

There are many options for graduates with a degree in English to continue their education in order to gain the skills and expertise that might be required to get started in a human resources career. Many universities and community colleges have graduate certificate programs in human resources and human resources management, and master’s programs are also widely available in on campus and online programs.

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