FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus

What Can I Do With A Major In Human Resources Management?


Employee Relations
Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
Labor Relations
Selection and Placement
Occupational Safety
Equal Employment Opportunity
Diversity Issues
Policy Development



Financial institutions
Hotel, restaurant, and retail chains
Manufacturing firms
Hospitals and healthcare organizations
Educational institutions
Employment and staffing agencies
Professional employment organizations (PEOs)
Other medium and large size organizations
Nonprofit organizations
Labor unions
Federal government agencies including: Department of Labor, Employment Security Commission, Bureau of Labor
Local and state government agencies



Develop strong computer skills, especially with spreadsheets and databases.

Obtain internships in human resources. Develop presentation skills and conflict resolution abilities through coursework and activities. Cultivate strong analytical skills. Be willing to start in an entry-level human resources or benefits assistant position. Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance. Earn a graduate degree (MBA, masters, or law) to reach the highest levels of human resource management. Learn government application procedures. Complete a federal government internship program.


Industrial Training
Technology Training
Management Development
Performance Improvement
Organizational Change


Corporate universities
Consulting firms
Manufacturing companies
Retail and customer service industries
Restaurant and hotel chains
Business and industry training facilities
Educational institutions



Obtain related experience through internships and part-time or summer jobs.

Develop the ability to comprehend operational systems and to process new information quickly. Acquire current knowledge of issues in technology, industry, and business education through professional association journals. Develop solid knowledge of the content area being addressed in training. Be prepared to start working in another area of human resources before moving into a training position. Learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and compliance. Learn about International Organization for Standardization (ISO) criteria.



Volunteer Coordination



Community agencies
Healthcare organizations
Private foundations



Volunteer in community development projects or with an organization of interest.

Take on leadership roles in campus organizations. Learn how to administer a budget through coursework or volunteering. Develop planning skills. Obtain an internship in fund-raising or related field.



Arbitration and Mediation
Labor Relations
Employment Law



Law firms
Large corporations
Government agencies
Public interest legal agencies



Obtain a law degree.

Join a debate team and participate in mock trial.

Take courses in employment law, conflict management, and labor relations.

Gain experience with mediation.



Organizational Development
Assessment and Evaluation
Personnel Selection
Performance Appraisal
Job Analysis
Individual Development
Labor Relations



Consulting firms
Educational services
Colleges and universities
Private and public companies
Government agencies
Military research organizations
Test preparation companies



Double major or minor in psychology as an undergraduate. Earn a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Demonstrate strong interest in studying the behavior of people at work. Obtain internships in areas of organizational development. Conduct independent research study in areas of interest. Develop aptitude in statistical analysis and computers.


Be prepared to start in entry level positions within organizations and work up to positions of greater responsibility. Develop an area of expertise along the way.


Graduate education including MBA, MS, or JD qualifies one for higher salaries and positions with greater responsibility.


Obtain internships in an area of interest such as human resources, training, or organizational development.


Participate in related co-curricular activities and obtain leadership positions to broaden skills.


Successful human resource professionals are business-minded and well-rounded. Cultivate "hard skills" such as technology and statistics along with "soft skills" such as mediating and advising.


Develop excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.


Demonstrate a strong desire to work with people of various backgrounds and educational levels.


Learn desktop publishing and other software packages.


Become familiar with current business literature and news.


Join professional associations in field of interest, such as American Society for Training and Development, Society for Human Resource Management, American Management Association, Employment Management Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and others.


Become a member of the student organization, Association of Human Resource Development Students (AHRDS). Network with human resource managers through AHRDS meetings.


Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer