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What coursework should I pursue to prepare for a career in HR?

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

I’m studying for a bachelor’s degree in business administration. I’ve been considering an HR career once I graduate. Beyond my biz ad requirements, what kinds of courses should I take in my junior and senior years to help me qualify for an HR position?—E.B. in New York

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris June 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I agree with LaToya in that it is important to understand the psychological aspects of HR. My suggestion would be to research a master’s degree in I/O (Industrial/Organizational) Psychology. This field deals with courses that address performance appraisals, motivation and training, legal and organizational issues, job descriptions, personnel selection and testing, work attitudes, and leadership. One word of caution – this will be a very rigorous program that requires a thesis (especially difficult if you do not have a background in psychology) but it is typically less than a 40 hour degree program and you will be extremely prepared to handle HR and consulting work.


Mattie May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I would concentrate on employment law and strategic manangement; as these are becoming big issues in the HR field today due to the ecomony with layoffs, furloughs and organizational restructuring. Most of the HR adminsitrative fucntions of days past are becoming automated and HR professionals are becoming more of a strategic partner in the company. Focusing on what part of HR you want to be in; benefits, compensation, etc. will guide your course studies as well. Prepare to get your certification as well PHR or SPHR.


LaToya M. Davidson May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I certainly think that having a business background helps. I would say that courses that deal with managing people not just the financial but the psychological aspects are key. It adds diversity to your educational background. Examples of courses (from Florida State University) include Foundations Adult Education & HRD; Analytical Applications Human Resource Management, Training, and Development; Program Leadership Development; and Adult Learning and Development. I think just about coursework in the realm of Education and/or Policy are definite pluses.


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