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So, You Think You Want a Career in Human Resources?

Here's How to Explore the Career Path Leading to an HR Job

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Many people are eager to start a career in Human Resources, as it is a fast-growing career field with many lucrative opportunities. Career analysts expect the number of Human Resources jobs to increase in the future and the median annual income for careers in Human Resources is above the national average.

For these reasons and more, you are probably wondering how to start a career in Human Resources of your own. You will find some useful information below that will guide you through the process.

1. How to Break Into a Career in Human Resources

runners breaking through a ribbon
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It's easier to break into a career in Human Resources if you plan your life, your education, and your work experience around qualifying for careers in HR. The income and opportunity prospects, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, are favorable for the next decade or two.

HR is a professional career that demands integrity, confidentiality, and a high level of interpersonal interaction capability from its practitioners. Increasingly, for a successful career in HR, you will also need business management, finance, and accounting education. You must be prepared to develop a deep understanding of the business your employer is engaged in to succeed in a career in HR.

2. How to Prepare for a Career in Human Resources

College degrees and more: prepare for a career in Human Resources.
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Liking people is not the only qualification for pursuing a career in Human Resources. It helps, but it is insufficient for success. HR jobs and careers continue to grow in sophistication and the expectations of employers increase every year. Employee development, employee retention, and a positive, motivating work environment are critical to business success.

3. Human Resources Job Prospects and Earnings

Your earning potential in Human Resources careers.
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Job prospects for various Human Resources positions vary by position but they range from growing as fast as the average of other occupations to growing faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

4. Transition to a Career in Human Resource Management

Transition to a career in Human Resources.
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People take widely divergent paths on their journey to working in Human Resource management. They enter HR management by luck and by design and they stay because they enjoy the work and the people. Common themes emerge when you listen to the stories people tell about their transition into HR management.

Readers share their stories about how they made the transition to HR and I have summarized some of their knowledge in this article. Read their transition stories and share your own transition path or add your HR story to this article below.

5. How Did You Transition to a Career in Human Resources Management?

Women share a business lunch discussing careers in Human Resources.
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One of the most frequent questions emailed to this Human Resources site asks how to make a career transition into careers in HR. Many people who work in Human Resources Management made a career transition to enter the HR field. Others planned an HR career from the beginning. Take a look. Readers share their HR career transition stories. Why not share yours?

6. Paths to Careers in Human Resources

Two business men discuss their career paths in HR.
Image Copyright Shelly Perry
People take many paths on their way to careers in Human Resources. Everyone has a story about how they planned for or transitioned into careers in HR. Won’t you take a few minutes and share your path to a career in Human Resources? Careers in HR are popular reading on this HR site. Any hints or helpful tips you can share will assist other readers.

7. Job Search Books for Grads

Job search books for careers in Human Resources.
Copyright Adams Media Corporation
Thinking about your current job search after graduation? These books will help you find your way. Learn about the job market. Translate your most important needs, interests, and goals into a rewarding career. Find techniques for a successful online and offline job search. These are my long term favorite job search, career planning, and career management books for grads.

8. Books for Job Seekers and Career Changers

Thinking about your current job search or a career change? These books will help you find your way. Learn about the job market. Translate your most important needs, interests, and goals into a rewarding career. Find techniques for a successful job search. These are my long term favorites. Gift a favorite person with the opportunity to explore their desired future.

9. Why Human Resources Leaders Need Degrees

Human Resources leaders need degrees. If you are considering a career in HR, or trying to advance your current career, a Bachelors degree, and even a Masters degree, will assist you to achieve your goals and dreams. Degrees have become more important in most fields, but nowhere has the shift occurred quite as dramatically as in HR.

As organizational expectations of the potential contributions of an HR pro have increased, the need for the HR leader to possess both experience and a degree has increased, too. In fact, a degree is becoming essential.

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