Can I Get a Job in Human Resources With Only a Bachelor’s Degree?

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If you’re wondering whether there are human resources jobs available for people who only hold a bachelor’s degree, then you’re in luck: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most human resources managers start out with a bachelor’s degree and work their way up the corporate ladder through experience.

While human resources comprises a variety of job titles and positions, the fact that managers only possess a bachelor’s degree proves that you don’t need to spend time earning a graduate degree for this field. Still, there are some good reasons to earn an advanced degree, which we’ll discuss below. The following overview gives you a better idea of how a bachelor’s degree will prepare you for a role in human resources.

Everyday Responsibilities

What do human resources professionals actually do? You may be familiar with some of the job duties that an HR rep must perform. Some people assume that human resources professionals simply “hire and fire,” so to speak. In reality, HR representatives work on behalf of clients, management and employees to ensure that people follow the rules of the workplace and understand their rights under the law. On a day-to-day basis, human resources professionals might do any of the following:

  • Conduct job interviews
  • Recruit and hire new employees
  • Host seminars, meetings and conferences
  • Sit in on disciplinary meetings
  • Advise management on terminations

Human resources personnel may take an active role in the hiring and firing process, but they may only act in an advisory capacity to make sure that a company’s management follows the prescribed plan during Equal Employment Opportunity or EEO claims. Day-to-day tasks also vary by company. Larger companies may employ dozens of human resources managers while small businesses count on one or two individuals to handle all of the company’s human resources needs.

Gaining the Right Skills

According to job site, “With a bachelor’s degree in human resources, graduates qualify for human resources leadership roles in private, public and nonprofit organizations.” How can a four-year degree prepare you for all of the responsibilities that come with the job? For starters, new human resources professionals typically start out in a limited role working within clearly defined parameters. They might assist managers by preparing reports, conducting phone interviews or performing administrative tasks until they gain experience.

In other words, a bachelor’s degree doesn’t always grant unfettered access to the wide range of tasks that a human resources manager performs. However, there are reasons that a bachelor’s degree matters when it comes to human resources jobs. While earning their undergraduate degree, students hone critical and analytical thinking skills, learn the relevant legislation and rules of HR, and develop appropriate communication skills that adequately prepare them for leadership roles later in life.

Resource: Top 25 Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees Ranked by Graduation Rates 2014

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in human resources specifically if you want to work in HR. While a specific degree helps, several other similar degrees may help you get your foot in the door. For example, undergraduate degrees in communications, English, business and even accounting may help you land your first job with HR. Once you earn a bachelor’s degree, finding human resources jobs shouldn’t be a problem thanks to high demand in the field nationwide.