• Find a bachelor's degree

    Bachelors Degree Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

If you’re inter­est­ed in busi­ness and work­ing with peo­ple, you may find your­self won­der­ing, “is human resources a good career?” If you’ve ever worked in a large com­pa­ny, you under­stand why human resources is impor­tant. The field is always grow­ing and chang­ing as researchers learn more about what makes a com­fort­able, pro­duc­tive work­place. If you’re won­der­ing, “what can I do with a human resources degree?” you’ll find that there are many options in the field. 

Is Human Resources a Good Career?

For peo­ple who have not worked with a large orga­ni­za­tion before, it makes sense to won­der what is the def­i­n­i­tion of human resources, or what is the pur­pose of human resources. The answer is sim­ple: human resources is the depart­ment of a com­pa­ny that deals with per­son­nel hir­ing, train­ing, pay­roll, and admin­is­tra­tion. The answers to the ques­tions of what is the def­i­n­i­tion of human resources and what is the pur­pose of human resources can dif­fer from com­pa­ny to com­pa­ny and may change as the com­pa­ny grows. 

One of the most excit­ing things about why human resources is a good career is the fact that all large orga­ni­za­tions need a human resources depart­ment. This means that peo­ple who work in human resources have near­ly end­less career options, and can work with com­pa­nies that meet oth­er inter­ests. For exam­ple, if you love work­ing in health, the human resources depart­ment of a hos­pi­tal may be a good fit for you. Love edu­ca­tion? The human resources depart­ment of a school dis­trict could be a good match. When you’re won­der­ing, “is human resources man­age­ment a good career?” remem­ber that one of the most excit­ing things about work­ing in human resources man­age­ment is the abil­i­ty to choose the envi­ron­ment that’s the best fit for your interests. 

In addi­tion to being able to pick and choose indus­tries that inter­est you, there’s also much room for advance­ment in human resources. Whether you choose to stay with one com­pa­ny as it grows or move between jobs as a way to keep things fresh, human resources depart­ments grow with com­pa­nies. This means that there are always new human resources posi­tions open­ing up, and it’s unlike­ly that there will be a short­age of human resources jobs in the fore­see­able future. 

There are many rea­sons why human resources is impor­tant — the depart­ment allows a com­pa­ny to run smooth­ly and ensure that per­son­nel have every­thing they need to work effi­cient­ly. If you’re won­der­ing is human resources a good career, or is human resources man­age­ment a good career, the answer is a resound­ing yes. If you enjoy work­ing with peo­ple, and appre­ci­ate pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, start­ing the edu­ca­tion you need to pur­sue a path in the human resources career field is a smart move. 

Now that you under­stand the answer to why is human resources impor­tant and why human resources is a good career, you may be won­der­ing what major is human resources. There are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent majors that can pro­vide the edu­ca­tion nec­es­sary for a human resources career, includ­ing human resources man­age­ment, psy­chol­o­gy, busi­ness, finance, and more. The answer to what major is human resources can depend on your indus­try. For exam­ple, a social ser­vices com­pa­ny may pre­fer a human resources pro­fes­sion­al with a psy­chol­o­gy back­ground, while a chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­ny may pre­fer a human resources pro­fes­sion­al with a sci­en­tif­ic background. 

The answer to why is human resources impor­tant is clear: the field helps com­pa­nies grow their pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and keep employ­ees hap­py, which can go a long way in retain­ing tal­ent. Let’s take a look at the answer to the ques­tions of how to make sure your school is a good fit for your human resources career, the dif­fer­ent options when it comes to human resources degrees, and a more in-depth answer to the ques­tion of, “what can I do with a human resources degree?”

Accreditation for Human Resources Programs

When you’re search­ing for the right school for your human resources edu­ca­tion, you’ll want to be sure that you choose an accred­it­ed pro­gram. An accred­it­ed pro­gram has been reviewed and approved by a gov­ern­ing body, and accred­i­ta­tion is a sign to future employ­ers that you’ve com­plet­ed a well-round­ed pro­gram that has ful­ly pre­pared you to take on the respon­si­bil­i­ties of work­ing in a human resources department. 

