Do I Need a Human Resources Degree to Work in this Field?
There are varying levels of education required depending on the job classification in human resources. Here are general recommendations: For an administrative or entry level position, an associates or bachelor’s degree is highly desirable, although not all employers may require it. For an HR or mid-level specialist, a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business management is highly desirable. For management or director level, a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree is typically required for senior or management-level HR positions. A Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, awarded by the Human Resource Certification Institute, is also typically required at this level. The Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) exam is another credential that may be required. Both the SPHR and SHRM credentials are multiple-choice, computer-based exams given at designated testing centers which test knowledge of general HR practices and procedures. Most non-entry level HR jobs also require specialized knowledge of various HR software programs such as Kronos and PeopleSoft. Some employers may accept applicants with a well-rounded HR history and vast experience in lieu of education, but that’s the exception and not the rule.