How to Become a
HR Manager

by Barbara Mitchell, Managing Partner, The Mitchell Group

Learn more about human resource management degreesI’ve spent a great deal of my business career in the field of human resources (HR).  While I didn’t start out in the field, I migrated to it over time.  I started working for a very large corporation that had a management training program, so my first job out of college was in finance (and since I’d majored in history, this was a reach). However, it was a wonderful way to start in the business world. I learned how business operates from a financial and marketing perspective before I went into human resources. 

I was fortunate that I worked for a company that believed in developing its people so I was provided with a lot of on the job training and exposure to outside courses to prepare me for working in the HR field.  Today, having a degree in human resource management is almost a requirement and affordable options include online human resource degrees. The HR field has become extremely complex and compliance-driven so it is an asset to have a grounding in the field by studying all the components that make up the job of an HR manager and the HR field.

Today, having a degree in human resource management is almost a requirement and affordable...

Another way to approach the educational requirements of the HR field is to get a business or liberal arts degree and then get a masters degree in human resource management or a related field, or to complete a certificate program in HR where you are exposed to all the specific requirements of the field.

There is no right way to prepare for a career in HR but it is such an exciting and powerful place to be in today’s world!  HR is recognized by corporate leaders as a valued strategic partner in managing the business. This does not mean that one can give up all the tactical duties HR managers do on a daily basis. These include: ensuring the right people are hired and retained; paying people accurately and fairly; handling employee relations issues; negotiating the best benefits available and managing their delivery; creating development opportunities for employees, helping the organization to measure employee performance; complying with federal, state, and local laws; providing reward and recognition programs for employees; supplying accurate information to the leadership to help make strategic decisions…and so much more.