When you’re look­ing for an accred­it­ed online human resources degree, you’ll want to be sure that your pro­gram has been accred­it­ed by either ICE (Insti­tute for Cre­den­tial­ing Excel­lence) or IAS (Inter­na­tion­al Accred­i­ta­tion Ser­vice). When you’re search­ing for accred­it­ed human resources degrees online, you should be able to find infor­ma­tion on accred­i­ta­tions on the school’s web­site. Don’t hes­i­tate to reach out to the advi­sor of your accred­it­ed online human resources degree pro­gram to get more infor­ma­tion about the school’s credentials. 

If you already have your sights set on a future job, you may want to talk with the com­pa­ny to find out what type of accred­it­ed human resources degrees online they accept. This may help you nar­row down which school makes the most sense for you. 

Types of Human Resources Degrees

When you start think­ing about earn­ing your human resources bach­e­lor’s degree online, you may feel over­whelmed at the options avail­able to you. There are many dif­fer­ent spe­cial­iza­tions when you earn your online bach­e­lor’s degree in human resources, and it can be hard to decide what the best degree for human resources is for your needs and inter­ests. Let’s take a look at some infor­ma­tion on dif­fer­ent options when you earn your online bach­e­lor’s degree in human resources.

When you’re think­ing about get­ting into the field by earn­ing your human resources bach­e­lor’s degree online, you may be won­der­ing, “what is a degree in human resources?” The field of human resources can vary wide­ly across indus­tries, and the answer to the ques­tion of what degree is need­ed to become a human resource man­ag­er can be very dif­fer­ent from com­pa­ny to com­pa­ny. When you’re search­ing for the best degree for human resources, you’ll want to keep your future career goals in mind so that you can find the best degrees for human resources that align well with your future goals. 

When you’re search­ing for answers to the ques­tion of what is a degree in human resources, you’ll find that you come across many answers for the best degrees for human resources. While human resources man­age­ment can be a great option for get­ting into the field, major­ing in oth­er soft sci­ence fields can also be a great way to get a start with the best degree for human resources career. If you choose to major in human resources man­age­ment (because you want to choose what degree is need­ed to become a human resource man­ag­er), you’ll be able to con­cen­trate in sev­er­al areas that will set you up for suc­cess in your career goals. 

There are many dif­fer­ent areas in which you’ll be able to focus while you’re earn­ing one of the best degrees for human resources, including:

  • Human resources com­put­er appli­ca­tions and sys­tems — Many human resources pro­grams depend large­ly on com­put­er sys­tems in order to run effi­cient­ly. These sys­tems are con­stant­ly chang­ing, and many com­pa­nies are search­ing for human resources pro­fes­sion­als who are up to date on the lat­est tech­nolo­gies in the field. 
  • Ethics and social issues in human resources — Hir­ing is not always as sim­ple as pick­ing some­one from a stack of resumes, and the choice to let some­one go from the work­place is always dif­fi­cult as well. There are many ethics and social issues that come into play in human resources, and peo­ple who con­cen­trate in this area can be an asset in help­ing their future employ­er fig­ure out tough situations. 
  • Orga­ni­za­tion­al devel­op­ment — Com­pa­nies grow over time, and a human resources pro­fes­sion­al who under­stands orga­ni­za­tion­al devel­op­ment can help orga­ni­za­tions make per­son­nel deci­sions that make sense for their growth tra­jec­to­ry. Hav­ing a clear pic­ture of human resources needs can save a com­pa­ny mon­ey and time as it grows. 
  • Indus­tri­al and orga­ni­za­tion­al (I/O) psy­chol­o­gy — Under­stand­ing how peo­ple work, how they’re moti­vat­ed, and why they make cer­tain deci­sions in the work­place involves com­plex psy­cho­log­i­cal con­cepts. When you study I/O psy­chol­o­gy, you can help your employ­er under­stand how to push employ­ees to do more, how to help them feel val­ued, and how to bal­ance pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and work­place hap­pi­ness in a way that allows every­one to win. 
  • Man­age­ment the­o­ry — If you work in human resources, you’ll deal with peo­ple at all lev­els of the com­pa­ny. You may even be inter­est­ed in work­ing your way up to man­age­ment with­in the human resources depart­ment. A man­age­ment the­o­ry con­cen­tra­tion will give you the infor­ma­tion you need to under­stand how the behind-the-scenes aspects of man­age­ment work, and how to lead those under your juris­dic­tion to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in a com­fort­able, pleas­ant work­place environment. 

