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Human Resources Careers

Human Resources professionals are the lifelines of companies. They are the link between qualified job candidates and management. Along with handling such job functions as managing employee benefits, recruiting, interviewing and hiring personnel in accordance with company policy and need, they are also asked to consult with top executives and create strategic game plans for companies. It is a sign of the times, human resources professionals are asked to wear many hats and have moved from behind the curtain to playing a supportive role in a company’s personnel decisions and policies. The amount of training and education needed for a career in human resources is as varied as the many job descriptions and titles. Many employers seek college graduates when it comes to filling entry-level positions.

Most graduates have majors in human resources, personnel administration, or industrial and labor relations. However, college graduates with technical, business, or liberal arts backgrounds have also been able to break into the field of human resources and are preferred by some companies. Many colleges and universities either have programs leading to degrees in personnel, human resources and labor relations or they offer degree programs in personnel administration, human resources management, training and development or compensation and benefits. Those looking to become specialists should take courses in compensation, recruitment, training and development and performance appraisal. As in other fields knowledge and training are the keys to becoming marketable.

Business courses such as principles of management, organizational structure, and industrial psychology should also be considered along with any course that will improve your general knowledge of computers. Salary rates for human resource professionals are not constant since they are based on occupation, experience, training and education, location, size of the company and whether or not you belong to a union. In 2002 the median annual salary for human resources mangers was $64,710. The middle 50 percent of human resource professionals earned between $47,420 and $88,100 while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,280 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $114,300. With a constant flow of qualified college graduates and seasoned professionals navigating the job market there is indeed a level of competitiveness when it comes to careers in the field of human resources. On the bright side, the overall employment of human resources professionals, training and labor mangers and specialist is expected to grow between 21 and 35 percent, which is faster than average, through 2012. In fact certain specialists such as employment, recruitment and placement specialist may be in higher demand due to many companies increasing efforts to recruit and retain qualified employees.


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