Every legitimate work place has a human resources department. A person who has earned a Bachelor’s in Human Resources therefore has a good chance of finding a professional home soon after graduation. With so many career options within human resources, it is wise to tailor one’s education to their dream career by carefully choosing elective courses. Here are some of the electives available to human resources students.
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Given that the first word of the major is human, it is safe to say that human resources professionals spend the majority of their days working with people. In their hiring and firing duties, they interact with others at their best, their worst, and their most vulnerable. To develop the necessary knowledge and skills for these tasks, it is wise to take behavioral science courses. The most relevant options include social psychology (the study of personality and social interactions) and industrial/organizational psychology (the study of workplace systems and work-life relationships).
Along the lines of developing interpersonal skills, it is crucial that human resource professionals be competent in working with individuals of all culture. Culture includes, but is not limited to, demographics such as race, ethnicity, religion, linguistic background, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, and socioeconomic status. The New York Times offers suggestions on how to create inclusive workplace environments.
Most human resources professionals do not set out on this degree path with the intention of becoming politicians, yet most of them find that human resources requires some similar skill sets. They have to explain a lot of complex information to a wide variety of audiences, and they are consistently tasked with getting large groups of reluctant people to follow policies and procedures. They must therefore possess excellent communication skills. Great options for honing these skills include public relations, leadership, and speech and debate courses.
Business and Economics
As in integral part of the every day operation of their companies and organizations, the best human resource professionals have at least a base knowledge of business and economics. International business courses are especially valuable, as they increase one’s marketability to a global level. Human resources professionals are often involved in salary negotiations and disputes, so basic economics courses are an asset. The Huffington Post explains why it is good for all people to have a basic understanding of business moving into the work force.
Although human resources professionals work predominantly with humans they are no more exempt than anyone else from the increasing presence of technology. They use information management systems to document their work and keep track of their case loads. They communicate frequently via email and scheduling systems. They conduct internet research on a wide variety of topics. They are heavily involved with reviewing and processing employment applications, which is a fully online process now for most companies and organizations. Information systems and computer science courses are therefore valuable assets.
Not all human resources students are created equal. They each have unique skills and interests both within and in addition to human resources. The above electives are designed to help Bachelor’s in Human Resources students combine their diverse interest and broaden the knowledge and skills gained from core curriculum.