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What is Human Resources Management?

The role of a human resources manager is to ensure that a company’s human capital is managed efficiently and effectively, while complying with all relevant laws and regulations. They supervise many HR tasks including developing personnel policies, maintaining employee records, implementing training programs, and more.

A good human resources manager should have excellent organizational skills so they can keep on top of all the demands placed upon them by their employer. They also need strong communication abilities so that they can work with different personalities at all levels within the company. Above all else they need to understand the principles of managing people in order to get the best out of their workforce.

HR managers must be aware of current labor law regulations concerning wages, hours worked, and safety conditions in order to comply with government requirements. They are responsible for ensuring that employees are paid correctly and that any health or safety concerns raised by staff members are addressed appropriately in accordance with current legal regulations.

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Online Human Resources Management Education in Illinois

Human resources management degree programs offer a variety of courses to prepare students for successful careers in the field. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in HR management, with options to specialize in areas such as recruitment, compensation, employee relations, training and development, labor relations, performance management, and organizational development. In addition to core classes that provide an overview of human resources principles, students may take courses such as employment law, organizational behavior, or accounting for managers.

In most cases, undergraduate students enrolled in HR management degree programs can expect to complete general education requirements in addition to major-specific coursework. Commonly offered courses include principles of management, labor economics, industrial psychology, labor relations, employee benefits administration, personnel selection techniques, training and development techniques, financial management for human resources professionals or human resource specialists, leadership theory and practice, and collective bargaining procedures. Graduate-level HR management programs may also require students to complete a research project or internship prior to graduation. Those looking for human resource management schools or colleges or universities offering a human resource management major might consider Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, Concordia University, Rasmussen University, McKendree University, others in the Illinois University System, and various schools across the state. If your local community college doesn't have HR majors as an option, you might look for degrees in business administration, which can help you find your way into roles as employee relations specialists, human resource specialists, and other management positions that can prepare you to work in the HR field.

Online Associate Degree in Human Resources Management (AS)

An associate degree in human resources management provides students with a foundational knowledge of the HR field, including labor relations and employment law. Courses may cover topics such as organizational behavior, compensation management, recruitment and selection processes, benefits administration, employee rights and responsibilities, and ethics in the workplace. Graduates can pursue entry-level positions within the HR field or continue their education to earn a higher degree.

The curriculum for an associate degree in human resource management may also include general education classes, such as math and English composition. To complete this degree program successfully, students may need to complete 60 credit hours of coursework over two years or less. Many schools provide online courses that allow working professionals to take classes at their own convenience. Completing an associate degree in human resource management is beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career in this field; it also serves as a steppingstone for those who wish to further their studies by earning a bachelor’s degree in human resource management.

Online Bachelors Degree in Human Resources Management (BS)

A bachelor's degree in human resources management provides students with a comprehensive understanding of personnel policies and procedures, recruitment methods and onboarding processes, employee relations, compliance issues, training and development strategies, international HR management practices, and compensation systems. This degree’s curriculum usually also teaches students the basics of organizational behavior, business communication skills, and labor laws. Graduates from these programs will be prepared to take on roles such as human resources manager or specialist in various of businesses and organizations.

In addition to core HR courses, many programs require students to complete related electives such as psychology or sociology. These classes can help them gain an understanding of how individuals interact in teams and organizations so they can better manage personnel-related tasks. Other common course topics include job analysis techniques, employment law, performance management practices, and corporate social responsibility initiatives for working with diverse groups. Students may also learn about data analytics that can be used to inform hiring decisions or support other workplace initiatives.

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Online Masters Degree in Human Resources Management (MS)

A master’s degree in human resources management prepares students for leadership positions in the field of human resource management. Coursework generally includes topics such as organizational behavior, labor relations, personnel law and policy, compensation and benefits, recruiting strategies, and diversity training. Graduates of a master’s program are qualified to work in HR departments at both large and small companies.

