Human resources, commonly known as HR, remains a fast-growing field, and in recent years has evolved beyond the department’s traditional role of recruiting and training new employees. Today, HR is deeply involved in the development of a company’s workforce culture and plays a role in ensuring efficiency from one department to the next.

A human resources degree can widen your path to a fulfilling career, and when thinking about what you can do with a degree in human resources, there are plenty of jobs you may be able to consider. Here we take a look at five career opportunities for a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management. 

What Is a Human Resources Degree?

A human resources degree combines foundational business training with essential interpersonal and soft skills needed to help employees grow and perform at the highest level within any organization. Human resources degree programs are offered at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, and many are aligned with curriculum set forth by the Society for Human Resource Management.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Human Resources Degree?

As HR takes a larger role in organizational decision-making, graduates have more opportunities to break into the industry. Here are five jobs you may be able to consider with a human resources degree:

1. Corporate trainer

The role of a corporate trainer falls under the category of training and development specialist, according to O*Net. Workers in this field “design or conduct work-related training and development programs to improve individual skills or organizational performance.”

Common responsibilities include:

  • Presenting information utilizing a variety of instructional techniques or formats, such as role-playing, simulations, team exercises, group discussions, videos, and lectures
  • Obtaining, organizing, or developing training procedure manuals, guides, or course materials, such as handouts or visual materials
  • Evaluating modes of training delivery, such as in-person or virtual, to optimize training effectiveness, training costs, or environmental impacts
  • Offering specific training programs to help workers maintain or improve job skills
  • Assessing training needs through surveys, interviews with employees, focus groups, or consultations with managers, instructors, or customer representatives

Critical skills needed to do the job include:

  • Instructing
  • Speaking
  • Active listening
  • Writing
  • Time management
  • Persuasion 

According to O*Net, 78% of jobs that fall under the category of Training and Development Specialist require a bachelor’s degree. Fewer than 10% require an associate degree or high school diploma.

2. Training and development coordinator

It takes a unique combination of hard and soft skills to oversee the planning and execution of training and development strategies within an organization.

As a training and development coordinator, your responsibilities may include:

  • Analyzing training needs to develop new training programs or modify and improve existing programs
  • Evaluating instructor performance and the effectiveness of training programs, providing recommendations for improvement
  • Planning, developing, and providing training and staff development programs, using knowledge of the effectiveness of methods such as classroom training, demonstrations, on-the-job training, meetings, conferences, and workshops
  • Preparing a training budget for a department or organization
  • Conferring with management and conducting surveys to identify training needs based on projected production processes, changes, and other factors

Critical skills you’ll need to do the job include:

  • Instructing
  • Active listening
  • Writing
  • Time management
  • Management of financial resources
  • Management of personnel resources 

According to O*Net, more than 50% of those hired to be training and development coordinators need a bachelor’s degree, and 19% need a master’s degree. 

3. Benefits coordinator

With organizational, insurer, and regulatory policies all impacting employee benefits, a benefits coordinator must come into the role with the most up-to-date education and understanding.

Common responsibilities of a benefits coordinator include:

  • Designing, evaluating, and modifying benefits policies to ensure programs are current, competitive, and in compliance with legal requirements
  • Analyzing compensation policies, government regulations, and prevailing wage rates to develop a competitive compensation plan
  • Administering, directing, and reviewing employee benefit programs, including the integration of benefit programs following mergers and acquisitions
  • Fulfilling all reporting requirements of all relevant government rules and regulations, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Formulating policies, procedures, and programs for recruitment, testing, placement, classification, orientation, benefits and compensation, and labor and industrial relations

Critical skills you’ll need to do the job include:

  • Complex problem-solving
  • Systems analysis
  • Negotiation
  • Operations analysis
  • Time management
  • Management of financial resources 

According to O*Net, 81% of benefits coordinators need a bachelor’s degree to perform the job, while 14% need a master’s degree. 

4. Payroll manager

Like benefits coordinators, payroll managers must act as the liaison between an organization and employee. In this case, you are involved with something that’s of critical importance to both sides, money.

As a payroll manager, your responsibilities may include:

  • Directing preparation and distribution of written and verbal information to inform employees of benefits, compensation, and personnel policies
  • Studying legislation, arbitration decisions, and collective bargaining contracts to assess industry trends
  • Preparing personnel forecasts to project employment needs
  • Planning, directing, supervising, and coordinating work activities of subordinates and staff relating to employment, compensation, labor relations, and employee relations

Critical skills you’ll need to do the job include:

  • Systems evaluation
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Management of personnel resources
  • Instructing
  • Negotiation 

Payroll managers and benefits coordinators have similar education requirements, according to O*Net. The vast majority of new hires need a bachelor’s degree to perform the job, while a small percentage – 9% – need a master’s degree. 

5. Human resources specialist 

In a human resources specialist role, you’ll find yourself involved in multiple areas of the HR department, and your everyday responsibilities may include:

  • Interpreting and explaining human resources policies, procedures, laws, standards, or regulations
  • Hiring employees and processing related paperwork
  • Maintaining current knowledge of Equal Employment Opportunity and affirmative action guidelines and laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Preparing or maintaining employment records related to events such as hiring, termination, leaves, transfers, or promotions and using human resources management system software
  • Addressing employee relations issues, such as harassment allegations or work complaints

Critical skills you’ll need to do the job include:

  • Time management
  • Mentoring
  • Service orientation
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Monitoring
  • Instructing 

Nearly half – 47% – of new human resources specialist hires need a bachelor’s degree, according to O*Net

What Other Jobs Are in Human Resources?

Many HR roles share similar responsibilities, though they may have different titles. According to O*Net, the following jobs and their responsibilities/requirements fall under the human resources specialists category, and all can be attained with a bachelor’s degree:

  • Corporate recruiter
  • Human resource analyst
  • Human resource coordinator
  • Recruiter
  • Human resource representative
  • Personnel analyst 

Summary: What Can You Do With a Degree in Human Resources?

As nearly every company in every industry relies on an HR department, a degree in human resources will open doors to careers you may not have considered. The ability to apply the degree to a diverse field of interests is one of its greatest advantages. When you are ready to enter the field full-time, you may consider exploring such jobs as corporate trainer, corporate recruiter, human resource analyst, personnel analyst, and payroll manager, among others.


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