The answer to the ques­tion, “what is a human resources degree?” can be as indi­vid­ual as the peo­ple who are earn­ing the degrees. The best degrees for human resources for you will depend large­ly on what you’d like to do with your career in the long term. Now that you under­stand how to answer the ques­tion of, “what is a human resources degree?” let’s take a look at some of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tions you may want to pur­sue as you earn your bachelor’s. 

Human Resources Certifications 

In order to be seen as a seri­ous can­di­date for human resources posi­tions after you grad­u­ate, it’s impor­tant that you get cer­ti­fi­ca­tions for human resources. Get­ting a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in human resources shows that a gov­ern­ing body approves of your knowl­edge and skills in the field, and may show that you have a spe­cial­iza­tion in a par­tic­u­lar area of the human resources field. 

There are four main types of cer­ti­fi­ca­tions for human resources:

  • SHRM-CP — The Soci­ety for Human Resource Man­age­ment, or SHRM, is one of the pre­mier orga­ni­za­tions that pro­vide human resources cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The SHRM-CP cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in human resources is an entry-lev­el cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (the CP part of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stands for cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­al). This is an appro­pri­ate human resources cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for any pro­fes­sion­al who has com­plet­ed their bach­e­lor’s degree in human resources or a relat­ed field and is ready to break into the job scene.
  • PHR — The Pro­fes­sion­al in Human Resources cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, or PHR, is a sim­i­lar cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to the SHRM-CP. This is a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that shows that you under­stand the basics of human resources and are ready to han­dle the stan­dard work of an orga­ni­za­tion’s human resources depart­ment, includ­ing staffing, pay­roll, ben­e­fits, and more.
  • SHRM-SCP — Sim­i­lar to the SHRM-CP, The SHRM-SCP has an impor­tant dis­tinc­tion — this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is for a senior cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sion­al. This is an advanced cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that’s appro­pri­ate for human resources pro­fes­sion­als who are at the man­age­ment lev­el (or aspire to be at the man­age­ment lev­el) with­in their organization. 
  • SPHR — The SPHR is the Senior Pro­fes­sion­al in Human Resources cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, a step up from the PHR. This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is per­fect for pro­fes­sion­als who are ready to move into human resources man­age­ment, run­ning a depart­ment of entry-lev­el human resources professionals. 

If you’re look­ing for online cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for human resources, you’ll be glad to know that you’re often able to pre­pare and test from the com­fort of your own home. Prepar­ing for human resources online cer­ti­fi­ca­tions from the com­fort of your own home can be a great way to get ready for the test while still work­ing to advance your human resources career with­in your orga­ni­za­tion. Whether you choose to uti­lize test prep online cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for human resources direct­ly from the test­ing com­pa­ny, or if you pre­fer to uti­lize a pri­vate tutor for your human resources online cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, know that get­ting test prep is vital. While your bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram like­ly pre­pared you well for your human resources online cer­ti­fi­ca­tion test, a refresh­er in test prep meth­ods is impor­tant. You’ll want to be sure you pass your human resources online cer­ti­fi­ca­tions test on the first try, and going through a tough test prep pro­gram is the best way to give your­self a good shot at get­ting it right the first time. 

Careers in Human Resources

If you’re think­ing about human resources degree jobs, you prob­a­bly have many ques­tions, such as, “what does human resources man­age­ment do?” or “what is a human resources man­ag­er?” Let’s take a look at some fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions about jobs with a degree in human resources that are most pop­u­lar in orga­ni­za­tions today to give you an idea of what career path will make the most sense for you. 

What is human resources management?

Peo­ple who work in human resources man­age­ment are often respon­si­ble for the peo­ple who over­see billing, hir­ing, employ­ee issues, staffing, ben­e­fits, and more. The answer to the ques­tion of what does a human resources man­ag­er do can dif­fer from day to day, depend­ing on the needs of the human resources depart­ment in the organization. 

What is a human resources manager?

If you’re won­der­ing, “what is human resources man­age­ment?” or “what does human resources man­age­ment do?” it’s like­ly that you’re inter­est­ed in human resource degree jobs that allow you to man­age oth­ers. In order to get man­age­ment jobs with a human resources degree, you’ll want to look for an intern­ship while you’re earn­ing your bach­e­lor’s degree. Hav­ing this lev­el of expe­ri­ence under your belt before you grad­u­ate can help you get jobs with a degree in human resources at the man­age­ment level. 

What does a human resources pro­fes­sion­al do?