The curriculum for this field focuses on developing skills in areas such as coaching, problem solving, decision-making, communication, and effective team building. Students should also learn how to develop corporate policies that ensure compliance with employment law. Additionally, they gain an understanding of how to manage employee recruitment processes while staying within budget constraints. By the end of their program, graduates should understand how to structure employee compensation packages that are competitive yet cost efficient for their organization, and some schools, in addition to core coursework, may offer specialized tracks or concentrations, such as international human resource management or business analytics for HR professionals. Many schools also offer internship possibilities which allow students to apply their learning in real world settings while gaining valuable experience before entering the job market after graduation.

Online PhD Degree in Human Resources Management (PhD)

A PhD in human resource management is a research-based degree program that focuses on the study of workplace behavior and organizational dynamics. It provides students with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage employee performance and develop strategies for organizational success. These programs typically include courses in labor relations, compensation, staffing, training and development, recruitment, legal issues related to the workplace, and strategic human resource management.

Doctoral students enrolled in an HRM program learn to implement effective policies that improve employee morale and productivity while also providing guidance on how their organization should handle any potential conflicts with employees or external stakeholders. They may also gain insight into leading practices for managing diversity within an organization as well as understanding current trends in the field of HRM. Through rigorous coursework in topics such as leadership development, job design theory, change management theory, conflict resolution theory, global talent management practices, and data analytics for decision making doctoral students obtain a deep understanding of how people are managed within organizations.

Online Human Resource Management Certifications

Human resource management certifications are important for those seeking to advance their careers in this field. These certifications can provide a competitive edge when competing for senior-level positions, higher salaries, and job promotions. Some of the most popular HRM certifications include Professional Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR). Both of these certifications are provided by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). To earn either certification, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as employment law, labor relations, compensation management, recruitment processes, and training and development. Additionally, there are other certifications available from organizations such as The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which offer courses on strategic HR management, global human resources policies and procedures, performance management and analytics, leadership development, and coaching skills.

Furthermore, some HR departments may require more specialized certificates, such as Talent Acquisition certification or Workforce Planning certification, to be eligible for specific roles within their organization. In order to stay up to date with industry trends and best practices related to human resource management, it’s important for professionals to continuously seek out continuing education opportunities.

Become a Human Resources Manager in Illinois

  • Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources

    The foundational education for HRM is in the form of a bachelor’s degree. Most undergraduate programs cover topics such as labor relations, employment practices, staffing considerations, recruiting strategies, and more. Typically, students will spend four years completing an accredited program and must maintain a GPA 3.0 or higher during the course work to qualify for graduation.

  • Step 2: Take Advantage of any Relevant Internships or Work Experience

    Having internships or relevant work experience while attending college can give you an added advantage when applying for jobs in human resources beyond the completion of your degree program. Internships are important because they provide hands-on experience related to everything from recruitment processes to employee relations operations. They also offer insight into employer expectations within different organizations and industries.

  • Step 3: Gain Advanced Human Resource Certifications

    An advanced human resource certification can help increase your employability in HR management roles by validating your skillset with current knowledge of both objective principles and methods currently used by employers in business sectors worldwide. Several certifications are available depending on area of specialty from global organizations such International Personnel Management Association (IPMA), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), or Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR).

  • Step 4: Develop Your Networking Skills

    In addition to successfully completing higher education degrees and acquiring professional certifications, it’s important that prospective human resources managers develop their soft skillsets which include interpersonal communication abilities as well as effective networking techniques inside their chosen fields if they wish to advance within their career pathways. This involves making contacts with other professionals across every field within your areas of expertise by strategically building relationships through personal meetings or conferences with influential people within industry sectors that will be most influential when seeking potential job opportunities within human resource management capacities.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Human Resources Management?

A bachelor's degree in human resource management is an excellent choice for students interested in starting a career in human resources and having the chance to move up within the field. It provides the skills and knowledge necessary to manage employee relations, compensation, benefits, recruitment, and training. With such a degree, you will be able to apply your knowledge to various HR positions within a business or organization.

