How to Begin a Career in Human Resources
Human Resources careers are more popular than ever before. Offering a wide array of lucrative positions, the field is growing fast. Experts predict the number of Human Resources jobs to explode over the next decade. It's no wonder so many people are getting into this exciting field now!
If you're curious about how to begin a career in Human Resources, you've come to the right place. Here's our primer on launching your new vocation:
Understand the Role
Before you begin down the Human Resources career path, it helps to better understand the role you'll ultimately play in such a field. HR is all about helping people work together in an efficient, respectful manner. Specialists in this field are often tasked with recruiting new employees to their company. Beyond screening and interviewing candidates, HR professionals also manage payroll, training opportunities, and other employee relations.
The average daily duties of a Human Resources professional can vary greatly. On Monday, you might consult with your employer to identify the preferred qualifications for the new hire you're interviewing. On Tuesday, you could be resolving a conflict between a manager and their team. Later in the week, you might be planning your company's annual Christmas party. When it comes to the duties handled by Human Resources departments, the sky's the limit.
Learn the Trade
As you learn how to begin a career in Human Resources, you may be inclined to go back to school. Many Human Resources professionals earn their associates, bachelors or masters degree before seeking a job in the field. A degree in Human Resources will certainly give you more options and a higher rate of compensation, but formal education is not required for most entry-level positions.
The accessibility of Human Resources is what draws so many professionals to the field. You can learn the trade while earning a living in an entry-level role. Should you fall in love with the work, you may opt to return to school or become certified in your specific area of HR. The flexibility and low barrier of entry makes HR appealing to professionals of all backgrounds and education levels.
Certifications help prove your mastery of Human Resources best practices. The official stamp of certification can lend serious gravitas to your resume and help you negotiate a higher wage. While certification is not required for most entry-level HR positions, it can give your career a much-needed boost after a few years in the field.
The Human Resources Certification Institute offers a number of certificates for HR professionals. Those at the beginning of their careers may opt to pursue their Associate Professional in Human Resourcesâ„¢ certificate. No HR experience is required, and anyone with a high school diploma is eligible to take the exam. Additional HRCI certification opportunities are available for every level of HR, from entry level to the most senior professional.
Certification can indeed bolster your new career in Human Resources, but these tests shouldn't be taken on a whim. HRCI exams demand thorough preparation. Whether you're currently enrolled in HR training courses or are learning on the job, it's important to study and take a few HRCI practice tests ahead of the real exam. Registration for these tests can be expensive, so passing on your first attempt is crucial.
Begin Job Hunting
As you begin searching for the perfect Human Resources job, keep your goals in mind. Decide early on in your career whether you aspire to become a specialist or a generalist. The sooner you make the choice, the more efficient you can be with your training, education, and certification.
Specialists work on dedicated tasks like hiring or training. If you enjoy one specific aspect of Human Resources work above others, you may want to pursue a specialist career track. It may take a year or two of generalist work for you to determine which specialty you favor. Once you've found your niche, you can calibrate your next steps to align your education and certification goals with your dream career path.
Generalists are proficient in a number of Human Resources specialties. They often work hand in hand with their specialist counterparts to ensure successful onboarding programs and training opportunities to staff. The daily duties of a generalist will vary more than those of a Human Resources specialist, so if you prefer to wear many different hats, this might be the track for you.
Leverage Exam Edge Resources for Your HR Career
A career in Human Resources can lead down many fascinating, winding roads. No matter your professional goals, Exam Edge can help you prepare for the certification tests necessary to advance. Our Human Resources Certification Institute practice tests are the ideal way to identify blind spots in your professional knowledge while familiarizing yourself with the format and pacing of the exam. You can begin preparing right now with a free sample practice exam!