How to Become a Human Resources Specialist
How Long Does It Take to Become a Human Resource Specialist?
Human Resources Education Requirements
5 Steps to Becoming an HR Specialist
In a single HR department, you may find a specialist with an MBA and one with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Alternatively, one may kick start their career as an HR assistant, or work as a line manager at a large company before moving onto an HR specialist role. From recent graduates to chief officers, the HR field is full of professionals with different levels of education and expertise.
So, how do you get into human resources? There is no conventional path to become an HR specialist but the SHRM suggests a few typical steps for those considering a career in this field:
- Select HR as your Major
Completing an undergraduate degree program in HR can help you to build foundational knowledge in the field. If an HR major is unavailable at your desired school, you may want to look into earning a business degree with a concentration in HR or pursuing a field of study related to employment relations or organizational behavior.
- Expand your Network
There are a number of ways to grow your list of HR contacts. You can connect with aspiring HR specialists in your class or reach out to HR professionals from your school’s alumni network. Obtaining student membership from a relevant professional organization like the SHRM or the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMAHR), is another option. Most membership-based associations offer industry networking events multiple times a year and have regional chapters.
- Gain Experience through Internships
Experiential learning is critical to a career in HR and internships may provide that. If you’re currently working in another field and you’re considering a career shift, you can volunteer to serve as HR liaison for your department to get some hands-on experience.
- Apply for an HR Job
Seek job opportunities that align with your career goals, interests and experience. Some companies may come to campus and recruit recent college graduates for training programs and entry-level HR roles.
- Advance your Career
You can earn a graduate degree related to HR or ascend to higher level positions through promotion. Consider attending an HR leadership development program or earning a certification. Whether you’re new to the field or have years of experience, make positive contributions to your team.
As stated earlier, the HR career field is quite versatile. Regardless of the path you take to become an HR professional, having transferable skills and a strong work ethic can help you day to day.