4 Ideas for Professional Development in Human Resources

human resources professional standing in front of group and speaking while gesturing with hands
Category: Industry Insights

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The human resources field is always evolving; that’s one reason why it can be so interesting. As an HR professional, it’s your responsibility to stay up to date with the latest regulations, laws and industry trends to ensure compliance with local and federal guidelines. It’s also helpful when navigating the complex personalities that you’ll be working with in your day-to-day office life.

There are numerous proactive strategies to develop your HR career, whether you want to become more prominent in your organization, earn a promotion, gain leadership experience, or just increase your personal knowledge. In this article, we outline four quick ideas for professional development in human resources.

1. Graduate Degrees and Certifications

Focusing on your education is an effective way to advance your career. The value of academic degrees and HR certifications is recognized by peers, employees, educational institutions, and corporations.

Adding a Master of Business Administration to your resume is one method to explore the field in an open and constructive learning environment. An MBA can provide you with the necessary abilities, such as advanced finance and business analysis, to help you succeed in an executive role. It will also prepare you to become an expert in your sector, ensuring that you have a handle on the contemporary business environment and understand how to provide HR services to those who operate in it.

2. Conferences

Conferences – both in-person and virtual – are valuable for multiple reasons. They can expand your knowledge of human resources, presenting you with news, strategies, and changes in the industry.

Sometimes conferences are even more valuable as opportunities to expand your professional network. HR networking can include asking for guidance or advice from a trusted mentor, or simply putting the word out that you’re open to new job opportunities. Even if you’re happy in your current position, there may come a time when you’re ready to call upon one of your colleagues that you met at a conference.

3. Newsletter Subscriptions

Another way to stay knowledgeable in the field is subscribing to industry newsletters. These newsletters are available from industry member groups, as well as publications devoted to human resources. Newsletters can typically be read in a matter of minutes, but they often contain valuable news and information that you can leverage to do your job just a little bit better, and thereby advance your career faster than before.

4. Performance Reviews

Finally, if your organization conducts performance reviews, use them as a professional development opportunity. Take them seriously and reflect on your supervisor’s feedback about your job performance.

If you’re not already in the routine of participating in performance reviews, that’s an opportunity to establish one. You may want to ask for a formal review, or you may prefer to approach it as a request for a more casual conversation. Either way, receiving constructive feedback from your superiors can help you decide which areas to focus on in your professional development.


Expanding upon your expertise, reflecting on advice from co-workers and mentors, and advancing your education can all set yourself up for success in your career.

Here at Columbia Southern University, we offer online degree programs in human resources at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. These degree programs include:

To learn more about all of our online learning options, visit our website.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes, and CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.