In addition to the traditional roles of an HR manager such as recruitment, payroll, and training management, you can also find specialized positions with a bachelor's degree in human resources management. These include diversity and inclusion consultants who help businesses create policies that promote equality and acceptance at work, organizational development specialists who design systems for effective management of employees, and labor relations managers who handle labor disputes between employers and workers. You may also have the opportunity to pursue higher-level roles within human resources management if you gain additional experience or expertise after obtaining your bachelor's degree. For instance, you could become an HR director responsible for overseeing all aspects of HR operations within a company or organization or move into executive leadership roles such as vice president of human resources, where you might be responsible for strategic planning across departments.

Potential Careers for Human Resources Management Graduates

  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

    Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers are responsible for answering emergency calls and dispatching the appropriate personnel and equipment to the scene. Dispatchers must possess strong communication and organizational skills as they are responsible for relaying information quickly and accurately.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Previous experience in a related role is preferred
    • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
    • Ability to remain calm in high-pressure

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for public safety telecommunicators in the US in 2021 was $46,670
    • The mean annual wage for public safety telecommunicators in Illinois is $54,140
  • Human Resource Assistant (Except Payroll and Timekeeping):

    A human resource assistant is responsible for providing direct support to the human resources department on a variety of personnel matters.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in human resources or related field
    • Prior experience in an HR role preferred
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping in the US in 2021 was $44,840
    • The mean annual wage for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping in Illinois is $41,400
  • Lodging Manager:

    A lodging manager may be responsible for the management of a lodging property such as a hotel, resort, or bed and breakfast.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or related field
    • Proven experience in a managerial role in the hospitality industry
    • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
    • Good organizational, problem-solving, and time-management skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for lodging managers in the US in 2021 was $59,430
    • The mean annual wage for lodging managers is $61,010
  • Labor Relations Specialist:

    A labor relations specialist is responsible for developing strategies to foster productive relationships between employers, employee unions, and workers. Their tasks include conducting collective bargaining negotiations, drawing up contracts, analyzing changes in labor regulations and laws, mediating labor disputes, consulting on compensation issues, and serving as a point person for relevant administrative tasks associated with hiring and firing. Additionally, they help resolve claims regarding employee rights abuses or grievances according to applicable regulations or court rulings.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or a related field
    • 5+ years of experience in labor relations or human resources

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for labor relations specialists in the US in 2021 was $77,010
    • The mean annual wage for labor relations specialists is $61,840
  • Chief Executive:

    A chief executive is a key figure in any given organization, as they have wide-ranging responsibilities when it comes to ensuring the success of the firm. Becoming a successful chief executive is no easy feat as it requires immense commitment and dedication.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field
    • Proven experience in leadership roles
    • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
    • Strong financial acumen and management expertise
    • Ability to think strategically and make decisions quickly

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for chief executives in the US in 2021 was $213,020
    • The mean annual wage for chief executives is $244,390
  • Receptionist and Information Clerk:

    Receptionists and information clerks provide customer service by greeting visitors to an organization, answering questions, providing information, and completing administrative tasks.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Proven customer service experience
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to multitask and maintain a pleasant demeanor

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for receptionists and information clerks in the US in 2021 was $32,910
    • The mean annual wage for receptionists and information clerks is $33,370
  • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (not legal):

    Secretaries and administrative assistants are essential to any workplace, providing organizational and managerial support that makes businesses run smoothly. If you’re thinking about making the switch to this in-demand and increasingly technology-driven field, then it’s important to know what skills you need and where you can look for jobs.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Prior experience in an administrative role preferred
    • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook)

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for secretaries and administrative assistants in the US in 2021 was $39,680
    • The mean annual wage for legal secretaries and administrative assistants is $43,370
  • Public Relations Managers:

    A public relations manager is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with the media and other stakeholders to enhance the company’s reputation and visibility.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in communication, public relations, journalism or related field
    • Proven experience as a public relations manager or similar role
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers in the US in 2021 was $119,860
    • The mean annual wage for public relations managers is $130,810

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