How Can You Specialize A Human Resources Degree?

Human ResourcesHuman resource management degrees make up some of the most widely sought after degree programs in the United States, especially with the ability to specialize a human resources degree. Human resources degrees offer opportunities in everything from large corporations to small non-profit businesses, allowing students to work in a field that interest them. While most HR degree programs focus largely on general human resource skills and concepts, programs that offer specialties allow you to better focus your degree program on areas of the field that interest you most.

Training and Development

Those who specialize in training and development focus their studies on ways to improve corporate effectiveness by increasing the skills of individual employees within a company. Those with this specialization often work with developing procedures and methods for training new staff members, and coordinating efforts for employee continuing education and advancement programs. They’re also responsible for monitoring and tracking employee progress and achievements, and counsel employees on what opportunities are available for advancement.

Compensation and Benefits

Human resource majors who focus on compensation and benefits learn the skills necessary to both explain and manage aspects of a corporation, such as health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, wages and any other financial or service benefits that are offered to employees within an organization. HR professionals who work in this field also ensure that employers are offering both voluntary benefits and state or federal required benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workforce Planning and Strategic Staffing

Many human resource professionals start their career in interviewing and recruiting. These fall under specializations like workforce planning or strategic staffing. In these specializations, students learn specific methods and procedures, including attracting talent to a corporation, selecting the right workers for the right positions and methods of retaining employees.

Labor Relations

When you specialize a human resources degree in labor relations, you focus more directly on working in industries with positions that are represented by unions. Sample skills learned include how to negotiate collective bargaining agreements, how to understand and interpret union contracts and how to efficiently communicate between labor unions, employees and corporate management. These individuals also play an integral role in resolving grievances between union-represented employees and management within a company.

Risk Management

Human resource students who specialize in risk management learn how to keep a workplace safe, as well as how to deal with accidents when they occur. Generally a risk management worker helps develop and administer health and safety programs. This includes tasks like conducting safety reviews and investigations, organizing safety teams and training and assisting employees in filling out and filing accident reports. Risk management professionals also fill out the necessary government paperwork necessary in regards to workplace accidents and compliance efforts to meet state and federal regulations within the industry worked in.

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With so many different ways to specialize your degree, you can open up a long list of opportunities in almost every field and interest area you can imagine. The types of specializations offered with a degree program will vary depending on the school. Check with your college adviser to see what ways you can specialize a human resources degree in your area.