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Human Resource Jobs - Education, Options and Outlook
Human Resources is one of the hottest and fastest growing job sectors in the UK today. As a whole, the business world has come to the realization that recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce provides them with an edge in the national and global economies. Companies – both large and small – are investing in well developed HR departments to help them reach their recruitment and retention goals.
Breaking Into the HR Business
As the need for Human Resource staff has grown, so has the need for training and educating those wishing to enter this field. Because of this, universities across the UK have developed numerous HR educational paths. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificate programs are available for those interested in a HR career. Not every company requires such degrees, but because many are choosing this educational path, competition for HR jobs can be stiff. One way to break into the business with or without a degree is to work as a temp in a Human Resource office. This option will help bulk up a resume with relevant experience. If in school, internships in Human Resources will provide the perfect compliment for a degree. Keep in mind, most mid-level HR positions and higher will require a qualification from the Charter Institute of Personnel and Development – the professional organisation for the Human Resource sector. Such qualifications can be obtained while working an entry level HR position.
Being General or Specific
There are basically two career paths within the HR field. Human Resource Generalists should be competent in all areas of employee relations. Generalists are often hired by larger firms to fill in gaps in the HR department as they arise, or are hired by smaller firms to handle all the HR needs. Human Resource Specialists are specifically trained in one or two specialties – the most common of which are recruitment, training, benefits and payroll. All positions require excellent interpersonal and analytical skills.
The need for Human Resource professionals is expected to grow at a faster rate than the average career over the next 7-10 years. This is no doubt excellent news for those wishing to enter the HR field. But, as educational programs expand and continue to churn out well-trained Human Resource professionals, competition for such positions will be tough. Certain specialties, such as training, could be in high demand as constantly changing technology will require companies to offer on-going employee training.