The answer to what does a human resources pro­fes­sion­al do can be dif­fer­ent than the answer to what does a human resources man­ag­er do. A human resources pro­fes­sion­al is more like­ly to be an entry-lev­el work­er who can effec­tive­ly man­age one aspect of the human resources depart­ment. A human resources pro­fes­sion­al may work as part of a larg­er team to pro­vide an orga­ni­za­tion with its human resources needs. 

What is a human resources specialist?

Won­der­ing, “what is a human resources spe­cial­ist?” The answer is sim­ple: this is a human resources pro­fes­sion­al who has exper­tise in a par­tic­u­lar area. Many human resources spe­cial­ists work in a tough-to-grasp area in an orga­ni­za­tion, such as employ­ee ben­e­fits. A human resources spe­cial­ist typ­i­cal­ly has exten­sive train­ing in one par­tic­u­lar facet of human resources. 

Why is human resource man­age­ment important?

If you’re won­der­ing, “why is human resources man­age­ment impor­tant?” it’s key to under­stand that human resource depart­ments take on many facets of keep­ing an orga­ni­za­tion run­ning smooth­ly. A human resource man­ag­er may spend their morn­ing brief­ing employ­ees on their new ben­e­fits, and the after­noon work­ing with a man­ag­er to decide whether to let an employ­ee go. The answer to why is human resource man­age­ment impor­tant comes down to the fact that human resources pro­fes­sion­als ensure that a busi­ness can run smooth­ly with hap­py employees. 

What are the best bach­e­lors in human resources jobs?

If you’re search­ing for jobs with a bach­e­lor’s in human resources, know that many orga­ni­za­tions are begin­ning to ful­ly grasp why human resource man­age­ment is impor­tant. As com­pa­nies under­stand the answer to why is human resource man­age­ment impor­tant, they often become more ded­i­cat­ed to find­ing peo­ple search­ing for jobs with a bach­e­lor’s in human resources. 

If there isn’t cur­rent­ly a large human resources depart­ment at your dream com­pa­ny, check back fre­quent­ly for bach­e­lor’s in human resources jobs. As the orga­ni­za­tion begins to under­stand why human resource man­age­ment is impor­tant, it’s pos­si­ble that they’ll expand their depart­ment. Many com­pa­nies that under­stand why human resources man­age­ment is impor­tant find that their cur­rent HR depart­ments are over­tasked and need to grow. 

Salary Expectations in Human Resources

The aver­age salary for human resource man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als is $67,000 per year. Human resource man­ag­er salaries can vary based on sev­er­al fac­tors, includ­ing cost of liv­ing in the area, expe­ri­ence, edu­ca­tion, time with the com­pa­ny, and more. The salary for human resource man­age­ment can be as low as $47,000 per year, or can near­ly reach $100,000. Human resource man­ag­er salaries can be large­ly per­for­mance-based, so it’s always a good idea to ask your man­ag­er what you can do bet­ter in your year­ly per­for­mance review in order to make it more like­ly that you’ll be at the high end of the salary range. 

Salaries for human resource man­age­ment can also improve based on the expe­ri­ence you acquire dur­ing your edu­ca­tion. This means that salaries for human resource man­age­ment may increase for peo­ple who have gone through human resources intern­ships while earn­ing their bach­e­lor’s degree. The salary of a human resource man­ag­er can vary great­ly, and it’s impor­tant to get expe­ri­ence to prove that you have what it takes to get the job done right. 

Now that you under­stand the salary of a human resource man­ag­er, let’s take a look at some pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions that you may want to join as you begin to ven­ture into the field of human resource management.

Professional Organizations in Human Resources Management

As a human resources pro­fes­sion­al, it’s a good idea to join pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions in order to net­work with oth­ers in your field. Belong­ing to a pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tion can also keep you updat­ed on the lat­est trends in the field, how to con­tin­ue your edu­ca­tion, and can let you know about up-and-com­ing job oppor­tu­ni­ties. You may also have the change to attend con­fer­ences with your pro­fes­sion­al organization(s), pro­vid­ing you with an immer­sive learn­ing and net­work­ing expe­ri­ence that can ben­e­fit you in your career for years to come. 

Some of the most pop­u­lar pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for peo­ple in the field of human resources include: 

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Human Resources

15 Best Online Bache­lor’s in Human Resources

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Human Resources

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Human Resources

15 Best Online Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Programs