What Can You Do with a Human Resources Degree? 6 Career Opportunities

split screen of four different HR professionals working

The first step after earning a Human Resources degree might seem pretty straightforward—find a job in an HR department somewhere. But that’s quite the oversimplification of the potential options available to people with this educational background.

This field is focused on how a company can support the people it employs as they do their job, striking a balance between the needs of workers and employers. To do this involves drawing on fields like psychology and sociology, as well as law and risk management among others.

So how does an HR degree provide you with this knowledge? And what do alums of HR programs end up doing in their professional lives? We’ll take a closer look at 6 exciting career opportunities for people with a Human Resources degree.

What do you learn in an HR degree program?

On the most basic level, learning about human resources is learning about how individual people work within a larger organization.

Learning objectives of the Rasmussen College Human Resources and Organizational Leadership program include employment law, ethics and decision-making, risk management, recruitment and selection of employees, diversity, compensation and benefits and performance management. Students leave the program with the ability to apply this theoretical framework to challenges in the workplace.

Graduating with a degree in Human Resources equips students with a breadth of knowledge on the law and ethics governing the contemporary workplace, as well theoretical and practical experience with leadership and diversity. These are widely applicable even outside of traditional role in human resources. If a graduate does want to continue in the field of HR, here are 6 possible paths they may take after completing their degree.

6 Human Resources roles you could land with a degree

The broad training included in a human resources degree program prepares graduates for a variety of roles. Learn more about six common HR careers for degree holders.

1. Human resources generalist

Human resource generalists are non-specialized human resource workers. This means an HR generalist takes on a wide range of projects to ensure all the needs of a human resource department are met rather than focusing on just one area such as training or recruiting.

If you are interested in a very dynamic role within an organization with the opportunity to further explore multiple aspects of human resources, the position of human resource generalist may be a good fit. HR generalists are more often employed at smaller organizations more equipped to hire a single HR employee with a wide range of skills rather than multiple highly specialized HR workers.

2. Human resources manager

Human resource managers oversee the human resource operations of an organization. Human resource managers are leaders within their organization, many overseeing HR department staff made up of HR specialists or generalists.

Human resource managers help an organization attract, motivate, and retain the most qualified employees. Their work includes developing and overseeing employee benefit programs, advising leadership on equal employment and sexual harassment, collaborating on recruitment, interviewing, selection and hiring process, and mediating workplace disputes and disciplinary procedures.

3. Recruiter

When an organization needs to fill a position, they will often turn to their recruiter to manage the hiring process. Recruiters may work within a large organization, as headhunters, or for a recruitment firm. A recruiter’s job is to find the most qualified and best suited employee to fill an open position.

Recruiters have the complex and dynamic task of identifying the strengths of potential employees and matching them to the needs and culture of an organization. 

4. Compensation specialist

Many roles within HR work directly with people. On the more technical end of HR is the compensation specialist who researches and analyses compensation and benefits policies and plans. Compensation specialists are valuable members of an organization with significant impact on the lives of employees.

Working as compensation specialists requires technical and strong critical thinking skills. Compensation specialists are responsible for ensuring that an organization complies with state and federal laws and regulations around pay practices.

5. Talent acquisition specialist

Like recruiters, talent acquisition specialists bring new employees into an organization. However, a talent acquisition specialist is interested in shaping the culture of an organization rather than focusing on a specific employee for a specific job.

Talent acquisition specialists are able to strengthen the organization by creating a strategic plan to add new perspectives and diverse skillsets to a company. Talent acquisition specialists are interested in the long term health and success of an organization by identifying and bringing in leaders and innovators within the field.

6. Training and development coordinator

Training and development coordinators organize and administer programs for employees to refine the skills and knowledge needed in their field. Training and development coordinators need to research the training and development needs of their organization and then develop strategies, courses, and materials to meet those needs.

Training and development coordinators require a high level of technological fluency as most training and development programs are completed online. Training and development coordinators have the important task of making sure employees of an organization are up to date with the latest advancements in their field.

What will you do with your human resources degree?

There are many paths for graduates with a degree in HR. Whether you are interested in a career focused on research and analysis or want to work on reshaping the culture of an organization, a degree in HR can help you achieve a wide variety of professional goals. Learn more about educational options in Human Resources and Organizational Leadership.

About the author

Anjali Stenquist

Anjali Stenquist is a content writer for Collegis Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about helping students of all backgrounds navigate higher education.

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This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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